Recent medtech stories you may have missed

Recent medtech stories you may have missed

From Rachel RobbinsSenior Vice President at Greenough Brand Storytellers

Artificial intelligence and robotics top trends that will transform healthcare in 2020

From the use of machine learning to process enormous amounts of medical data to robotics that span surgical use, transporting medical supplies and helping patients with rehab, technology will continue to transform healthcare in 2020. According to this Forbes article, wearable tech, 3D printing and extended reality (virtual, augmented and mixed) also show incredible promise for patients and medical professionals. In fact, a team of scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in New York has developed a way to 3D print living skin, complete with blood vessels.

 

Competition heats up in robot-assisted surgery market

Robotic-assisted surgery using da Vinci robots – which enable surgeons to perform delicate and complex operations through a few small incisions – continue to skyrocket. This is evident through Intuitive Surgical’s latest sales numbers, bringing the total number of da Vinci systems in operation to more than 5,400 worldwide. Despite this domination, only about 2% of surgeries worldwide are performed using robotic surgery equipment. The competition is about to heat up, with medical device giant Medtronic planning to launch its Hugo system in 2020—a system they claim is more flexible and cost-effective than those presently on the market.

 

More Americans using wearable fitness trackers to monitor health than ever before

Millions of Americans are using technology to monitor their exercise, heart rate, calorie consumption, sleep quality and step count. According to ACSM’s survey of 2020 fitness trends, the use of wearable technology—now a $95 billion industry—topped the list for the third year in a row. Google is tapping into the success of the fitness tracker market, going head-to-head with Apple and Samsung, announcing last week it is buying Fitbit for $2.1 billion. The purchase will help Google tap into an enormous amount of health data, with more than 28 million users on the Fitbit platform.

 

New technology promises to change the future of cancer diagnosis and treatment

In conjunction with Lung Cancer Awareness Month, Auris Health unveiled a revolutionary robot that can detect lung cancer at an early stage. Data from the company’s first study on live human subjects show its Monarch robotic system can successfully target hard-to-reach lung nodules and obtain a tissue sample for biopsy. The robot is a promising advancement that has the potential to change the future of cancer diagnosis and treatment. Similarly, Thermo Fisher Scientific unveiled its Ion Torrent Genexus System this week—a next-generation sequencing (NGS) platform that can deliver results in a single day, which will enable patients to be matched to targeted therapies or clinical trials faster. The system simplifies genomic testing so it can be performed in any clinical setting – including community hospitals, where most cancer patients are treated today.

 

Recent medtech stories you may have missed

Recent medtech articles you may have missed

From Rachel RobbinsSenior Vice President at Greenough Brand Storytellers

Use of artificial intelligence in healthcare continues to gain momentum

A new study from Optum finds that healthcare organizations’ confidence and investment in AI remains high. According to the study, the number of respondents who said their organizations have an AI strategy in place rose 88% year over year. The potential for AI in healthcare continues to soar. A separate study published by The Lancet Digital Health found that AI can detect diseases from medical imaging with the same accuracy as healthcare professionals. It’s no wonder that nine in 10 healthcare executives surveyed by Optum felt confident they’ll see an ROI sooner than previously expected.

 

Medical robots taking over: in the hospital, at home and on the battlefield

Digital Health firm Diligent Robotics recently announced it raised $3 million in a seed funding round for its AI healthcare assistant, Moxi, a robot that can help physicians and nurses gather and distribute supplies, lab samples and dirty laundry. Diligent will soon begin deploying Moxi following pilot trials at a number of hospitals. Pfizer also announced the launch of a pilot program with Catalia Health to assess patient behavior when interacting with the AI-powered home robot, Mabu, which is designed to coach patients on health and prescription drugs and supply information back to medical professionals to inform them about their patients’ medication adherence. The U.S. Army is also seeing the benefits of medical robots, announcing it will begin using medical drones to aid medics in the field by bringing medical supplies, blood and products to care for wounded soldiers.

 

Amazon pushes deeper into telemedicine with launch of virtual medical clinic for employees

Through its new virtual health clinic, Amazon Care, Amazon will provide its employees with faster access to healthcare, on-demand. Amazon Care is a pilot program for employees in the Seattle area that combines telemedicine with in-person services to support diagnosis, treatment and referrals. Amazon will also prescribe medications via Amazon Care within a few hours or offer a way for employees to pick them up at a preferred pharmacy. This is certainly one to watch, particularly if Amazon expands the offering beyond its employees.

 

Medical devices and consumer electronics continue to converge

According to new research from Business Insider Intelligence, the use of wearable technology has more than tripled in the last four years, as consumers continue to take control of their own health. Wearable fitness trackers, smart health watches and wearable ECG and blood press monitors continue to surge, influencing healthcare decisionmakers to take a closer look at the benefits of wearable healthcare technology. In fact, the research found that doctors could save 15 hours per week if their patients use wearable technology. Smart hearing aids are the latest example of lines blurring between medical devices and consumer electronics. These hearing aids amplify sounds for the user and reduce background noise, while also taking phone calls, streaming music, tracking physical activity and even turning on a Bluetooth-connected coffeepot.

Not Everyone on Social Media is Talking About Trump’s Tweets

4 Keys to a Successful Healthcare Influencer Program

I started my career in television news, where our primary goal was to capture and engage audiences through their TVs. In the public relations and marketing world, television is only one of thousands of channels available to communicate with target audiences. As brand journalists, we’re constantly exploring these channels in search of ways to more effectively speak to our clients’ potential buyers, and we’ve found that influencers are key. In fact, we just returned from HIMSS 2017 where we met with a number of HIT influencers including Drex DeFord, Matt Fisher, Jennifer Dennard, Steve Sisko and Chuck Webster. So how do you get to the right influencers? And, more importantly, how do you engage with them? Here are a few tips to get you started.

Do Your Research

The first and most important step in influencer programming is research to identify the right influencers with the greatest reach. There are several free or low-cost tools to help with this including BuzzSumo, Littlebird and Klear. But don’t overlook good old-fashioned manual research. Although time-consuming, manual research can be more immersive, leading you to discover targets that are really driving engagement. This will force you to balance quality and quantity, potentially steering you toward lesser-followed influencers who are actually more deeply engaged with your audience.  

Offer Something They Love

A key benefit of using influencers for validation is that you connect directly into spheres of trust. Influencers won’t allow you into that sphere if they aren’t believers themselves, so you’ll need to be sure that what you’re selling aligns with the influencers’ agenda or delivers some mutual benefit. The best influencers – those who will create the deepest engagement – will not advocate for something they wouldn’t themselves embrace. So, don’t force it.

Be Flexible

Any influencer relationship will start with your goals, but it’s also important to remember that the influencers know their audiences and what drives them. Don’t push inflexibly at the expense of the relationship – be open to their ideas for content and execution. If they disagree with a blog topic, probe for the reasons; you may learn something new about your audience. Keeping an open mind could lead you down completely new and more lucrative pathways.

Remember It’s a Two-Way Street

The best influencers are in high demand and must be discriminating. You may need to be open to financial incentives or carve out time for them to speak to your audience, perhaps during an industry or client event. There must be something in it for the influencer, and your job is to find out what that is. Ask them about their goals for the partnership and what they hope to gain from it. Doing this early in discussions will save you some awkward conversations down the road.

We hope these tips are helpful. There’s more to building relationships than a few tips can convey, but maybe this can provide impetus for getting started.