What does Grey Healthcare Group managing partner and chief engagement officer Erin Byrne see as the looming future? Wearables, electronic health records — and even implantables — could all see major breakthroughs by going mobile.
In a recent interview with eMarketer staffer Tobi Elkin, Byrne argues that mobile is critical for managing consumer health. It’s also, Byrne believes, the next step in communication between healthcare providers and their patients.
What’s special about mobile?
“We see mobile as a great amplifier that can make everything you’re doing work harder and become more relevant,” Byrne explains. “Mobile is also immensely personal and private — we have mobile devices with us all the time.”
It’s like — she says — “a remote control for health.”
“With mobile, you have a persistent presence,” Byrne notes. “You’re not only being able to see what patients are experiencing, you have the flexibility of information delivery — from texting and mobile websites, to tracking health data and progress via apps, and overall health management. A mobile device almost becomes a remote control for your personal health.”
And what happens when local retailing and health care meet?
“There’s a big opportunity for OTC with things like geofencing and beacons,” suggests Byrne. “You could be walking by a CVS in Miami, a block from the beach, and receive a message about buying sunscreen, for example. You can start to connect the dots to create local, highly relevant, uber-targeted experiences.”
There are also potential benefits to the direct-to-consumer (DTC) side of the market.
“You go to the pharmacy to pick up your prescription and can make connections between a medication and side effects and other products that can potentially support the patient,” she explains. “With DTC, adherence programs give power to the patient. For example, there are apps that help diabetes patients manage their health, and those apps connect to their wearables. There are also ways for patients to share data with their doctors so that they have more information during an office visit.”
In short, it’s about an unprecedented amount of connection meeting health care.
“We’re moving from an era of isolated content to connected experiences,” Byrne concludes. “Patients can determine how involved they want to be. Persistent, two-way, flexible communication is part of the cure.”
The entire interview is well worth your time. Check it out here.