Rethinking Healthcare Marketing The new marketing models are backed by technological advancements and are being professionally customized for doctors by innovative health tech start-ups

By Alekhya Bolla

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As we all sail in the same boat named healthcare, doctors are the most important audience in our industry. We focus on niche markets and therapeutic areas, which makes us very difficult to connect to the perfect audience.

For more than a decade, the Indian healthcare industry is continually undergoing the transformation phase. There is widespread scepticism about the intent of the industry and concern for the vulnerability of doctors in the relationship. Unfortunately, the debate on how to move this relationship forward has become polarized: industry argues that collaboration with physicians is essential to scientific advancement, but at the same time many doctors are pledging to cut all their ties with the healthcare industry, which brings our business to a crossroad of sorts.

Traditionally, the healthcare companies used to connect with doctors through sales representatives. But, now there are so many new laws and regulations that are emerging in many states, and the sales representative needs to be familiar with the laws and regulations in each state. Hence, it is been observed that the traditional way of marketing through sales representatives is fading away and the time has come for the healthcare industry to re-tool their marketing efforts.

Online communication

Although, Social networks like Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter allow doctors to organize personal and professional online communities for collaboration. But, there is always a gap between the medical fraternity and these so-called Social networks, as they are not able to deliver on the needs of the doctors at the right time. And time, as you know, is indispensable for every doctor.

So, the hospitals and health care systems are trying to adopt a completely new model of healthcare marketing, so as to emulate other disruptive businesses. These new models are backed by technological advancements and are being professionally customized for doctors by innovative health tech start-ups. The technology is streamlining the healthcare processes and addressing the conventional challenges. From storing patients' records on the cloud to bringing new applications to widen the reach to challenging communities, the healthcare sector is revolutionizing.

Characterised as "The third wave' by Alvin Toffler, a writer, futurist, and businessman said, the internet technology has the potential to change the way of man and society beyond the wildest of imagination.

Technology and The Indian Healthcare System

Undoubtedly, technology is contributing immensely to transform the Indian healthcare sector. The rise in the rate of technology adoption is creating a huge opportunity in the sector to make health care needs affordable and accessible in Tier – II & III cities. The new technologies have helped the healthcare industries to look beyond the metros of India and explore the untapped market, breaking the geographical bias.

According to the estimates, the Indian Healthcare market in India is expected to grow from USD 100 billion in 2016 to USD 280 billion by 2020. Today, the healthcare sector is not what it used to be in terms of reach and improved treatments. Additionally, the boost in the Indian startup ecosystem operating in the health-tech space is creating more opportunities and hence redefining how the healthcare industry works.

Simplifying Healthcare

With the surge in serious lifestyle diseases and rising population, the burden of simplifying healthcare processes is increasing on healthcare institutions, hospitals, organizations and government. Therefore, they are looking to adopt innovative ways to manage the Healthcare setting effectively. Technology is streamlining the healthcare processes and addressing conventional challenges. From storing patients' records on the cloud to bringing new applications to widen the reach to challenging communities, the healthcare sector is slowly but sure facing the winds of change.

An increasing number of start-ups are using technology in different ways to create holistic platforms to the doctors and healthcare professionals which bridges the gap in the healthcare system by providing the medical fraternity with an equal footing. Whether it is about the improved care delivery or expansion of multi-specialities, these new technologies in healthcare are taking the industry higher.

A few stalwarts in the digital space which not only is providing a coordinated care to patients by keeping doctors abreast of the latest medical advancements, but also provides them access to all the stakeholders in the healthcare industry. With a sudden push towards digital frameworks, the time is certainly right for the healthcare industry to undergo its long overdue digital revolution.

Alekhya Bolla

Marketing Communications Expert, Curofy

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