Each year around this time, Mary Meeker presents her deck on Internet Trends, a now legendary masterpiece of research filled with literally dozens of detailed graphs, pithy one-liners, and sprinkled throughout with her own predictions and observations about what’s just around the corner. This year’s deck, released at the end of May, did not disappoint, especially if you are involved in the healthcare industry.
Five slides from this years’ deck are particularly noteworthy, and for brand teams and companies wondering what trends they should be considering as they enter into the 2015 planning season, these are ones you’ll want to hang on the wall, put into your presentations, and generally glue to your forehead! These slides point to the potential for dramatically improving the patient experience across all aspects of the healthcare continuum. Brands and companies that step up and harness these trends will find themselves gaining strong momentum in 2015 and beyond.
1). Healthcare Realities = Reasons for Optimism
Digital technologies are finally bearing down full force on the healthcare system, with both the government and consumers driving fundamental changes to the system. The HITECH Act has channeled more than $35 billion worth of investment into EHR alone. Meanwhile, more than 50% of US patients now want to access their health information in a digital format—via tools, sites, reviews of hospitals and more. So whatever you are thinking of spending on digital initiatives, 2015 looks like a key year to up the ante even further! The entire healthcare system is being transformed as digital approaches and platforms are helping to drive efficiencies, improve patient experience, and support HCPs.
2). Healthcare Realities = Green Shoots Data
As digital technologies drive changes to the existing infrastructure, they are also opening up incredible new greenfield opportunities. Whether it’s consumers clamoring for e-mail access to their doctors, employers delivering wellness dashboards to their employees, or apps like CareZone, which aid caregivers who are taking care of loved ones—innovation is mushrooming across the entire healthcare system. Now is the time to place your bets in order to take advantage of these burgeoning opportunities.
3). Cost/Time to Sequence Genome Down to $1,000/24 hours
If there is any doubt that the era of personalized medicine has at last arrived, look at the drop in pricing for genetic sequencing. Not only is the cost dropping far faster than the rate of Moore’s Law, but the drop in pricing is falling even steeper in 2014. If this trend line continues—and there is every reason to believe it will—by the end of 2015, personal genetic sequencing should be available for a few hundred dollars. While not everyone will be directly impacted by this flood of personalized information, the overall change in mindset will be significant and far reaching. Medicines, tailored for individuals, will become commonplace in the second half of this decade. What will that mean for your brand? What will it mean for patients and HCPs?
4). You Screen… I Screen… We All Screen
The growing convergence of mobile, tablet, and television viewing is providing marketers with unprecedented opportunities for reaching patients, engaging them, and then tracking their actions in precise detail. Consumer activity on their smartphones while they are watching television has increased dramatically for every type of scenario, from looking up additional information about the actors and plot, to purchasing items seen during the commercials. For brands both large and small, this trend will require more than just optimizing for a mobile experience, rather—the entire patient experience needs to be re-imagined as a holistic process, instead of random channel driven interaction.
5). Smartphones = Most Viewed Medium in Many Countries
This slide makes it clear that a Mobile First strategy is no longer just some cutting-edge word of advice from your digital agency that you can choose to ignore until next year! Regardless of audience or indication, your mobile strategy needs to be a key part of 2015 planning. Also, due to the multi-screen environment described above— mobile strategy cannot exist in a silo. Instead, a mobile mindset needs to be integrated across all of your channel approaches—content creation, analytics, and CRM.
Each year, it seems that the trends Mary Meeker follows can’t get any bigger, or move any faster. Yet, once again in 2014, Internet Trends are accelerating in ways that almost defy description. While it may seem a bit overwhelming from a healthcare perspective, the opportunity to reach more of the right patients, with the right message, at the right moment has never been greater. When the Mary Meeker 2015 Internet Trends report comes out a year from now, don’t regret that you didn’t do more—because the one trend that is absolutely 100% clear—next year’s report will bring even more dramatic changes and opportunities!