One industry sure to see a continuous rise over the next decade, is the healthcare industry. The spending on healthcare throughout the nation is projected to grow at 5.5% annually through 2026. In fact, by 2026 healthcare will contribute to 20% of the GDP. The healthcare industry will also add more than 2.4 million jobs in the coming years ahead.
With the onset of 2019, there is a global shift to ‘outcomes-based care’, with every patient seeking out the best in care providers. This year will also challenge two of the top emerging technologies of the industry- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Blockchain. Marketing, which was never given a priority in healthcare has taken the front seat due to the heavy competition pouring in. In fact industries such as Tech, Retail and IT have crossed over into healthcare as well, with Google, Apple, Facebook and Amazon taking over the individual care space. As predicted, 2019 is going to be a busy year for small healthcare businesses, and these tips will arm you for the year ahead.
- Tie Up to Value/Outcome-Based Models: The healthcare industry will continue its shift to value-based models so if you’re a business model that hasn’t made changes yet, it may be time to. By the end of the year, approximately 15% of healthcare businesses globally, would have made the massive change, especially in countries that spend more than 10% of their GDP on healthcare, including the United States. The Value-Based Model proves to be sustainable both to healthcare providers and payers.
- Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been fast growing the past year, and this year shows the trend to continue. With competition in the industry rising, invest more in the use of AI for imaging diagnostics, drug discovery and risk analytics applications. The usage of AI is predicted to cross $1.7 billion by the end of the year, implying an essential increase in human-machine interactions in the healthcare industry.
- The boom in Digital Healthtech: A trend is seen shifting to ways patients expect treatments, and going to a hospital to be treated isn’t preferred anymore. This may be because individuals now expect and are given more control over their healthcare this way. Adapt to the changing times and invest in a digi-tech solution such as an app, or a health-monitoring device so your business isn’t cut out of the race. Digitech solutions outside of the hospital are expected to grow by 30% in 2019 and will cross the $25 billion market by the end of the year.
- The Big Data to Small Data Shift: The healthcare industry is focussing on each individual specialty, and the specific analytics for each one required to study factors such as treatment variability, eligibility for clinical trial, billing discrepancy and self-care program. By the end of 2019, 50% of all healthcare industries will be able to access, share and analyze evidence across their own or several organizations. Avail resources that will help you do this as well, to stay relevant in your specialization, and the industry at large.
- Voice Applications and Chatbots: Voice and chatbot applications are gaining prominence in the healthcare industry as retail and IT industries enter the field challenging the current healthcare businesses. Include a chatbot on your website which can be used by the physician’s assistant to answer simple clinical doubts or vetted cases such as chronic treatment and elderly care.
- More Content Writing: With an increase of people installing ad-blockers on their devices, paid advertising is taking a hit. Increase the content written on your website, as well as on social media channels to rank better online when your industry is searched by potential patients. Ensure the content is informative and educational because people will determine the credibility of your healthcare practice based on this.
- Increase Video Marketing: Businesses that use videos for marketing generate 49% more revenue than non-video users. While this was a trend that was never taken seriously by the healthcare industry, but the emergence of tech-titans in the field means videos must be given more importance as well. Introduce videos about your healthcare business’ background, the doctors, nurses, and staff. Ask each person to introduce themselves, talk about their work experiences and their specializations. This gives a more humane touch to your healthcare business, and your patients/customers are more likely to prefer your care.
- Expand on social media: While funny and engaging posts may not be possible for every healthcare business, some like veterinarians, dentists, chiropractors, and plastic surgery. Everyone loves sharing engaging content on social media so making your business a notable name can only mean an increase in patients and customers for you. Understand what each social media can do and what your audience on each one enjoys. Doing an audit on your social media and sharing every-day goings on of your work can make your business more relatable.
- Focus on Wellness: The focus as we enter 2019 is wellness, and every healthcare industry should endorse it. Associate yourself as a brand that focuses on the health and general wellbeing of each individual. For instance, in August, Blue Cross Blue Shield gave a discount for Fitbits. Although you don’t need to make that steep of a marketing technique, you can associate with the local organic foods store, or create a yoga challenge for people to be more healthy. You can also post or re-share fun (and true) facts about good health and tips to avoid certain diseases.
- Invest in the business: You’ll not be able to get a headstart in 2019 without properly financing your healthcare business. Invest in technologies and equipment, and marketing strategies that can help your business stay relevant in the years ahead. If you’re tight on cash, you can get an immediate business financing option to help you out.
Give back to the business as much as you give to people. Keep track of updates and policy changes in the healthcare industry and read up on how healthcare businesses overcome issues. Take risks, and invest in your and your patients’ future. Happy 2019 ahead!