Note: This post is the second in a series of recaps of our PreCommerce Summit during SXSW. If you missed part 1, you can check it out here.  

Will (Tech) History Repeat Itself? Avoiding Unanticipated Consequences in Digital Health

Our own Mary Corcoran kicked off the next panel discussion by establishing context. Despite all the benefits that modern-day tech affords us, sometimes it leads to unintended consequences. Mary cited problems tech companies face, such as Facebook’s privacy woes, all-too-regular data breaches and more.

We all agree that the systems space stand to benefit greatly from advancements things like digital medicine, electronic health records, to a wave of consumer health applications designed to help us live healthier lives. But are there ways we can anticipate unintended consequences?

Rasu Sresthra (Chief Strategy Officer, Atrium Health) discussed not losing sight of humanistic aspect of health care in the midst of groundbreaking, disruptive technologies that already impact health services—from artificial intelligence to cloud services for storage and mobile applications that are bringing personal health to the forefront for consumers. As an example, he referenced a recent situation where a doctor delivered news that a patient was terminally ill via a remote video chat.  Rasu stressed that the importance of empathy as the health care industry decides when and how to implement technology. Rasu made it clear that humanize health care is the key to avoiding these unintended consequences.

Heather Flannery (Global Lead, ConsenSys Health) started off by explaining blockchain technology and how it relates to healthcare. With her focus on healthcare and life sciences, she works with the enterprise structural components of blockchain to implement health care projects. Many companies are experimenting in the space. While that’s a good thing, it can lead to data silos. That’s why data interoperability and security are both high priority focus areas for her. Another key focus area: she’s looking at identity broadly and deeply. Heather feels that blockchain technology can go a long way to alleviate patient matching problems the industry continues to live with. Identity is just one of the aspects she’s driving as the committee lead in the IEEE standards development working group for life sciences. Heather believes blockchain stands to make a much bigger impact on life sciences space than it has had in the financial services industry that many associate it with. Moving forward, she sees mitigating risks as key as we continue to use technologies like blockchain since lives are at stake.

Caregivers, Cancer and Catalysts for Change

Josh Kampel (CEO, Techonomy) set the stage for the next panel discussion by explaining that companies innovate through many options like internal research and development or investing or partnering with other companies or organizations. These models tend to engage an external ecosystem to bring innovation closer to the company.

The C3 Prize launched 4 years ago as a way to engage entrepreneurs in an effort to help them develop non-clinical solutions to cancer care.  According to Mark Reisenauer (SVP, Oncology, Astellas Pharma) it’s an important initiative for two reasons 1) Cancer affected his family personally and 2) Astallas’ mission within oncology division is to make every day better for cancer patients. During his time as a caregiver to his father diagnosed with neck cancer, he was struck that there were almost no resources to guide people through the cancer journey. In his experience, figuring out next steps was left up to him and his father as caregiver and patient. The primary role of C3 Prize is to address the biggest unmet need—the patient experience during their fight against cancer.

Patient advocate and entrepreneur Bill Rancic knows what it’s like to be affected by cancer. He was a caregiver to both his father dealing with kidney cancer and his wife Giuliana, now a 6-year survivor of breast cancer. Bill and Giuliana partner with Astellas promoting C3 Prize, and Bill serves as one of the judges to select the winner.  He loves the fact that C3 focuses on helping entrepreneurs take their non-treatment ideas to help patients and caregivers.

Last year, the C3 Prize saw about 200 submissions, which featured a spectrum of ideas, representing various maturity levels. Mark emphasized that Astellas goal is to do more for the best ideas, the ones that will have the most impact on patient experience. Beyond impact, Bill said ideas that help patients and caregivers make decisions from a place of knowledge instead of emotion are also part of this year’s criteria. Last year’s C3 Prize winner, Ebele Mbanugo produces stories and information designed to educate women about breast cancer treatment in Nigeria.

For 2019, they’ve doubled the prize money from $100,000 to $200,000. Bill’s passion and ambition were both on display as he shared his goal of getting thousands of submissions this year to scale their successful efforts from last year.

What Does Hyper-Targeted Media Look Like in an Anonymous (Post-GDPR) World?

As many of you are already well aware, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) went into effect in May last year. If you’re a marketer, you’ve probably already changed how you reach your intended audiences because of it. W2O Group’s Seth Duncan, kicked off the panel discussion asking what it means to be a good health care CMO today in a post-GDPR world.

George Gallate (W2O Group Board Member and former CMO Merkle) responded saying the core of being a great CMO is still about the fundamentals: using data to reach your target audiences with information that’s useful to them.

Chris Neuner (Chief Revenue Officer, PulsePoint) agreed that GDPR establishes a new reality in regard to what data companies can collect and what they can use. Over the last two years, PulsePoint has worked to accumulate which data publishers have opt-in vs. who doesn’t. As expected, GDPR has already impacted the United States—Chris referenced the Washington Privacy Act passed that recently passed in Congress. California and Vermont have already enacted legislation, and it looks like Washington could be next in line.

Chris reiterated that good CMOs should be asking the following about data collection: what can we do? what should we do, and how should we do it? He also pointed out as health care marketers we have to consider what’s right in addition to getting the necessary opt-ins. As an example, HIPAA regulations govern data that comes from a person’s doctor. But what if a marketer starts to collect data based on the location of a doctor’s office? It’s possible to collect data in terms of who visits an endocrinologist’s office and make assumptions from there. It’s possible yes, but is it right to do?

George made the point that even if a CMO or marketer covers all bases and uses targeting data in a fully compliant way, they may not be transparent about it for two reasons 1) Effective targeting represents a competitive advantage and 2) The potential creepiness factor at the patient level. The way forward is to focus on connecting patient audiences with information that saves them time or that improves their outcome. George acknowledged the hard work involved but reiterated that getting the models right provide opportunity to create first-party opt-in databases. It simplifies things dramatically. He then reminded us that’s one of the biggest mistakes health care CMOs make—not knowing how much first-party data they own and not analyzing that data so it can be used to its full potential.

 Your Secret Weapon for Surviving the Coming Recession: Activated Employees 

Joelle Kaufman (Chief Marketing Officer, Dynamic Signal) talked about the importance of activated employees. How does that apply to the health care space? At 54%, physician burnout is currently at its highest rate and continues to rise. And it’s not just doctors… 35% of nurses surveyed are emotionally exhausted. For pharmaceutical and biotech companies those high burnout rates directly increase customer acquisition rates.

Activated employees are motivated intrinsically to go above and beyond. They are committed to the company they work for. They are passionate brand advocates. Lastly, activated employees support each other. According Signal’s research, companies with strong employee experience see 74% better employee retention rates, are 21% more profitable and their employees are 17% more productive.

Questions to ask to improve employee experience:

  • How many of your employees can you actually reach?
  • Of those you can reach, how many are actually consuming what you communicate
  • How are we getting structured feedback?
  • How do I measure that I’m reaching people in an impactful way?

There was so much goodness coming from our PreCommerce Summit that it couldn’t be contained in two posts, so that’s all for now. Stay tuned for part 3!