c The importance of Health Tech PR for consumers
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The case for PR: Why Health Tech still needs evangelizing

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Emerging industries require consumer confidence and trust in order to scale successfully, which PR and communications are best placed in each sector to provide.

Andy West is the Group Chief Development Officer at Hotwire PR, an international communications agency specializing in technology businesses and high-growth startups.



Technology disrupts every aspect of our world. But nowhere has this impact been more apparent, or more beneficial than in healthcare. It’s not a new phenomenon either. The history of modern science and technology is intimately linked, but it’s a story which has faded over the last 10 years as the world’s eyes turn to new frontiers.

What’s needed is a new story – one with Health Tech at its centre. Hotwire PR has a 16 year heritage in working with technology companies around the world looking to tell such stories – building reputations and driving brand awareness. Our focus is on working with companies who are challenging society’s perception of what’s possible and expanding our horizons.

Doing this requires an ability to turn complex technologies and issues into compelling storylines, which resonate with our clients, their audience and the wider world. It’s about pushing frontiers and showing the world what’s next.

We believe Health Tech is that next frontier – and it’s one we’re passionate about.

Its rapid growth and evolutionary potential will impact and improve lives across the globe, and the growing number of verticals within digital health is already attracting the brightest of entrepreneurs and the most connected investors.

Such a new industry, however, requires education, evangelizing and promotion – especially one growing at such a pace – and this is where we see smart, sophisticated Health Tech PR is essential.

To help map this nascent sector, we have worked alongside the Hot Topics community to draw up a list of the 100 Most Influential People in Health Tech. This list aims to highlight key individuals driving the Health Tech revolution, while also highlighting the challenges they face, the brands, organizations, charities and hospitals they represent, and the future they forsee.

Such information is an essential building block for Health Tech PR to work with – every story needs a hero.

 

The Case for Communications

Health Tech PR isn’t fluff. It’s an essential tool for showcasing the power technology has to make lives better.

Without stories, we can only ever talk about product benefits in isolation. Stories put a human face on achievements – making the remote seem incredibly accessible.

The opportunity to start a discussion around the benefits of technologies in this space is too great to ignore – the public are becoming more receptive to health initiatives, and are much more engaged in their own vitality and the technology enabling that enables them to learn more about their health.

This isn’t new. Every industry has had to educate consumers about the benefits they bring and this is a role only communications can play.

But, every story needs focus and an entry point. We can’t simply talk about every minute detail of the industry and expect our audience to care. We need to identify key aspects of Health Tech where consumer understanding is high and use these as a gateway to the sector.

The benefits of wearable technologies are well documented and brands like Fitbit are if not household names, then certainly something people are aware of. We need to start with quick wins like this if we’re to raise awareness of the remarkable potential of technology in the healthcare sector.

Once we’ve earned people’s attention, we can then start to focus on the details – how we address industry challenges such as the security of medical data and the role that data can play in making us all healthier are much easier to understand if our audience has an anchor point to refer to.

This means the aim of anyone working in Health Tech PR is simple – tell the story of why it matters and use this to help grow a commercial market around a healthcare product, service or technology.

Amazing technologies can’t evolve without a reliable market to sustain its growth. Communications has a vital role to play – first through education and then by creating desire.

So what’s next? For fast-growth start-ups, there’s an urgent need to build credibility around their offerings, while established organizations will need elements of brand protection and reputation awareness.

This can’t be siloed by region. Health Tech needs to grow internationally if it’s to survive, which means a consistent message is vital for everyone involved in the sector.

Health Tech foundations are strongest in the US, Western Europe, Australia and New Zealand, and we know companies will focus their early communications here.

There are always going to be degrees of local adaptations, but if we’re to succeed a central message is needed to hang local storylines from. No industry succeeds in isolation, and that’s of true of geography as it is of any other consideration.

The ability to tell a global story on a local level, coupled with an innate understanding of whose opinion matters, means communication agencies are a vital partner for emerging or high growth sectors like Health Tech.

Where Health Tech goes next has the potential to revolutionize the life of millions across the globe. Let’s work together to make it happen.