Innovation in a digital context is not just about technology – it’s still about people

Every business is now a digital business to some extent, based upon the degree to which it uses digital media to communicate with its customers and stakeholders.

As digital technologies continue to integrate with and transform our lives, it’s business-critical for healthcare communications to evolve in step. The need for innovative digital products, campaigns and experiences to serve patients won’t stop growing – yet the skills to do so are not native to all businesses.

Digital technology, if it’s to be engaged with, insists that the customer should be at the centre of everything we do. That we should be driven by data, perspectives, behaviours and experiences rather than instinct.

Innovation in a digital context is not about technology. It’s about people. This is at the heart of innovation for patients as well as for healthcare professionals. Fundamentally, this is what drives our business.

True patient- centricity means meeting – and exceeding – the digital expectations of potentially highly empowered patients at every point of contact. We can only do this by involving them at each step in the project-delivery process.


Creating a tailored patient experience

In order to create a tailored experience that patients want to engage with, we need to involve them in every facet of the project – including planning, development and evaluation.

Through UX research, it means observing and understanding their interaction behaviour, so we can develop digital products and campaigns that are simple, intuitive and that ultimately help to create positive brand experiences for our clients.

Most patients have formed highly sophisticated digital expectations, based upon the content they consume every day, delivered by platforms that are driven by a single-minded conviction that user experience is the key to digital effectiveness.

We have to build our digital patient experiences on that kind of framework. But to do this effectively requires new ways of thinking. It requires companies like ours to operate cross-functionally and with agility. So new organisational relationships have to replace traditional silos.

Cross-functional collaboration is crucial

Doing things differently can be challenging – especially when it balances risk with reward. But doing things the same way carries its own risk: the risk of getting stuck on the same path with the same methods while patients’ expectations evolve beyond us.

With the landscapes of digital technologies and user experience constantly shifting, we must be ready to shift in step, or risk being outpaced by those who are more agile and responsive.

Source Peter Henshaw