Healthcare is beginning to explore machine learning’s vast potential. Technology that uses algorithms to identify behaviors or make predictions can benefit virtually every part of the industry. Machine learning models can use unstructured data, including images, text, or the spoken word, to perform tasks that previously only humans could do, like recognizing an anomaly in an image or transcribing speech. Also, although a machine learning model also bases its decision-making on known parameters, the system can “learn” as new data is collected and new outcomes occur.
Patient retention is critical to any healthcare organization, yet it’s often overlooked. Many practices and facilities have no idea how many patients they are losing and rarely have robust strategies to measure it, let alone prevent it. Much of their efforts is placed on attracting new patients. However, like any industry, acquiring a new customer is much more costly than retaining current ones.
Amazon has long been diversifying its interests, so it’s not a big surprise they’ve stepped into the world of healthcare. In addition to their other initiatives, Amazon has made some new announcements about their partnership with Berkshire-Hathaway and JP Morgan -- we still don’t know much, except for a name, Haven, and that it will be focusing on their own employees first, and working with data, primary care, and insurance to reduce costs and innovate within the space.
After years of disrupting and transforming other industries, it’s now healthcare’s turn to be ambitiously re-envisioned. Thus far, Amazon has touched many aspects and elements of the trillion-dollar industry. So, what does this mean for medical technology and the ultimate future of healthcare and its data?
Let’s explore how Amazon is changing the way technology and medicine intersect.
Blockchain is best known by its association with bitcoin and other digital currencies. There are actually many more uses for blockchain, as it has unique attributes that make it different than a standard database. Simply put, blockchain is a ledger of transactions that cannot be altered or changed. A blockchain ledger is shared by all the entities who use it rather than one central owner.
Healthcare organizations are beginning to formulate use cases for blockchain, leveraging its distinct, valuable attributes. Blockchain has the potential to address some of the healthcare industry’s biggest challenges, like interoperability, fraud, and verification of data. Let’s look at how this technology is evolving.
Your MedTech company’s success is directly tied to your clients’ success. The healthcare organizations benefiting most from your systems or services need to maintain an adequate patient volume — and adequate revenues — to operate and continue to use your products. Patient leakage (i.e., patients seeking care or receiving referrals outside of a healthcare organization or outside of an expected catchment area) can threaten your clients’ ability to maintain volumes which impacts their viability, and in turn, could create a negative impact on your bottom line.
According to a study by referral management platform Fibroblast, 87 percent of healthcare executives consider patient leakage extremely or very important, although about one in five healthcare organizations do not understand where and why leakage occurs. In addition, 43 percent of healthcare executives say they’re losing more than 10 percent of annual revenues due to patient leakage.
Understanding where patients come from — and where they go — will provide valuable insights that you and your clients can use to make business decisions that lead to greater patient volume and greater profitability.
Where will you find your next MedTech sales opportunity? Healthcare datasets can be great tools for identifying prime prospects in your market. Leveraging healthcare datasets to market your MedTech systems, however, isn’t the same as using a list of marketing leads and email addresses that you collect on your website or at an industry event. Healthcare datasets aren’t usually compiled for the purpose of marketing. Rather, they include medical data, healthcare statistics, population demographics, or insurance data that professionals, organizations, and regulatory agencies use for other purposes.
For a MedTech company, these datasets can provide information that helps you improve target marketing and focus sales efforts on physicians whose patients would benefit from your systems. For example, healthcare datasets may include ICD-10 codes or CPT codes, which can identify physicians or healthcare facilities most likely to treat patients with certain diagnoses or to perform certain procedures.
When it comes to using healthcare datasets for sales and marketing, though, there is a definitely a right way and a wrong way to do it. Follow this list of dos and don’ts for the best outcomes.
Do you know how much data decay is costing your business? Data loses value over time; what was true and accurate last month is probably not completely true and accurate today. In fact, ZoomInfo compiled the results of research on B2B data quality and found that, each year, 30 percent of people change jobs, 43 percent of people’s phone numbers change, 34 percent of people’s titles and job functions change, and 37 percent of email addresses change.
It’s possible, with the rapid innovation and M&A activity in the MedTech space, that your customer and prospect database could experience even more data decay in a year’s time. So, it’s likely that the next time a member of your sales team logs into your customer relationship management (CRM) system, at least one piece of information that he or she needs will be inaccurate. And the next time your marketing team sends an email campaign, there will be more hard bounces than you’d like to see. Even worse when your field-based sales team is in market and didn’t realize a practice moved offices or became employed by the local hospital.
There’s no doubt that bad data is frustrating for your sales and marketing teams, but remember it can also be a source of frustration for clients. Data that causes a breakdown in communication may seem like unanswered emails or calls to your sales team, but it may come across to the client as a sign of poor service. And in the MedTech space, the inability to connect with suppliers is more than inconvenient; it can directly impact patient well-being, and it may be reason enough to start talking to your competitors.
In this era of value-based care, hospitals and the health systems to which they belong are intensely focused on metrics that directly impact their scores and related financial incentives and penalties affecting their reimbursement.
For marketers and salespeople who target hospitals and health systems as clients for their products and support services, performance metrics are equally important. Sales and marketing teams also benefit when they can look at these metrics across facilities and geographies to slice and dice the data to better understand their prospects and opportunities.
So which metrics are most important for MedTech marketers and sales teams, and how can those metrics be used to align the value of your company’s MedTech products to the needs of those hospitals and health systems?
Healthcare analytics is robust and increasingly critical as a sub-industry and set of tools driving many critical decisions in the arena of healthcare, both in the U.S. and globally. All healthcare analytics are built on a foundation of data, but that data is only as useful and as powerful as it is effectively analyzed, and then applied, to improve clinical and business processes and outcomes.
Big data is increasingly available and used by MedTech and other healthcare businesses in new market development and related marketing and sales strategies.
Data-driven marketing is not new, but is gaining rapidly in popular application. However, data application for use by sales teams, particularly in new market development, is adopted less frequently and at a slower rate, and that translates to missed opportunities.
Below are some guidelines for new market development strategies and tactics that incorporate a symbiotic approach involving both marketing and sales.
The most successful businesses don’t rest on their laurels, and they never get comfortable. Even if you have a great product, it can only take you so far within a given target market before your growth begins to flatten.
MBA students and marketing majors learn about market development as one quadrant of the Ansoff Matrix in Marketing 101, but it’s important for salespeople to understand and contribute to market development as well.
Market development directly affects sales success, and salespeople are on the front lines with the customer - daily. That close connection to the customer makes sales representatives very valuable in identifying new market development opportunities.
It seems like almost every large MedTech company has climbed on the big data bandwagon in an effort to drive more effective and targeted marketing to physicians and sales activities.
Big data for precise targeting is, in fact, one of the most powerful tools in the arsenal of both marketing and sales teams when they have access to it and know how to mine, analyze, and use it.
However, there are a number of challenges and inequities that separate the organizations that can track a direct, positive correlation between use of data and increased sales from the ones that can’t or don’t leverage this kind of data and analytics for more accurate targeting, such as:
Big data and its powerful insights could make all the difference in your strategy and approach to healthcare sales and marketing. However, big data is as complex as it is intricate, and many find it overwhelming or have no idea where to start. That doesn’t mean you have to be a data scientist to harness big data and reveal opportunities in your market.
As a sales and marketing professional in the healthcare industry, you probably already have some connection to big data, but it may not be doing all that it can for you.
Big data is an essential part of growth. In fact, 53 percent of companies that rated themselves as effective users of analytics were deemed to be fast growers. While that demonstrates the correlation, the survey, conducted and published by McKinsey Insights, also revealed that 57 percent of organizations rated themselves as ineffective at analytics.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) isn’t a buzzword or the plot of a sci-fi movie. It’s actually revolutionizing sales and marketing in every industry, including healthcare. While there are lots of AI solutions to streamline the buyer’s journey and automate campaigns, you’ll want to choose a tool you know has the features that will make a difference in your workflow.
This isn’t a question of should you embrace AI but rather how to embrace AI. There is also the need to strike the right balance of science and human touch points that will propel your prospect to convert. Let’s explore how AI is changing the healthcare marketplace.
What does accelerating sales mean?
Here at Carevoyance we think of sales acceleration as successfully engaging more prospects, progressing more deals to the next meeting, and, of course, making every meeting count. All these steps accelerate you to the end goal which is closing more deals.
Every sales person obsesses over closing more deals. You've got a couple of options here when it comes to accelerating sales and closing more deals --> you can work harder or you can work smarter.
Since there are only so many hours in the day, we are big fans of working smarter!
Let's explore how you can work smarter using data and technology as a strategy to accelerate sales.
Looking to better understand and size up a market opportunity for your healthcare technology?
Whether you are a healthcare entrepreneur formulating a business for a new product or a research scientist justifying a funding request or a marketer at an established medical device company recommending which market to target, the process for researching and sizing the opportunity is typically multi-dimensional. In this blog post we'll review a data-driven process for better understanding the dynamics within a market for a healthcare technology or product.
When sizing up a market, you'll want to look at the opportunity through multiple different perspectives to understand the following:
Selling to doctors used to be more straightforward than it is today.
Reps could drop by the practice office with lunch or snacks in hand, and catch the doctor in between appointments to chat about the latest products or technologies. Not surprisedly, the MedTech and Pharma industries historically relied on interpersonal networks with individual physicians to execute transactions and drive growth of their technologies.
It's surprising how rapidly and drastically processes for purchasing medical technologies have changed over the past 10 years. Access to physicians is way down as more practices, clinics and hospitals control the flow of sales reps through their halls.
In addition, rather than simply placing orders for products based solely on a physician’s preference, hospitals and other facilities are assessing value across all purchase categories, looking for reductions in costs or an improvements in outcomes.
The changing dynamics is especially true for more expensive products like imaging equipment, surgical robots, surgery assistance tools, complex medical devices and health information technologies or services.
Congratulations for landing the meeting with the hospital c-suite, physician leadership or perhaps an influential purchasing agent. The bad news? The hard work of selling your medical product or service has just begun!
Not to worry, we've put together a guide of how to up your game during the sales pitch using data to help you tell your story.
Planning great content for each sales meeting with hospital execs and physician leaders is equally, if not more, important than the actual meeting. Without a focused agenda, the right content, and a maniacal focus on progressing the relationship to the next step, you'll be wasting everyone's time.
One common thread between the various organizations we work with at Carevoyance, is that they all have to maintain their own directories of physician and facility partners, opportunities and contacts in order to stay competitive. Losing track of physicians as they move jobs, cities or even careers is a huge competitive and revenue exposure. Thus, accuracy of these directories is not only vital for patient outcomes (device service alerts, recalls), but also for marketing (new product launches, updates), and sales.
Inaccurate provider directories are not simply an inconvenience
It's well into Q1 and you likely staring down an intimidating quota. Selling to hospitals and physicians is tough given the historical dependence on relationships. To meet and exceed your quota this year you need to find new ways to engage busy providers.
Maybe you are approaching a brand new lead. Perhaps you are trying to resurrect old prospect. How are you going to get through to them to book that next meeting?
Stop talking about yourself—Make it about them.
Improving healthcare in our world today means having our cake and eating it too. It means simultaneously improving outcomes and reducing cost. The bedrock of actualizing this new paradigm is a reduction in the opacity of our healthcare system.
Despite our tremendous clinical advancements, the operational machinations of our industry are woefully obsolete. The biggest challenges are the most basic: operations, logistics, resource allocation, customers, and management. Information and technology are the undeniable salvation and solution.
Healthcare claims data are an excellent resource to deeply understand how facilities and physicians deliver care. Healthcare codes allow you to better understand your market, target new opportunities, and segment your campaigns with precision.
To fully leverage this invaluable resource, it’s helpful to know how the underlying mechanics of healthcare billing and reimbursement work.
Many medical technology companies purchase data annually, only to use it in some perfunctory way, and then dismiss the data before the next purchasing cycle. Historical claims data can have a profound impact on your sales, marketing, operations and reimbursement - so long as this data contains the right level of detail and is licensed to be used across your entire organization. Beyond change-over-time metrics, there are myriad of ways to leverage your data purchase to extract business value.
While healthcare data is becoming more available by the day, the challenges inherent in working with these data are increasing in number and complexity.
Since most available healthcare data is derived from financial reporting and accounting systems (EHRs, by design, are billing systems, and most third-party healthcare data comes from the 'switches' that connect providers with payers to facilitate payment), the data structure, field availability and ease of analysis are all skewed toward financial reporting purposes not so much toward extracting other business value.
Healthcare data structure, field availability, and ease of analysis are skewed towards financial reporting purposes.