Rajen Mistry • Sep 22 • 3 minutes

Talking trust: The future of digital health communications

So lately, we’ve been wondering…

What will the future of patient communications look like for digital health brands?

Without a doubt, the pandemic has already changed the way we interact with one another, and for some companies, it has changed the communication model completely.

Why do digital health brands need to refocus on their communication? 

In short, it’s because the role of the patient has changed.

This shift in role, in part, is due to the culprit of all culprits, COVID-19. An unprecedented event which meant online accessibility and patient-provider interaction was accelerated. This resulted in patients, previously regarded as passive recipients of care, becoming active.

In fact, following the pandemic, 1 billion health related searches were going into Google every day! [Telegraph].

On the one hand, this is great. Patients have a renewed interest in self-care, seeking new opportunities to learn about, monitor and manage their own health. And on the other, it has left the brands designed to support them scrambling through resources to improve communications, realising that post-pandemic trustworthy communication is no longer optional, but essential.

Because this position is unprecedented, it’s sometimes challenging for digital health brands to know what they can do to connect. So below we’ve collated 3 essential ways brands can better communicate with patient’s post-pandemic! 

3 ways digital health brands can connect in their communication with patients:

1. Tell a compelling story. Humanise the solution.

To be meaningful to patients today and overcome the barrier to digital adoption, digital health companies must clearly communicate how their technology is solving problems, in a human-centric way.

So, what is meant by a ‘human-centric way’?

It’s about surpassing the barriers, moving beyond industry jargon, and using a compelling narrative to help your audience understand your solution.

The best way for digital health companies to do this, is to prioritise the holistic benefits of their solution over its features.

Here’s an example I’ve created using Babylon Health, so you can see for yourself:   

Feature-focused: Using unprecedented artificial intelligence powered platform and virtual clinical operations, Babylon helps patients. 

Benefit-focused: (A line Babylon actually use!): Babylon gives you 24/7, all-in-one healthcare. We’re here for you through sickness and good health. 

As you can see above, the narrative is clear. When your story is told in this compelling way it inspires trust; so, remember to think more holistically about your benefits next time you are communicating with your audience!

2. Make your reputable information, interesting.

Patients often explore care solutions in a state of anxiety and worry. This means it’s crucial that your brand does everything it can to instil trust and offer reliable information that’s as engaging as it is insightful.

Remember, healthcare communication doesn’t have to be clinical!

Above: a great (and simple!) example from Buoy, a Boston-based digital health company; showing here some peer-reviewed published findings, in a more visually engaging way. 

So, whether it’s showcasing the results of research through some eye-catching infographics or sharing key information in a way that’s clear and understood, boosting your patient’s confidence and combatting misinformation is a huge step in gaining trust.

3. Offer personalised communications.

With many digital health companies being accused of providing impersonal care options, it’s essential your brand isn’t pigeonholed in this category!

Offering a more personalised experience through your communication is key to connecting with the new digital patient, and showing your care, extends beyond your solution.

This approach can range from marketing personalisation (using patient names in emails, apps or live-chats), to ensuring your communication is addressing specific target audiences. On a larger level, it could be sharing information/content that is relevant to your audience’s location, or altering your language to fit (i.e. UK target market = employing British language). Sounds simple, right? But it’s shockingly easy for brands to forget, especially digital health ones that already have so much to consider.

Continue to build your brand:

Reposition, refresh, or rebuild? – One of our most popular blog posts, which can help you audit your company and discover whether your brand is fit for purpose.

Rebrand FAQs – A document answering the most frequently asked questions we receive from digital health and technology companies.

Brand Trust Review Call – A free 15-minute call to discuss the future of your brand and the next best steps.