In Healthcare, Virtual Engagement Will Be The ‘New Normal’

Telemedicine and health care concept with a young man and a doctor on computer screen
In Healthcare, Virtual Engagement Will Be The ‘New Normal’

Personalization and “extreme localization” are going to play major roles as the healthcare industry evolves to a “virtual-first” business model, which has become critical in recent months amid the COVID-19 pandemic and associated quarantine mandates.

“We’ll be seeing virtual care and engagement become the new normal,” said Tom Swanson, Adobe’s head of industry strategy and marketing for healthcare, during a recent webcast with Invoca CEO Gregg Johnson.

Healthcare organizations that embraced digital transformation early on have been in the best position to respond to consumers’ quickly changing behaviors and expectations.

“While healthcare is dealing with a lot of emergencies, the interesting part is how it has had to be incredibly innovative in shifting their attention to those not in dire straits,” Swanson said. “[People] are still looking at day-to-day health and wellness and things not COVID-specific.”

People are also demanding localized content, said Johnson, whose company provides call-tracking and analytics software. For example, he said, it’s not enough to know whether COVID-19 testing is available, but is it available in a facility closest to their homes?

“It’s interesting—all of these concepts we’ve talked about in digital marketing around personalization and proactive communications: All marketers had ‘good muscles’ around this,” Johnson said. “This crisis is giving them the opportunity to flex those muscles and the technologies behind them in very new ways, which I think is a really good learning experience. It helps you build new capabilities that, in the go-forward world, you’re going to be able to use.”

An eye toward that future—once we’re out of the “thick” of the pandemic—combined with the ability to address customers’ (and employees’) needs at the moment, is the very definition of business resiliency,  Swanson said.

“If virtual engagement is going to become the primary form of engagement in healthcare, how can you put into place what you need immediately while still building the strategy toward the future of, ‘If this is going to be my primary form of engagement, how do I deliver the right content through the right channels?’” he said.

Johnson has been “really excited about the level of innovation and experimentation I’ve seen in customers these days,” he said, particularly among clients that had been hesitant to take elements of their business virtual for fear of providing a less-than-perfect experience.

“When [the pandemic] hit, the net came down and they said, ‘We’ve got no other choice. Let’s use the technology we have and try some new things,” he said.

Listen to the full webcast, below, for more of Swanson and Johnson’s discussion about the latest customer behavior trends and expectations in healthcare, Adobe’s role as the industry embraces virtual engagement (think: content delivery), and some compelling data points that show just how much has already changed in such a short time.

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