If I had a crystal ball, I’d use a few of my predictive privileges to offer you wisdom on what to expect of the healthcare marketing industry. But I don’t. All I have is a healthy obsession with understanding how technology can improve the human health experience. So herein lies my disclaimer, and what follows is my best guess of what to expect in an unpredictable world.

Anna Gaudio

Meeting us [right] where we are

In the recent past, we’ve tended to apply a “once size fits all” approach to even the best solutions. For example, we used telehealth as a quick answer during a time of critical need, but we haven’t corrected past use for current need. Is it well-suited for early detection AND acute care AND chronic management? Perhaps it could be, but I don’t think we’re there yet. Are wearables perfectly poised to serve as our best friends? Check out Apple crash detection mishaps for my point of view.

I believe, and hope, that 2023 holds a focus on tailoring and that we recognize that more isn’t always better. Similar to how streaming services continue to ebb and flow with proliferation followed by mergers and acquisition, I imagine we’ll experience a similar wobble to create better product suites that together serve a more meaningful need than independently.

We’ll see beautiful marriages of behavioral data and approachable devices. We’ll see affordability meet supply chain optimizations. And we’ll witness value-based care and prioritization of outcomes align to patient expectations and care management. These words I type with fingers crossed, knowing that a suit obtains its power from the tailor, not the fabric.

The humanization of healthcare

Anyone working in the healthcare industry—whether directly or indirectly—has experienced perpetual innovation to the point of exhaustion. As we hit the technology curve, doors to Wonderland opened before us. With health being a foundation to nearly every other industry (think: financial wellness, physical wellness, emotional wellness, mental wellness), ours was the first through the rabbit hole.

As often occurs, the pendulum may now swing the other way. By no means do I expect a rejection of the incredible tools and resources that the digitization of healthcare delivered (though, a quick search of “rejection of healthcare digitization” will return quite a finding). Instead, I anticipate an increased desire for human interaction while engaging with the healthcare system.

We may continue to rely on telehealth and virtual care in certain instances. We may continue to choose a chatbot over a phone call. But I believe the future expectation of healthcare recipients is an experience cloaked in the human spirit, one that is warm and personalized and empathetic. In a world where anything is possible, the innovations that survive and thrive will be those that prize the human experience over the technology.

Maximized moments

We’ve been talking about this one for years. An important distinction must be made in the era of customer experience between time well spent and time well saved. From design to KPIs, we’ve set our sights on the wrong goalposts. We’ve misunderstood the true unmet need and then force-fit our [brand, service, product] into a misshapen solution.

Let this be the year that we start with customer understanding, dissecting their experience through rich, unselfish research. We find the moments in which we can streamline and ease and alleviate. We capitalize on the moments in which we can engage and interact and indulge. And we make sure, time and time again, that those moments are what our customers are telling us, not what we’re telling ourselves.

Wishing you and our industry (and all Philadelphia sports teams) nothing but good things ahead!