7/9 #ThreeMinutesADay: When Healthcare Executives Fail to Innovate
Three minutes a day takes bad business decisions away.
Today's tip: There are four incredibly common reasons companies in the digital healthcare space fail when they try to innovate: they try to do too much, they don’t spend enough time, money, and effort on A/B testing, they fail to communicate effectively with consumers, and they fail to turn data into insights.
In a hurry? Just watch the video below.
Today, I want to talk about how healthcare companies miss the boat on consumer innovation. I talk to CEOs at healthcare companies every single week, as I've done for many years now in my career. When I do this I, unfortunately, see the same problems crop up again and again, no matter how big or small the healthcare company.
I have seen epic failures occur throughout the healthcare digital space. When I talk about this industry I am referring to companies that produce and provide software as a solution platforms to end consumers, device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, insurance companies, and more.
The Four Most Common Epic Failures in the Healthcare Digital Space
That these companies fail to innovate in a way that resonates with consumers generally comes down to four main reasons.
1. Trying to do too much
This is the number one problem I see in healthcare companies. It always throws me off because it is very tough to resolve and it happens most often with startups and small to medium size healthcare companies.
When I talk to these healthcare entrepreneurs, executives, and CEOs this is what they say. “Okay, I'm doing this thing, right? But I want to do these three, four, or five (which usually ends up being like 30) things as well as part of my solution.” This is a very bad strategy.
The problem with this is that it will take much time until they can actually deploy this solution and put it in front of customers and validate whether it's needed or not. And, maybe, more importantly, they are diluting the message of their platform when they launch their first digital healthcare platform doing these 30 things.
The worst part is that, most times, what they really want to do and achieve is a very simple thing.
Do one thing, and do it right. You want customers to come and be “sticky” and connect with your platform. That is why you should focus on doing that one thing first and then you can add more and more features over time. Especially in the beginning, simple is best. Don't get disoriented and disorganized by doing too much, too soon.
2. Not spending enough time, money, and effort on A/B testing
The second epic innovation failure I so often see, and this happens to 99% of healthcare – and really all – companies, is not spending enough time, money, and effort on A/B testing.
There is no single way to build software. There are so many ways. This is why you should try different ways of doing things, so you can get genuine, empirical analytics and data about what works better than something else. This is how you create the best products and services.
In my experience, the only way to ensure that your company A/B tests as it should is to have the discipline to build testing into EVERYTHING you do as a company. It needs to be a way of working and building that you do for everything. You need to A/B test interactions, flows, copying, marketing campaigns, even colors!
The more you A/B test, the more you will find the perfect path for a healthcare consumer to interact with your technology, your marketing, and your brand. If you don't do it at all, you will never learn and you will never get better at developing and scaling your healthcare digital platform.
3. Failing to communicate effectively with consumers
The third thing I see all the time is that many companies fail to communicate effectively with consumers via their platform. That means they make a mobile application that simply digitizes what is currently happening in a hospital setting or online. In doing this, they use the same nomenclature, the same terms, and the same ways doctors interact with patients.
No! Don’t do this! Make sure you translate this for the end-user. Most of us are not doctors but we are all patients. I don’t know about you, but when I talk to the doctor, I hardly ever understand what she says to me.
This is the important point. You can’t just digitize something, you have to make it better, clearer, and easier to digest and understand for the end-user. You do this by creating a communication channel – through your app, messaging, wording, and insights – that makes sense to the end-user.
4. Failing to turn data into insights
The fourth and final way companies fall short is by failing to turn data into insights. Many device manufacturing companies in healthcare exist solely to provide data to the consumer. Big data is great but the problem is, the consumer often doesn't have the ability or knowledge to make sense of it. That's unfortunate.
When you have all this data which you then digitize and package and show it to an end-user, you need to make sure that it makes sense to them and truly tells them something. You will succeed so much faster in the digital healthcare space when you provide tangible insights as opposed to simply presenting meaningless and un-contextualized data.
Even the most innovative companies can try to innovate and fail. However, these companies don’t fail by making one of these four common mistakes. If you can avoid these pitfalls, whether by trying to innovate with software, applications, artificial intelligence, IoT, blockchain, or anything else, you will be much more likely to find success.
Are you a healthcare startup? What is the biggest mistake you think your company is making when it comes down to rolling out digital innovations in healthcare? Let me know in the comments below.
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