Aug 18 2016
Medical devices: where the speed of innovation meets the molasses of FDA approval! Despite that fact, the medical device health care sector consistently brings science and invention to life. 2016 has been a year of mergers & acquisitions, new products and pioneering technologies. This piece looks at the rest of 2016. Specifically, what trends are still gaining steam and what developments will become mainstays in 2017 – we found five – four-and-a-half actually, because the last one is a gimme.
Health care’s new manifest destiny: robotic surgery.
It’s nearly a two decade old innovation but a bit of “land grab” right now because EVERYONE’S getting in on it. Starting in 2000 with da Vinci Surgery, to the 2015 joint venture between Johnson & Johnson and Google’s Verily Verb Surgical, and Smith and Nephew’s acquisition of Blue Belt Technologies and its Navio Surgical System– medical device manufacturers are looking for the edge that allows them to increase operating room efficiency and revolutionize the surgical experience for their customers. Looking ahead, device manufacturers that combine machine learning, advanced imagery, and use an open-source technology will own
Aug 11 2016
If you’ve been watching this year’s Olympics (or just reading the news), you’ve likely seen a few athletes with dark red/purple spots on their bodies. Earlier this week, superstar-Olympian Michael Phelps entered the pool with those large, dark circles on his shoulders and back; and so, the questions began. It’s called cupping. But what is it, and how much do we really know about what seems to be the latest trend?
Cupping is an ancient therapy that dates back nearly 2,000 years and has mostly been used in Middle Eastern and Asian countries. Many people have never heard of it before, and now it’s got us all in a frenzy trying to figure it out. Athletes use it as a healing therapy that consists of having round glass suction cups placed on the sore parts of their body. The cup creates a partial vacuum, which is believed to stimulate muscles and blood flow, while relieving pain.
Most of the world saw Phelps’ cupping marks for the first time this week, but turns out he’s actually been practicing the treatment for at least a year. So does it hurt? Here’s a quick look at Phelps’
Aug 4 2016
On a recent trip to Canada, I had the privilege of exploring Niagara Falls, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. It’s always exciting to explore a new place and, that being said, I expected some cultural differences. Prior to my trip, I knew Canada had a different healthcare system than that of the U.S., but I quickly learned that the health differences didn’t end there.
While in Toronto, my brother pointed out an empty cigarette carton on the ground – completely taboo from anything I’d ever seen before. On it was a photo of an older woman hooked up to an oxygen tank, with a short story about how smoking gave her emphysema and led to her lungs collapsing four times. The picture took up so much of the box that the brand of cigarettes was the very last thing I noticed. If you work in communications or public relations, this would typically be a nightmare, but I couldn’t help but admire the angle Canada is taking to send a message and how it may be benefiting their overall health goals.
Upon further digging, I found that…
Jul 21 2016
When I was a reporter, I was skeptical of any “news” issued by businesses or other organizations. At the time (I’m dating myself here), that “news” was in the form of press releases and the occasional (rehearsed) media interview or press conference. Even when we did report on company-generated news, we researched the heck out of it to make sure it was objective – and to make sure we identified bias and included other points of view.
Fast forward to today. As a PR professional, I’ve used my skepticism to help organizations develop and deliver newsworthy content. But it wasn’t until recently that I gained a new found respect for how seriously a growing number of organizations are taking the responsibility of being a respected news source. It happened when a health care client of ours asked us to help them build a world-class news operation.
Now this client already had a well-run media relations and consumer news operation, but realized that in today’s competitive and cluttered news environment, it needed to become even more proactive and efficient in leading the discussions around health topics of interest – not just those that involved their own achievements. The challenge was finding an efficient way to involve multiple internal…
Jul 7 2016
Fitting in a doctor’s appointment during the week is no easy feat. By 2016, I thought I would have adapted to virtual consults – but so far that’s not the case. While technology continues to transform healthcare, whether it be fitness trackers or online communities, the majority of patients still prefer to discuss their personal health face-to-face.
According to Fierce Healthcare, 62 percent of people rely on their doctor for information. However, online patient portals are growing in popularity, with 21 percent of patients using this technology to communicate with their physician. Data like this makes you wonder…
Where are we at with telemedicine?
It is projected that there will be 1.2 million virtual doctor visits in the U.S. this year. With more than 300 million people in the U.S., you might expect that number to be higher. However, according to the American Telemedicine Association, more than 15 million Americans received some kind of medical care remotely last year, and those numbers are expected to grow by 30 percent this year.
Jun 30 2016
In the wee hours of Sunday, June 12th, Orlando Health’s Orlando Regional Medical Center (ORMC) was thrust into the spotlight as the Level 1 trauma center responded to the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. 49 dead, 53 injured. 44 of the victims arrived in the emergency department at one time.
A nightmare on every level.
ORMC has been praised for its response to the tragedy. The hospital has received an outpouring of support locally and nationally, recognizing the heroic efforts of the medical team.
Thankfully, this tragic scenario is an unlikely one for most hospitals, but it does demonstrate that organizations have to be ready for the worst – sometimes even worse than they could ever imagine. As health care communications professionals, what can we learn from the ORMC response?
1) Plan for the worst – and drill for it regularly
In a recent blog post, Brian Ellis, PadillaCRT’s Crisis and Critical Issues practice leader notes, “In crisis management, the name of the game is speed. The faster a crisis team can get ahead of the issue, the less damage will be caused to the company. Speed is based on three factors: the flow of information