2019: The year smartphones scan for food poisoning?

2019: The year smartphones scan for food poisoning?

Siri, what movies are playing?

Siri, did the Spartans win?

Siri, what's the square root of 64?

Siri, can you call my husband?

If you're an Apple aficionado, all of the above should sound familiar. Every month, Siri gets an average of 10 billion requests, and if food scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst are successful, you'll soon be able to ask one more.

Siri, will that food make me sick?

According to NPR, researchers are eager to develop a smartphone device that will identify harmful bacteria like E. coli and salmonella — both of which can cause foodborne illness.

The problem? Currently, testing takes at least 24 hours and some serious technology. Scientists obtain samples from things like raw spinach and chicken skin by rinsing the food and collecting the water. Then, to get a big enough sample, they wait for the bacteria to multiply.

The solution? Experts in Massachusetts are experimenting with a $30 microscope attachment that would reveal substances in 30 minutes. The safe, simple process would be as follows:

  1. Dip a small, chemically coated chip into potentially contaminated water. Let it sit for half an hour.
  2. Clip the microscope attachment to your smartphone camera.
  3. Point the microscope at the chip.

The team is determined to make it easy, as an undergraduate student participating in the project said, "I think the average consumer will be able to figure it out without much trouble."

They're also determined to make it benefit almost everyone, especially those using it home kitchens and during natural disasters (to test drinking water).

While this technology is very preliminary and still "several years from market," it's based on the overarching goal of making safety more accessible. And who can't appreciate that?

For more healthcare happenings, subscribe to our Healthcare Checkup — a monthly email filled with industry insights and best practices.

Weekly Recap - December 14, 2018

Woman using a mobile phone.

Answer Me

When consumers post comments, they expect a response. In a recent survey of 532 U.S. social media users, most participants expected companies to use social media to respond to consumers' social media comments about the brand. And quickly. Most (76%) expected companies to respond to comments on social media, and 83% expected the responses to appear within one day (Clutch.co, 1 November 2018).

+Millennials have even higher expectations. 80% expected brands to use social media to respond to comments, 90% within one day. Almost half expected brands to respond within an hour. What's at stake? Only reputation. 45% of participants said they would "view a brand more positively if it responded to negative comments on social media," and 72% were likely to recommend a company if they had enjoyed a positive social media experience with it.

Mobile Missteps

Mobile-paying Millennials are more reckless with their personal finances. American Millennials who use their phones to make payments are more likely to misstep, financially, than their peers who don't make mobile payments, per a recent study by George Washington University School of Business (Qz.com, 9 November 2019). Millennial mobile payers are more likely to use financial products such as bank accounts, credit cards and retirement accounts, but they're also "more likely to overdraw their checking accounts, use credit cards expensively, borrow through alternative financial services, and withdraw from their retirement accounts," according to the study report.

+Maybe mobile makes it too easy to spend? "In the data we do not have information about what explains that behavior but making payments easy and mindless may induce people to spend more," said professor Annamaria Lusardi, the study's lead author. 25% of Millennials who use their phones to track spending had overdrawn their checking accounts — versus 20% of those who don't track their spending via smartphone. Young depositors need personal finance education STAT.

Get Physical

Millennials shop online but they also enjoy physical stores. Millennials weren't supposed to shop at brick and mortar stores, and now they're being credited for reviving them. They like to toggle between online and IRL, hunting bargains and being social.

+Nearly half (48%) of Millennials shop in brick-and-mortar stores at least once a week, according to a Euclid survey (SG.Finance.Yahoo.com, 18 November 2018). They are also more likely than either Gen Xers or Boomers to hit the malls on Black Friday. And while they make 54% of their holiday purchases online, when Cyber Monday rolls around Millennials are more likely than other gens to shop in-store.

Media In 2019

What marketers can expect in 2019: Media consumption. As we near the end of the year, we begin to question the year to come. What is next? What can we do to prepare? Specifically, where is media going in 2019?

Tele No

Online patient portals: Why aren't patients using them? A recent report from researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health revealed that 63% of patients surveyed were not using online patient portals. With 90% of health care organizations offering portal access to their patients, why are so many patients ignoring them?

Online patient portals: Why aren't patients using them?

Patient portals

A recent report from researchers at the University of Michigan School of Public Health revealed that 63% of patients surveyed were not using online patient portals. These portals—secure websites that allow patients to access health information and communicate with their doctors—offer many potential benefits. For instance, patients who use the portals become more engaged in their own health care and ask more questions of doctors and other providers. With 90% of health care organizations offering portal access to their patients, why are so many patients ignoring them?

Researchers offer these likely explanations:

  1. Their doctors haven't recommended them. Many patients, especially older ones, rely heavily on doctor recommendations. If a doctor never mentions the patient portal or even discourages its use, it's unlikely these patients will choose to access it. The opposite also appears to be true: Of the patients surveyed who said they did use a portal, 95% said their doctors had recommended it.
  2. They aren't comfortable using the technology. Some respondents feared that their private health information would not be secure on patient portals. Others said they preferred to speak directly with their doctors—once again, not fully trusting the technology. Patients over 40 were most likely to have these concerns.
  3. The portal isn't user friendly. Patient portals vary, depending on which vendor a health care organization uses. Some offer many features, including online appointment scheduling, real-time access to test results, online bill payment and messaging. Others are little more than a secure channel for notes to your provider. In a survey of health care website visitors, online bill paying was cited as the #1 pain point, with appointment scheduling close behind. If it's too complicated, a patient's first visit to the portal may be their last.

What can health care marketers do to encourage portal use?

  • Educate doctors. Encourage doctors in your hospital or health system to promote the portal to patients and be available for their questions and concerns. Recommend that doctors or nurses bring up the portal on their own laptop during appointments to show patients how to access their information.
  • Educate patients. It's not enough to tout the benefits of the new patient portal. Dedicate a page on your website to explain how the portal works, step by step. A one-page handout or brochure patients can take home with them is another handy reference tool, in case they forget their doctor's instructions.
  • Keep it simple. If your organization is having a lot of trouble getting patients to use the patient portal, it may just be too complicated. Consider moving to another, more user-friendly design.

Patient portals offer the opportunity to keep patients more informed and involved with their own health care – but not if they aren't used. With the right education, doctors and patients can both benefit.

Healthcare Checkup - November 2018

Healthcare Checkup

Who's the most popular girl at the tech party? How can you reduce your bounce rate? Are Facebook support groups okay? Find the answers here, as well as what marketers can expect in 2019 for Health and Wellness, Cause Marketing and Technology.

Vitamin B & P

What marketers can expect in 2019: Health and Wellness. What was hot in health and well-known in wellness for 2018 might not carry into the new year. As 2019 approaches, brands should reflect on the messages to bring with them. And those to leave behind. Here's a look at the top consumer health and wellness trends for 2019.

Heartbeat takes health tech from wearable to useful. We love wearable technology. But who's willing to crunch the numbers, study the patterns and analyze the results? This high-tech, high-touch cardiologic care provider is disrupting healthcare by meeting consumers before they have heart disease.

Marketing Supplements

What marketers can expect in 2019: Technology. Alexa became the most popular girl at the tech party in 2018. What's ahead for the Internet of Things (IoT) in 2019 and what are the key marketing challenges and opps?

What marketers can expect in 2019: Cause marketing. From #MeToo to the Times Up movement, March for Our Lives to the #NeverAgain campaign, causes and cause marketing became a huge focus for brands and consumers in 2018. Marketers can expect more of the same in 2019.

Industry Pulse

'Facebook (is) the only way': the perils – and promise – of Facebook's emotional support groups. It's becoming increasingly common for patients with rare diseases or cancer gene mutations to turn to Facebook for emotional support. But these groups often face privacy and financial concerns.

10 ways to reduce your website bounce rate infographic. Simple, concise and on target.

Monthly Dose

Looking to market to all generations but don't have the budget? Not a problem. There's one common denominator across each audience. Can you guess what it is? Download our free guide, How to market healthcare to all generations, to learn more.

Weekly Recap - November 30, 2018

Digital technology use in the U.S. peaks.

Tech Peaks

Consumers' use of digital technologies has plateaued. The growth of U.S. consumers using cellphones, smartphones, social media, the internet and computers has stalled, according to Pew (PewResearch.org, 28 September 2018). Between 2016 and 2018 there was zero growth of cellphone (95%) and smartphone ownership (77%) and social media use (69%). Internet use grew just slightly, from 88% to 89%, and desktop/laptop ownership dropped from 78% to 73%.

+The slowdown is related to near-saturation levels — especially for cellphones, smartphones and internet use — in groups that include college graduates, consumers age 18 to 49 and consumers with household income of at least $75,000. Cellphone ownership in these three groups, respectively, is 97%.


Millennials don't hit their "financial awakening" until age 33. Millennials are notorious for delaying major life milestones like marriage and kids. True to form, their "financial awakening" is also behind schedule: age 33, on average, according to an Ally Financial survey (NYPost.com, 5 November 2018). This surprises no one. It's been tough for consumers born in the '80s to accumulate wealth, because Great Recession.

+Millennials' monthly expenditures on everything from basics (rent and utilities) to student loans, medical costs, entertainment and travel add up to a hefty $2,165/month or $25,980/year. That means the average Millennial must make about $53,000 just to be comfortable — a figure still out of reach for many. Millennials might do better if they were more financially savvy. Just 35% feel confident about doing their own retirement planning, investing and taxes. 55% could use some help, and half fear they'll never be able to retire.

Banked and Mobile

The ranks of unbanked consumers are shrinking, while mobile banking rises.In 2017, the number of U.S. households without a savings or checking account fell to 6.5%, 0.5% lower than 2015 and the lowest level since 2009, according to an FDIC survey (Pymnts.com, 24 October 2018). While that may be bad news for tech expansionists, it's good news for the U.S. economy.

+"This decline can be attributed almost entirely to improvements in the economic circumstances of U.S. households," the study authors write. 34% of consumers who remain unbanked cite lack of funds as the primary reason for their status, while 12.6% simply don't trust banks and 8.6% balk at hefty bank fees. And 18.7% of households are in the underbanked gray zone; they have at least one traditional bank account but also get other financial services outside the banking system. While the ranks of unbanked consumers are shrinking, the number of Americans using mobile banking continues to rise, from 23.2% in 2013 to 40.4% in 2017.


What marketers can expect in 2019: Health and Wellness. What was hot in health and well-known in wellness for 2018 might not carry into the new year. As 2019 approaches, brands should reflect on the messages they want to bring with them. And those to leave behind.

Heartbeat takes health tech from wearable to useful. Wearable tech. We take it to the gym, out for a run. We swim with it, bike with it, walk the dog with it. We take it to work, disguised as a tasteful accessory. We even sleep with it. Why? Because we're obsessed with data—and there's no data more fascinating to us than our own personal health information.

What marketers can expect in 2019: Health and Wellness.

What marketers can expect in 2019: Health and Wellness.

What was hot in health and well-known in wellness for 2018 might not carry into the new year. As 2019 approaches, brands should reflect on the messages they want to bring with them. And those to leave behind.

Here's a look at the top consumer health and wellness trends for 2019.

Consumers are emphasizing the "self" in "self-care."

Self-care became a mantra of 2018. Looking toward the new year, consumers are highlighting the fact that wellness isn't one size fits all. It's personalized. And products should be, too. The more brands recognize this, the more their messages will resonate.

Who's doing it well? Care/of: Personalized Daily Vitamin Packs.

Wellness blog

Care/of puts the "self" back in health. After filling out a short quiz, Care/of will personalize a vitamin pack for your needs and deliver it to your door each month.

But Care/of doesn't just customize orders to meet people's individual needs, they also celebrate that individuality. On their website, Care/of explains:

"We're all unique (hurrah!). But with the differences in our goals and lifestyles, the idea of a mass-market multivitamin is outdated. The most compelling research on supplements is for specific populations. We'll help find what's right for you."

Consumers are going back to basics with health.

While the health and wellness industries certainly won't slow down in 2019, the way consumers think about them might. Gartner Iconoculture reports that many consumers are pushing back against the overly-commercialized aspects of wellness (think: $200 yoga pants). Instead, they're looking for a more back-to-the-earth mentality. They're introducing breathwork. And seeds. And simple, holistic practices.

To meet consumers where they are, brands should go back to the basics, too.

Patients are becoming their own advocates.

Today's patients aren't taking their doctor's orders as that–an order. They're asking questions, doing their own research and shopping around for the best treatment and care. It's not that consumers have lost trust in medical professionals. But they HAVE started to lose trust in the system.

Forward-thinking healthcare brands will give consumers the tools to speak up for themselves and act on their health needs.

Who's doing it well? Heal.


Heal gives patients cost transparency and hassle-free access to healthcare. With it, doctors come right to a patient's home. Patients can ask questions about products in their bathroom drawers, their kitchen and more. Heal also promotes complete, up-front cost transparency. It helps patients receive care on their own schedules within their own budgets. Talk about advocating for one's needs.

Consumers yearn for constant improvement.

Many consumers feel good about their health today. But that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement. Consumers are taking steps like broadening their knowledge with DNA testing, and even swapping out their mattresses to get a better night's sleep. Whether large or small, these steps mean a great deal to consumers.

The trend to note is that consumers aren't stagnant with their health care. They're always on the lookout, and always finding things to improve.

Brands, are you listening?

What can we expect from Money & Spending in 2019? See the upcoming trends.


Heartbeat takes health tech from wearable to useful.

Sports watches and other wearable tech are changing healthcare.

We love wearable health technology.

We take it to the gym, out for a run. We swim with it, bike with it, walk the dog with it. We take it to work, disguised as a tasteful accessory. We even sleep with it. Why? Because we're obsessed with data—and there's no data more fascinating to us than our own personal health information.

But unless you're a serious athlete, you're probably not doing much with all that information. Apart from keeping track of steps per day, minutes slept and calories burned, you consult your wearable for little else. Maybe the time.

That sparkly wrist candy is so much deeper than that. The data collected by wearables can inform more productive workouts, disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment options. Your wearable may contain critical insights that complement or enhance standard lab tests. But who's willing to crunch the numbers, study the patterns and analyze the results?

Heartbeat will do it.

The high-tech, high-touch cardiologic care provider is disrupting healthcare by meeting with consumers before they have heart disease. That includes consulting their Fitbit or Apple Watch for insights. The retail-based clinic wants to make it easy for consumers to know their heart, which is what their cardiologists say is the key to protecting it.

At the Heartbeat website, consumers can book in-clinic cardiology consultations and tests, including electrocardiograms, echocardiograms and cardio stress testing on a treadmill—without a referral. Also online, they can book an appointment to have the Heartbeat team prepare a personalized exercise and diet program or schedule a run in Central Park with a Heartbeat cardiologist. Consumers with a Fitbit or Apple Watch can also book an appointment to have the team analyze the data on their wearable.

The service seamlessly combines the human and technological aspects of preventive care while also providing cost transparency. In an online review of Heartbeat, one patient wrote: "All the prices are clearly spelled out in a menu of services on the website and are very reasonable ... Everything happens on a computer screen in real time and a follow-up report, summarizing and graphically representing all the major findings and recommendations, is e-mailed to the patient in the next few days."

Wearable healthcare tech is only getting more sophisticated and popular. It won't be long before the trend is the norm. Savvy healthcare practitioners will discover ways to maximize their patients' use of wearable tech to deepen their knowledge and counsel them to better health.

Blog Category: 

Weekly Recap - October 19, 2018

Instagram streamlines shopping, just in time for the holidays

Not Just Looking

Instagram streamlines shopping, just in time for the holidays. Instagram is making it easier for consumers to acquire what inspires them. The platform's Explore page now has a Shopping channel and, after months of testing, the Shopping feature in Stories has launched globally.

+The Explore Shopping channel is made for browsers, as in "I'm just looking, thank you." Consumers can peruse posts and tap to discover other brands of interest. The Shopping feature in Instagram Stories allows consumers to learn more about products featured in Stories posted by brands. Even before the updates, more than 90 million consumers had been tapping on Instagram shopping posts for product tags (AdAge.com, 18 September 2018). The latest updates are expected to drive even more referrals from Instagram this holiday shopping season. Some analysts are predicting as much as a 51 percent increase over 2017 (AdWeek.com, 14 September 2018).

Do You Hover or Mow?

Helicopter parents have landed. And they're more overprotective than ever. Helicopter parents hover over their kids, sometimes sweeping in to rescue them. Lawnmower parents cut to the chase: They mow down anything perceived as a potential obstacle to their kids, like demanding a teacher raise a child's grade if the parent thinks it's unfair.

+Identified as a "troubling trend" in an essay posted on the WeAreTeachers blog, lawnmower parents "mow obstacles down so kids won't experience them in the first place," writes the essayist. "In raising children who have experienced minimal struggle ... we are creating a generation that has no what idea what to do when they actually encounter struggle" (WeAreTeachers.com, 30 August 2018).

It's Time To Take A Shot

Flu season ahead: Why it's socially responsible to get your flu shot. The flu is expected to be a doozy again this year. It's all over social media. Even if you're willing to risk your own health, is it socially responsible to risk the health of others?

SHSMD In Seattle

9 key takeaways from SHSMD Connections Conference 2018. This year's Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development was equal parts informational and inspiring. We heard from idea farmer Johnny Cupcakes, healthcare brand evangelists and graffiti artists. They challenged marketers to be in constant pursuit of the ideal patient experience, offering both practical and creative solutions.

Flu season ahead: Why it's socially responsible to get your flu shot.

Flu season ahead: Why it's socially responsible to get your flu shot.

Fall's in the air, and unfortunately, so is the flu. While it's beneficial for your personal wellbeing to get your flu shot this year, it's also become somewhat of a social responsibility to do so. Newscasters are talking about it, doctors are talking about it, your friends and family are likely talking about it, even social media is piping up about the issue.

Regardless of the sources you're hearing it from, the message remains the same: the flu shot is your best shot against the flu virus, and the best way to protect the people around you.

It's no longer simply you vs. flu, it's us vs. flu.

So, are you doing your part?

Doctors recommend it

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released their data for the number of flu-related deaths during 2017. The results? An estimated 80,000 Americans died of the flu and its complications last winter–a devastating and record-breaking high. In previous seasons, flu-related deaths ranged from a low of about 12,000 (2011-2012) to a high of about 56,000 (2012-2013).

Workplaces recommend it

Workplaces across the country are urging employees to get their flu shots this season, and even incentivizing them to do so. Brogan & Partners is one of said workplaces. All Brogan employees who get the flu shot are treated to a lunch on the company. It's part of our efforts to protect ourselves, our office, our business and our community as a whole.

Society recommends it

The last time you refreshed your Facebook page or Twitter feed, you probably saw a post like this. Right?

I got my flu shot to protect...

Or maybe you scrolled past a band-aid arm selfie accompanied by the hashtag #flushot?

More than any other source, social media is portraying the flu shot as something you do for others. It's building a community around community health. And shining a positive light on the people who promote it.

In April, a Facebook group called Breastfeeding Mama Talk even popularized a trend after they posted about the threats of the flu virus to their little ones. The group shared examples of signs from Etsy and Amazon that can be attached to a child's car seat or stroller telling strangers not to touch their kids. The signs say things like "Look, but please don't touch," and "No touching please. Your germs are too big for me.""

Too far? That's up to each parent to decide. But trends like this sum up exactly how community-oriented the health sphere has become.

The fact of the matter is, together WE can fight this flu season. It's about more than just me or just you.

So, let's see that #flushot selfie.

Itching to read more of the latest healthcare news? Check out our Healthcare Checkup.

9 key takeaways from SHSMD Connections Conference 2018.

9 key takeaways from SHSMD Connections Conference 2018

The weather may have been mostly grey, but the Seattle SHSMD conference illuminated us four Brogan healthcare marketers in so many ways! Here are our 9 key takeaways:

  1. "Do more of what makes you happy." says Johnny Earle, of Johnny Cupcakes, our first keynote speaker. That's how this "idea farmer" gets hundreds of people to camp outside his fake bakeries to buy limited edition t-shirts. That quote is also included on a tag in every Johnny Cupcake t-shirt. So wait, he doesn't sell cupcakes? Of course not — that would be too expected. Rather his t-shirts are displayed in pastry shelves, the store smells like frosting, ovens adorn the walls, and your t-shirt goes home in a pastry box. His specialty packaging has included ice cream themed t-shirts in ice cream boxes sold from ice cream trucks, t-shirts in push up pop boxes and a "breakfast special" themed t-shirt sold only before noon, accompanied by none other than a free breakfast. Johnny spends zero dollars on advertising. It's all about the customer experience and his loyal customers do the talking for him. Guess it's working for his multi-million dollar brand.
  2. "We have to love math like we love creative." That's a tough one for me, but Dan Lavelle, Marketing Administrator of Lehigh Valley Health Network, did a great job of trying to convince me. He espouses that the common language between the CMO and CEO is DATA . Hence, we need to be reporting on Return on Marketing Investment, Cost per Lead Ratio, Variable Contribution Margin Radio and more. We also need to start talking about the marketing INVESTMENT rather than marketing EXPENDITURE. In the end, if you can create ownership, making it "their" marketing rather than yours, you will succeed.
  3. "The promise of not getting lost" is the golden nugget of the Gozio Health wayfinding app, according to Barb Kragor, Gozio VP of Sales and Customer Services. Since Google leaves us at the hospital front door, this app provides a stress free roadmap within the hospital and beyond, including functionality surrounding restaurants, scheduling a doctor visit, one tap call, ride-sharing links, MyChart usage, etc. Start with hospital pain points, and end up with improved patient experience.
  4. "Googlize your website," claim Shawn Gross of White Rhino, and Amber Welch of Ochsner Health System. Simple, clean home page search functionality, including spell correction and Pinterest style, mobile- first layout are critical. Case in point: Stanford Health Care. Ochsner engaged in an intensive revamp, starting with research to detect user needs and pain points. The result? A highly experiential website, including personalization to 6 key personas; Find a Doctor upgrades including a "schedule an appointment now" in each doc bio page; patient portal integration; wayfinding and more. The shift from a content heavy to a transactional website resulted in a total page count drop from 12,000 to 1200.)
  5. "We love our city," smiled Ara Telbelian, Director of Brand Management and Marketing at Henry Ford Health System. Their QuickCare Clinic was designed with Detroit city dwellers and workers in mind with convenient, boutique-like urgent care services packaged in a beautiful setting in the heart of downtown Detroit. Clever ad messaging like "Home of Healthier Hipsters" appeared in innovative venues such as the People Mover monorail, ridesharing bikes, sidewalks, and large building posters. As Henry Ford focuses on radical convenience, they know that demand for urgent care increases after 4 PM. Which is why their website home page carousel changes to a "Need Care Now?" banner ad to usher consumers into the most convenient care option, whether it's an urgent care center, telehealth visit or My Care Advice Line. Next up? An Amazon skill allowing Alexa to find the closest urgent care, schedule an appointment and provide directions. As one of only a handful in the country with an Alexa access point on the horizon, Henry Ford is staying true to its innovator position.
  6. "Your website has replaced the ER as the most comment first touch point," asserts Jeff Steblea of SilverTech, Inc. and Christine Gallery, Senior VP of Planning/Chief Strategy Officer at Emerson Hospital. They educated us on the Digital Customer Interaction Strategy (DCIS), employed at Emerson, focused on making the digital experience the same as in-person care. Since it can't compete head on with the nearby Boston hospitals, Emerson differentiates with patient experience. Bringing to life their digital personas plays a key role in getting internal audiences on board.
  7. "The heart of change is in the emotions," explains keynote speaker, Christi Zuber, PhD, RN and international leader in healthcare innovation. That's because when we hear stories, our brains emit oxytocin, making us connect with the story and the storyteller. In this workshop, we created storyboards to communicate a change we are trying to make in our organization sharing our story with a table partner. We agency folks are no strangers to storyboards, so we found this an interesting exercise!
  8. "People in healthcare need to feel good about their work," avowed keynote speaker, Liz Jazwiec, RN, award-winning author, speaker and healthcare strategist. (I might also add in "comedian"!) As a former ER director in a south Chicago hospital with very poor patient satisfaction ratings, she resisted the idea of improved patient satisfaction and service — until she almost got fired because of it. She simply couldn't bear to make her staffs' jobs any more difficult. She learned that being a "heroic caregiver" makes the job more rewarding, and that there's a strong connection between job satisfaction and patient satisfaction. Her definition of heroic? Anyone remembered fondly for their work by someone else. They may not even know it or ever be recognized for it. But if they feel heroic in doing even the little things for patients, it will make a difference. She warned us to ignore negativity at work because negative people need an audience. Rather, focus on the good and embrace what's right. People in healthcare can become easily discouraged and need to feel good about their work.
  9. And last but not at all least, my personal favorite of the entire conference: "Creativity is a discipline and a choice," affirmed Eric Wahl, Graffiti Artist and Forensic Creativity Scientist. Just like gratitude or compassion for a challenging patient. His presentation was really more of a performance — part creative show, concert, video show and honest sharing about opening up our senses and inner child to creativity. In true graffiti artist style, he painted 2 huge paintings within just minutes to the beat of amazing music videos appearing on 3 large screens. A true illustration of his point of stepping out of the box. And making an emotional connection. We were given permission to open our child mind, stop deifying analytics and allowing fear to paralyze us. He believes a healthy balance of accountability with creativity results in the best competitive advantage, and "dreamers that do".

With all of the talks, the Museum of Pop Culture dinner event, and Seattle sightseeing, we left the conference feeling enlightened, entertained, educated and tired! These are just some of my key takeaways from the talks I attended, but please let us know what you liked best about SHSMD 2018.

Healthcare Checkup - September 2018

Are you charged with marketing cosmetic surgery or telehealth? Looking for an inspirational patient experience video to wow any patient caregiver? Or one for National Rehabilitation Awareness Week that will melt your heart? Check up on this and why Alexa has been invited into people's homes in this month's Healthcare Checkup.


Cosmetic Surgery Advertising: The changing face of medical marketing. You turn on your car radio, and an announcer is shouting that you can "Buy one, get one free!" And he's not talking about sandals or smartphones. He's talking about cosmetic surgery procedures — facelifts, tummy tucks, and breast augmentation.

An inspirational video to transform patient experience. Our lives are like empty hospital rooms? Watch this remarkable video by someone who was sick most of her life to see why you should empower, rather than pity, patients.


What people ask smart speakers most. Thermostat control? Weather forecasts? Music? Shopping? News? Find out the most popular of Alexa's 45,000 skills.

A tale of two industries – When fashion and technology converge. Learn how New Balance turned the bustling New York streets into a runway and passersby into its models, as AI technology scanned outfits, found trends and most importantly "exceptions", which were celebrated on a big screen.


Push to reduce ED visits leads patients to urgent care, retail clinics – not telehealth. Brigham and Women's Hospital researchers unveil a study showing that while ED visits for low-acuity conditions has decreased, people are not replacing the ER with telehealth.

Covenant HealthCare Turns to an Almost-Forgotten TV Format to Introduce a New Kind of Health Care Delivery System. If you're challenged with marketing telemedicine, check out the award-winning  VirtualCare TV spot and campaign rationale for our client, Covenant HealthCare.

Video: Celebrating ability with dancers using wheelchairs and prosthetics. How to celebrate National Rehabilitation Awareness Week in style? Watch this uplifting video created by Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Michigan to find out.


Looking to market to all generations but don't have the budget? Not a problem. There's one common denominator across each audience. Can you guess what it is? Download our free guide, How to market healthcare to all generations, to learn more.

An inspirational video to transform patient experience.

An inspirational video to transform patient experience.

"When you pity people who are sick, you take away their power."

This from a wise-beyond-her-years cystic fibrosis patient, Claire Wineland, with her proclamation that we need to change the way we treat sick people. She should know, as she spent a lot of her childhood in a hospital room and claims she was "100% content and happy with her life". In fact, the majority of her happiest moments were when she was sick in the hospital. Maybe because she always decked out her room with cool furniture, throw pillows and twinkle lights that illuminated not only hers, but the lives of all the doctors, nurses and staff who would come by to check it out. Maybe because she did not tie her undying joy to how healthy she was. Maybe because she put her pain and suffering to work with the founding of Claire's Place Foundation, in support of families living with cystic fibrosis.

"Everyone in the medical community gets so stuck in this notion that a hospital room is this cold, sterile, white place where we go to be sick — and that that's all it can be," said Claire. She claims our lives are like empty hospital rooms. We all have the capacity to turn an empty hospital room into something beautiful. And that no matter what, we can make our lives a piece of art. Like hers was.

There will be no more medical staff visits to Claire's New York loft-style patient room, as she passed away earlier this month at the young age of 21. But wouldn't it be awesome if her inspirational video could be included in sensitivity training for doctors, nurses and PAs? If we could transform the patient experience by empowering patients, rather than pitying them? If we could think the way she did when creating our next healthcare marketing campaign?

Watching her short video may be the most memorable thing you do today. It was for me when I caught it on Facebook last week. Let us know if it touched your heart.

For more on the patient experience, check out our blog, Patient Experience Dept. RX: Empathy Specialist Consult.

Blog Category: 


Subscribe to Healthcare

Why Brogan?

Results. Strategic insights that deliver more "aha" moments. Creative that makes an emotional connection. Account service that creates happy clients. And metrics that move your business forward. We guarantee you'll be delighted.