This New Medical Wearable Comes With Alexa And Uber Integrations

What Happened
Wearable devices dedicated to healthcare and medical purposes are nothing new, but a new wearable device for senior healthcare, created by startup Elements of Genius and backed by Mission Pharmacal, will be the first to integrate with Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa. For their upcoming flagship product Wellnest, the company will allow users to use Alexa to conveniently place refill orders for their prescriptions. Moreover, the device will also be integrated with Uber so that senior citizens can easily request a ride or an UberRush to assist with medication delivery.

What Brands Need To Do
By integrating with Alexa, this wearable device not only gains a valuable ecommerce feature that provides real convenience for users, it also opens the door for future expansion of digital voice assistants as caretaking assistants on wearables. With over 11 million Amazon Echo devices sold since launch, Alexa is entering millions of home and leading the charge in familiarizing mainstream consumers with smart voice assistants and the unique conversational experiences they enable. Therefore, brands seeking to stay ahead of the adoption curve will need to start thinking about how to leverage the rise of voice assistants to better serve their customers.

How We Can Help
The Lab has extensive experience in building Alexa Skills and chatbots to reach consumers on conversational interfaces. So much so that we’ve built a dedicated conversational practice called Dialogue. The “Miller Time” Alexa Skill we developed with Drizly for Miller Lite is a good example of how Dialogue can help brands build a conversational customer experience, supercharged by our stack of technology partners with best-in-class solutions and an insights engine that extracts business intelligence from conversational data.

If you’d like to learn more about how to effectively reach consumers on conversational interfaces, or to leverage the Lab’s expertise to take on related client opportunities within the IPG Mediabrands, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Barrett (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: Yahoo Finance (press release)

Images courtesy of Mission Pharmacal’s press release

 

Medical Device Maker Taps VR To Showcase Products and Services

What Happened
Zimmer Biomet, a company that specializes in manufacturing orthopedic medical devices, used a custom VR experience to showcase their Signature Solutions products at the AAOS Conference (American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons), which is billed as the world’s largest exhibition of orthopedic products. The company set up a VR lounge at its exhibition booth outfitted with six Samsung Gear VR headsets. Each headset was preloaded with a custom application that allows attendees to view the product demo focusing in on the various stages of a surgery experience.

What Brands Need To Do
This is the latest example of the ongoing diversification of use cases as virtual reality continues to gain momentum in marketing. VR’s immersive power makes it a powerful tool for brands to sell prospective customers on the experience they offer. It is particularly a great tool for on-site activations and product demos, and this VR initiative from Zimmer Biomet cleverly combines both to grab the attention of its key industry audience. Previously, beverage brands Peroni and Mountain Dew used virtual reality to create unique on-site experiences and spice up their respective promotional events. As VR technology continues to mature, it is time for brands to start creating VR content to engage the target audience.

How We Can Help
Our dedicated team of VR experts is here to guide marketers through the distribution landscape. We work closely with brands to develop sustainable VR content strategies to promote branded VR and 360 video content across various apps and platforms. With our proprietary technology stack powered by a combination of best-in-class VR partners and backed by the media fire-power of IPG Mediabrands, we offer customized solutions for distributing and measuring branded VR content that truly enhance brand messaging and contribute to the campaign objectives.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Lab can help you tap into the immersive power of VR content to engage with customers, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: Groove Jones

 

U.K. Hospital Creates VR Experience To Prepare Kids For MRI Scans

What Happened
To help patients, especially children, to prepare for their first MRI scans, the Kings College Hospital in London has created a “My MRI” VR experience that is designed to familiarize first-time patients of the procedure. The hospital made an app for Google Cardboard that contains a 360-degree video to guide viewers through the process from arrival to sliding inside the MRI scanner.

What Brands Need To Do
This is an interesting use case of VR content in healthcare, as it leverages the immersive power of virtual reality to put patients at ease and prepare them for the real procedure. VR has long been a promising training tool in the medical field for simulated scenarios or virtual surgeries, but this new app shows that healthcare and medical brands can employ VR for patient-facing, informative initiatives as well.

How We Can Help
Our dedicated team of VR experts is here to guide marketers through the distribution landscape. We work closely with brands to develop sustainable VR content strategies to promote branded VR and 360 video content across various apps and platforms. With our proprietary technology stack powered by a combination of best-in-class VR partners and backed by the media fire-power of IPG Mediabrands, we offer customized solutions for distributing and measuring branded VR content that truly enhance brand messaging and contribute to the campaign objectives.

If you’d like to learn more about how the Lab can help you tap into the immersive power of VR content to engage with customers, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: TechCrunch

CES 2017 Day 3: Healthcare Tech Getting A Boost From IoT Connectivity

What We Saw At CES
Healthcare is getting a strong boost from the recent developments in connected devices and machine learning, allowing medical device manufacturers to create smarter gadgets that work wonders seamlessly. Qualcomm announced it is building an “internet of medical things” upon its 5G network during its keynote session earlier today, and here’s a round-up of the kind of connected healthcare devices that are already on show at CES.

TytoCare created a smart diagnostic tool that goes beyond simply taking your temperature. Equipped with a high-resolution camera, microphones and sensors, this device can check inside your mouth and throat and listen to your heart and lungs for diagnosis. Like other connected devices, TytoHome can transfer the healthcare data it collects to your doctor via a mobile app.

Convincing kids to take their medicines on time could be a taxing job, which is why French startup Meyko created a smart assistant toy for kids with asthma. To encourage kids to stay on schedule with their medication. the penguin-shaped doll is programmed to have “mood swings” that can only be cured by the child taking their medicine. As a connected toy, the Meyko doll will send notifications to parents via its app to report their daily medicine intake and offer advice to reduce exposure to asthma triggers.

Established medical device maker Omron came to CES this year with a smartwatch that doubles as a blood pressure monitor. Named Project Zero Heartvue, the wearable has a blood pressure cuff embedded in the watch’s wristband, making it the first wearable blood pressure monitor.

Beyond connected gadgets, healthcare tech is also showing up in unexpected places at this year’s CES. Both Hyundai and Mercedes-Benz are coming up with healthcare-themed initiatives, respectively, for their new concept cars, leveraging machine learning to gauge and improve the moods and wellbeings of the drivers. Then there is SimforHealth, a VR training tool for doctors and other healthcare practitioners by putting them through simulated scenarios.

What This Means For Healthcare Brands
All these incredible innovations we saw at CES shows the great potential connected devices and machine learning holds in transforming the healthcare industry. To create better experiences for patients and customers, it is up to healthcare brands to explore the huge potential connected IoT has in normalizing the healthcare devices and integrating them seamlessly into our daily life. The connectivity among healthcare devices will also unleash an unprecedented amount of personal health data, which healthcare brands will need to treat cautiously with respect to privacy and find an ethical way to leverage it for researches and extracting behavioral insights.

 

Baidu Launches A Medical Chatbot That Acts As A Physician’s Assistant

What Happened
Baidu, typically referred to as China’s Google, launched a medical chatbot that aims to speed up the diagnosing process and help doctors collect patient information. The bot, named Melody, lives in the Baidu Doctor app, which launched in China in 2015 and aims to connect patients to local doctors for inquiries and booking appointments. Melody, only available in China right now, is powered by Baidu’s deep learning and natural language processing systems. It prompts users with generic questions, such as asking for the demographic info of the patient, what medications they are on, and how long a symptom has lasted, in order to gather sufficient information to pass to doctors for diagnosis.

What Brands Should Do
While Melody does not present any marketing opportunity for brands, it is still notable as a rare use case of chatbots in the healthcare field. This chatbot is also notable for its limited capability as Baidu stresses that Melody is not supposed to replace human doctors, but instead acts as a physician’s assistant and does prep work for them. This mirrors the Lab’s take on branded chatbots: they are great for handling basic customer service and other single-focus tasks such as gathering information and feedback. With more and more smartphone users opting to communicate via messaging apps, it is time for brands to consider developing chatbots in order to modernize their customer experience.

The Lab has extensive knowledge about building chatbots. If you’re interested in reaching your audience on messaging apps and better serving them with a chatbot, please contact our Client Services Director Samantha Holland (samantha@ipglab.com) for more information or to schedule a visit to the Lab.

 


Source: The Verge

 

Samsung’s Health App Will Connect You To Chat With A Local Expert

What Happened
Samsung is adding the Ask Experts service to its S Health App which promises to connect users to healthcare experts in their local areas. Only available in South Korea at the moment, the service will allow users to ask questions and get advice from local professional health consultants via text, phone, or a simple search, according to Samsung.

What Healthcare Brands Need To Do
By integrating this kind of conversational service into its app, Samsung provides users with an on-demand healthcare tool that caters to mobile users’ increasing usage and fondness of messaging apps. As more services become available through conversational platforms, healthcare and pharmaceutical brands should consider moving into the space to make their services and products more easily accessible. Boston Children’s Hospital, for example, launched an Alexa skill earlier this year for answering questions about children’s health and has plans to further integrate the voice-activated digital assistant from Amazon into its services.

For more information on how brands can navigate the new rules of discovery and other challenges they may encounter on conversational platforms, check out the Conversational Interfaces section in our Outlook 2016.

 


Source: The Verge

Gimbal Partners With HMN To Roll Out Beacons For Medical Centers

What Happened
Gimbal is teaming up with Health Media Network (HMN) to bring beacons to medical centers and doctors’ offices. HMN’s digital display platform, currently serving over 12,000 medical facilities across the country, customizes and targets content for 30 specialty health networks. With this partnership, Gimbal beacons will bring geofencing solutions around medical facilities to HMN’s existing digital displays, enabling targeted messaging between healthcare brands and patients.

What Brands Need To Do
This new beacon program enables wellness and pharmaceutical brands to tap into the power of targeted messaging at a crucial time in patients’ healthcare journeys. With the beacons in place, this partnership also opens up the possibility of beacon-triggered mobile messaging in doctors’ offices, which, provided that HMN partners with the right apps to deliver the messages, could bring the communication between brands and patients to a more intimate and effective level.


Source: GeoMarketing

Boston Children’s Hospital To Further Integrate Amazon’s Virtual Assistant Alexa

What Happened
After releasing an Alexa skill called KidsMD last month that dispenses healthcare advice for parents with sick kids, Boston Children’s Hospital is planning to further integrate the voice-activated virtual assistant into its daily operations. The hospital and its sibling facilities are working to “bring Alexa into patient rooms, help doctors take notes, read back charts, and more,” according to a spokesperson.

During a recent demo at its simulation center, the hospital staff set up three mocked-up rooms — an operating room, an intensive care unit, and a child’s bedroom — to demonstrate how Alexa may assist in medical and healthcare domains. While the demo session revealed some potential drawbacks of Alexa, as it occasionally misunderstood commands and frustrated doctors, it nevertheless offers a hopeful glimpse into the future of healthcare aided by voice-activated tools.

What Healthcare Brands Need To Do
Hands-free interactions enabled by voice interfaces are a natural fit for hospitals, as doctors and healthcare practitioners would be relieved from some manual tasks in order to focus on their patients. For brands, however, this kind of interface presents new challenges in discovery as they only present limited options upon requests. Therefore, healthcare brands should be proactive in experimenting with voice-activated devices via deep integrations or partnerships.

The Lab currently has extensive experience working with brands to develop Alexa skills and incorporating them into brand strategies. So get in touch or schedule a visit to the Lab if you’d like to learn more about how to reach your audience via conversational interfaces. For more information on this topic, check out the Conversational Interfaces section in our Outlook 2016.

 


Source: Stat News

What Healthcare Brands Should Know About Apple CareKit Apps

What Happened
Apple first unveiled CareKit, an open-source SDK for building apps that monitor and collect data from patients with chronic diseases or in post-surgery recovery, at its keynote event last month. Apple officially started rolling out CareKit on Thursday, and the first batch of apps integrated with CareKit are now here. They include two apps from Glow for new parents, Glow Nurture and Glow Baby, a diabetes-tracking app called One Drop, and an app for monitoring depression medications named Start.

What Healthcare Brands Need To Do
Following the well-received HealthKit, Apple’s CareKit should provide healthcare and pharmaceutical brands with another great channel to learn more about patients’ needs. Data collected from mobile and wearable devices is playing an increasingly crucial role in medical research and improving patient-care practices. Fitbit announced yesterday that it is teaming up with a leading research center in Boston to assist the data collection in a major cancer research project. For healthcare brands, the official rollout of CareKit means it is time to start working with developers to figure out how to integrate their products or services into those patient-facing CareKit apps and gain insights from the data they generate.

 


Source: TechCrunch

What You Need To Know About Today’s Apple Event

As you may have heard, Apple hosted a keynote event at its Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino earlier today. As anticipated, the company unveiled a new 4-inch iPhone model and a smaller iPad Pro. A new addition to its healthcare toolkits was one of the few surprises. Here is everything a marketer should know about Apple’s announcements today.  

iPhone SE Aims To Reach More Consumers
Apple has been pushing for bigger screens since the iPhone 6, but the company says that most first-time iPhone users are still buying 4-inch iPhones, especially those in certain global markets such as China. In fact, Apple sold over 30 million 4-inch iPhones in 2015 alone. Aiming to capture those smaller-phone lovers, Apple introduced the iPhone SE which comes with a 4-inch screen and significant hardware improvements from Apple’s last 4-inch offering. Equipped with the A9 processor and the M9 motion coprocessor, iPhone SE is as powerful as the iPhone 6s, and will no doubt bring the latest features, such as Apple Pay, always-on Siri, and Touch ID, to more smartphone users.

iPad Pro Positioned As A PC Replacement
Apple also followed up last year’s 12.9-inch iPad Pro with a smaller version. The new iPad Pro comes with a 9.7-inch retina display, improved hardware specs, and its own custom keyboard. The Cupertino company shared that of the 308 million total iPads sold, over 200 million have had 9.7-inch screens, and that the majority of iPad Pro buyers were moving from a Windows PC. With over 1 million apps designed for iPad available in the App Store, Apple seems bullish on the iPad Pro’s market positioning as a PC replacement.

New CareKit To Boost Healthcare Apps
Apple’s HealthKit, which helps collect data for medical studies, has proven to be a hit among medical professionals. In fact, Apple says it facilitated the largest Parkinson’s study to date in less than 24 hours of its launch last year. To follow up on the ResearchKit’s early success, Apple debuted a new developer framework called CareKit, which focuses on patient-facing data that can assist chronic patient care or monitoring post-surgical recovery. The first app to use this framework will also focus on Parkinson’s. This new developer tool should provide healthcare brands with another great channel to learn more about patients’ needs.


Header image courtesy of Apple.com