2020 was the year digital health went mainstream, and all signs point to 2021 being the year digital health organizations scale up, expand their reach and maximize their impact.
In the first quarter of 2021 alone, investors poured a record $6.7 billion into digital health startups, according to a recent Rock Health report. There has also been a surge in exits this year. In Q1 2021, there were 79 IPOs and M&A transactions, a 61% increase from Q4 2020, reports CB Insights.
At RH Strategic, we’re watching this dynamic market closely. Even as healthcare media continue to be flooded with stories about digital health and COVID-19, we are helping our clients break through the noise. Below are three recommendations for capturing reporters’ attention in a crowded landscape:
- Establish clear equity and access messages: Studies have shown that, while there is widespread adoption of innovations, such as telemedicine, not all of these innovations are being adopted as quickly in vulnerable communities due to barriers to care, such as the lack of broadband access. Reporters are following this challenge closely. It is critical for health tech organizations to share meaningful perspective on the steps being taken to increase access to digital health resources, regardless of where patients live. Providing data on patient reach and demographics to support your perspective makes for an even stronger case.
- Lead with a bold and concise future vision: The industry is moving away from “what if” to “when.” When will value-based care be more broadly adopted? When will major retailers and tech players scale their healthcare services? With pre-pandemic visions now becoming a reality for many organizations, it’s going to become more important to communicate a clear vision of what care experiences will look like for patients moving forward. Media will want to know the one-liner about how your company is changing healthcare in new ways, why it matters and how this will lead to strong growth for the business.
- Identify the impact stories that will resonate with reporters’ audiences: The most impactful and critical stories come directly from patients and doctors. For example, these stories can be doctors talking about how virtual care transformed their practice, patients sharing how digital health tools helped them manage their chronic disease or even employees discussing innovative approaches to digital health because of the pandemic. Impact stories are going to continue to be an essential storytelling tool, especially for top-tier consumer media. Business media will also want to hear executives’ personal stories of leading their companies through the pandemic, the lessons learned, and how they are supporting employee health and wellbeing moving forward.
It’s an exciting time in the digital health industry! With no shortage of product announcements and market activity, investing in a communications and PR agency partner will help business leaders take their companies from trying to join the discussion to taking the lead.
RH Strategic is a Seattle and D.C.-based PR agency with a nationwide presence and additional global reach via membership in the Worldcom Public Relations Group. We provide strategic public relations for innovators in the technology, government and healthcare markets.