GreyMatters 2017


Internet Trends 2017: Mary Meeker’s Annual Report

In June, Mary Meeker’s annual report on internet trends was released. This is a highly-anticipated event each year. Unlike previous years, the healthcare sector received special emphasis. What did this year’s report find?

According to Meeker, healthcare is at a “digital inflection point.” She bases her assertion on the following:

  • The increasing amount of health data being generated by wearables and connected health trackers, as well as health data from other sources—e.g., diagnostic test results, genetic testing results, etc.
  • The increased use of health apps leading to new compilations of “digitally native health-related data sets.”  This also includes hospital-generated data from EHRs.

internet-trends-2017-report-290-638Meeker sees this data accumulation in a cyclical manner that she calls the “virtuous cycle of innovation.”

Meeker predicts that this cycle is leading to a speeding up of the accumulation of medical knowledge through faster clinical trials and publications. It may even be possible to replace traditional longitudinal clinical trials with mathematical models and simulations based on newly-acquired data. Another prediction related to faster innovation is that consumer enthusiasm and technology adoption will lead to a greater demand for more rapid developments and improvements in healthcare delivery.

The Evolving Healthcare Call Center: Speech Highlights

call-centerAt last month’s 29th Annual Healthcare Call Center Conference in Salt Lake City, Kathy Divis, President, Greystone.Net, presented “On the Web: Self-Scheduling, the Patient Portal and Finding a Doctor – What This Trend Means for You.” The primary theme permeating this presentation was the shift from MarCom to MarTech and its affect on marketing, in general, and call centers in specific.

Customers expect to engage with brands and organizations anytime, anywhere and on their own terms. Healthcare call centers need to be fully integrated with their organizations’ websites, social channels and other digital properties.

Key points from the presentation included:

  • DIY is coming to call centers and it’s not a bad thing. It allows them to innovate, expand their services and have time to serve the more complicated cases. The main place DIY is impacting call centers is in self-scheduling, find-a-doctor functions and the patient portal.
  • Call centers need to take lessons from their competitors, peers and partners to create an experience in all three areas that is as good as a caller could expect to get from a for-profit company.
  • Call centers need to begin evolving into engagement centers—as opposed to just considering themselves a call center or a contact center—and really look at how they can expand their relationships with callers/patients and create a relationship that engages the callers with the health system.

It’s time for call center managers/directors to innovate, experiment and take some risks.

If you would like more information on this topic, or would like to see Kathy's slide deck for this presentation, please contact us at

Consumers Empowered By Their Self-Generated Health Data

health-dataA new mHealth survey finds that well over half of consumers believe that the data obtained from their mHealth devices is helping to put them in control of their own health. Patient-generated health data (PGHD) is seen by survey respondents as a means to improving preventive care needs.

The survey from Ericsson included 4,500 mHealth and broadband users between the ages of 18-69, based in Germany, Japan, South Korea, the UK and the US. The survey respondents used their smartphones on mobile broadband, which makes them generally more likely to use fitness trackers, smart watches and health apps for health monitoring purposes.

Among the key insights from the study are:

  • 60% of the survey respondents believe that wearables will help them achieve a healthier lifestyle.
  • 58% say that they can achieve personalized care using wearables with feedback and alerts.
  • Almost half (48%) see a need for home sensors to monitor elderly patients, detect emergency situations and dispatch ambulances via alerts when needed.
  • 45% believe that their health management can be improved with smartphones. 
  • 39% believe that health management could be simplified with online health consultations.
  • Administration of medication remotely via a wearable patch would simplify health needs, according to 28% of respondents.
  • 26% think that health management could be simplified with a personal fitness app.

In general, health consumers are frustrated by barriers such as long appointment wait times, difficulty in getting convenient appointments and the inability to get appointments with the doctor of their choice. They feel they are unable to get personalized attention from their doctors.

What mHealth initiatives are in place at your organization?

Social Media Trends: What’s Hot, What’s Not

social-mediaA new report finds that social media remains an important factor in business, yet ROI and conversions from social media remain disappointing.

The respondents in the survey from Social Media Examiner overwhelmingly reported (92%) that social media is an important strategy for them, with 88% reporting increased exposure and 78% reporting increased traffic as a result of social media endeavors.

And even though social media is important as a marketing strategy, only 38% of the respondents said they were able to measure ROI from social media. Just over 40% of the respondents said their Facebook marketing was effective, while just as many were uncertain about Facebook efforts.

The most popular platforms were:

  • Facebook—used by 94% of the respondents
  • Twitter—used by 68% of respondents, which is down from 76% last year
  • LinkedIn—used by 56%, down from 67% last year
  • Instagram—used by 54%, which is up from 44% last year
  • Snapchat—used by only 7% of the respondents; however, for respondents with over 5 years’ experience in social media marketing, the number increased to 12%

Time investment is a factor in social media use:

  • Only 6% of respondents reported spending 40 or more hours per week on social media efforts, but this group was more likely to be on Snapchat (25% of this group as opposed to only 3% of the group spending 1-5 hours per week on social media).
  • The respondents spending less time on social media tended to concentrate their efforts on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Social media use planned for this year was reported as:

  • Facebook: 68% of respondents plan to increase posting frequency
  • Instagram: 63% plan to increase posting frequency
  • Twitter: 56% plan to increase posting frequency, which is down from last year
  • LinkedIn: 55% plan to increase posting frequency
  • Snapchat: 23% plan to increase posting frequency, which is up 16% from last year
  • 42% of respondents want to learn more about Snapchat

Other social media trends found were:

  • Facebook leads in paid social media, with over 90% of respondents using Facebook ads on a frequent basis.
  • Just under 25% of respondents reported using Instagram ads, which is twice the amount from last year.
  • Visual content is the most commonly used social media content type at 85%, followed by blogging (66%), videos (57%), live video (28%) and podcasting (8%).
  • 75% of respondents plan to increase use of video content, while 61% plan to increase live video use.

Has your organization’s social media strategy changed this year?


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