3 ways to make your healthtech brand stand out in the post-EHR landscape

September 17, 2021

SKIP AHEAD TO VIEW KEY TAKEAWAYS FOR YOUR HEALTHTECH BRAND:

1.  Focus on UX

2. Ensure seamless integration

3. Make your brand story and image shine

EHR is a four letter word.

Electronic Health Record (EHR) platforms get a bad rap for good reason. What should have been a user-centric system built to seamlessly collect and exchange actionable healthcare data has instead become a nightmarish quagmire of Epic proportions. Doctors and nurses spend more time on data entry than with patients. Often, different EHR implementations don’t talk to each other—or to labs, pharmacies, and other care-critical systems for that matter. And ultimately, patients suffer.

To modern techsperts, the flaws are glaring. Healthcare outsiders scratch their heads in bewilderment that any smart company wouldn’t have addressed these issues years ago, while insiders, jaded by all the industry’s long-standing limitations, simply keep trying to work around un-work-aroundable problems.

And so, for many maddening reasons, even the most obvious solutions have remained out of reach as traditional EHRs go down in flames. The conflicting interests and incentives, regulations, and sheer bureaucracy surrounding this archaic ecosystem have even the biggest names in tech throwing in the towel on revamping the system holistically.

So, is anyone still trying to sort out this mess?

As a healthtech branding agency, we have a pretty good view of the changing health IT landscape. And we’re seeing a marked shift away from monolithic, rip-and-replace players beholden to stifling regulations. Healthcare’s long-overdue era of multitudinous nimble software and platform innovators is well underway. 

This patchwork of interconnected solutions sits atop the antiquated EHR behemoths. Bolstered by new anti-info blocking rules and modern data science, agile players finally have the freedom to solve exceptionally well for individual patient, business, and system needs. From communications, workflow automation, population health, care coordination, patient engagement, remote patient monitoring, Uber-for-labworks, and billing, to intake, scheduling, chatbots, eScripts, pharmacy, digital front doors, and beyond—there’s a new software solution for every facet of hospital, IDN, and provider operations. 

But in a sea of so many, how do you make your healthtech brand stand out?

In a world where healthcare data is rapidly becoming democratized, providing a functional solution that solves a real clinical, operational, or experiential problem is table stakes. Now, it’s all about the bells and whistles—the details that impart greater usability, impact, and value, propelling one data-powered, patient-centric, intelligent, AI-enabled solution above the rest. Here are three key considerations that can make or break even tomorrow’s most promising healthtech brands.

1. Go the extra mile on user experience.

Innovators have long understood that products intended for older and/or less tech-savvy end users need to be incredibly simple, elegant, and intuitive. But we’re starting to see just how important those factors are even for highly technical audiences, such as developers, data scientists, and systems administrators.

We are all immersed daily in convenience-driven consumer technology products. And so we all expect a certain level of intelligence and seamlessness in any new software we encounter. Failing to meet that expectation is a recipe for disappointing sales and negative brand association.

Just as important (yet often relegated to the backburner), the customer experience outside of your product must be equally seamless. Is your product easy to purchase? Is there an easy way to get help? Is the help customers get actually, you know, helpful? Whether or not a customer wants to do business with your company often outweighs their preference for your specific product.

2. Interoperability & integration are mandatory.

EHRs left deep scars on the healthcare industry. The promise of a more error-proof system lured in thousands of providers. Many devoted countless hours, dollars, and other resources to digital migration only to discover test orders, prescriptions, and other critical details weren’t getting where they needed to go. Data simply wasn’t flowing between service providers the way it needs to for the healthcare system to function properly.

That’s because EHRs weren’t designed for care management. They were designed for billing and reimbursement. But the “why” doesn’t matter. All providers know is that the systems were frustrating and their patients were harmed in the process.

If healthcare decision makers are going to buy into the idea of one-off solutions, those solutions must work together—including with products from competing companies. Today, omni-connectedness is the standard, and the tolerance for siloed applications that put patients at risk is exactly zero.

3. It’s all about how you tell your healthtech brand story.

You may have created the most innovative, beneficial, industry-altering healthtech solution of all time. But if you can’t communicate its differentiating value in the right way to the right audience at the right time, you’re sunk. It doesn’t matter how interoperable it is or how great your user experience is if it looks and sounds just like every other competitor. 

To make an impactful first impression, your healthtech brand needs its own face and voice—lenses through which every piece of content will be created:

  • Develop a polished, elegant visual identity that makes customers want to keep browsing and sharing your website and other materials. Explore what your competitors are doing first to make sure your brand stands out. This should include everything from your logo, colors, and fonts to icon, photography, and layout styles. 
  • Cultivate voice and tone pillars that specify how language should (and should not) be used to bring your healthtech brand’s unique perspective and personality to life. These should be rooted in your company’s core values and your audience’s preferred communication styles. Speaking of which…
  • Make sure you know who your audiences are and how each audience influences the others—as well as the ultimate buying decision. Often healthtech brands will go all-in with a “Patients will love this!” or “It’s great for doctors!” strategy without considering who has to approve the purchase or what other systems it may need to interact with.
  • Create a unique healthtech brand story that concisely outlines the value your solution brings to your customers. This should include everything from what the product is and what it does to who it’s for and why it matters to every member of the buying committee. But again, make sure what you’re saying doesn’t sound exactly like every other jargon-laced healthtech brand story in the space.

How can we help?

If you’re looking for ways to take your healthtech brand to the next level, shoot us a quick note. We’d love to chat about how Distill Health can give your solution the strategic edge and polish it needs to stand out.

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