80% of adults consult Google about their Health Concerns

With one in twenty Google searches being health-related, digital innovations in healthcare are a necessity as more UK patients and healthcare professionals turn to the internet to get answers.

At Curated Digital’s event at Google HQ on 22nd Feb 2017, speakers from both the health and digital fields came together to discuss the future of digital marketing in Healthcare. Google, GSK, The Chat Shop and Doctify were just some of the organisations giving their view on the future of the landscape. With digital on track to be the only growth media channel over the next two years, healthcare brands and organisations are finding themselves left behind as patient needs, wants, and expectations shift: empowered patients demand more from digital where it comes to health.

“People are moving and they need information on the go, whenever they need it,” said Google’s Business Lead for Healthcare Shivalika Singh, with Daniel Jung, Co-Founder of Doctify (an app which connects patients with doctors) adding that “people want to use digital in health just as they do in other areas”.

The event was led by Monica Karpinski, a Director at Curated and it focused on what healthcare providers can do to keep up with these changing patient needs. There was a focus on how brands need to make the most of their marketing, with an emphasis on taking a cross-channel approach to make a brand more customer-focused: you need to be where your audience is. Whilst Google is used as a form of self-diagnosis, Youtube isn’t far behind with 56% of patients using the platform to search for health information. A clear theme which shone through was the need for quick, fast, and reliable information. Healthcare brands need to put the customer first.

The event ended with a panel discussion based around the ethics of digital healthcare and which human aspects of patient care can’t be replaced by digital. Jonny Everett, Co-Founder of The Chat Shop and Justin Gale, Global Digital Director for GSK lead the debate by talking about how AI will undoubtedly change the future of digital healthcare. Al will not only make it possible for patients to receive real-time information but also opens up an entire, non-judgmental healthcare platform where people are more likely to open up about their symptoms.

“When it comes to healthcare, brands can no longer afford to be lagging behind digitally. Opening up conversations between digital platforms and healthcare providers is only the first step towards creating a more integrated future which has the patient’s needs at its heart” – Simon Douglass, Founder, Curated Digital.