In February 2019, the world witnessed one of the largest Health-IT conferences out there. Like every year, this conference was organized by the Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society. The conference-goers navigated their way through the exhibit hall, which was chock-full of salespeople armed with swag and ready to sell their healthcare technology. These salespeople valiantly represented those millions upon millions of dollars spent in acquiring that top-notch technology.
While I absolutely agree that technology has helped the world to achieve miraculous milestones in the healthcare space, technology is just the ‘science’ part of healing.
Caring for the health and well being of our fellow humans has always been viewed as a combination of art and science. But unfortunately, the tradeoff is that we have become so focused on using technology that we spend far less time listening to and telling human stories.
In a medical journal that I was reading last week, it was written that only 20% of healing in healthcare involves high tech stuff. The remaining 80% is about relationship-building and creation of the right environment that can enable patients to tap into whatever they need for spiritual and physical sustenance.
So, it is time that healthcare professionals need to rethink patient encounters and communications. But, the question is: In this new design of human-centered healthcare communication, does animated storytelling actually hold a chance? Let’s find out.
The art of storytelling relies on a series of events leading up to a heroic moment, centered around the main character with whom the audiences can relate. This is a simple concept if one is selling watches, or cars, or soft drinks. But, who wants to see themselves in the center of a story about illness? Well, patients who can see themselves overcoming a health adversity or healthcare providers, who can see themselves offering better care to mankind, that’s ‘who’!
The richest healthcare stories that we could ever encounter, flow from the times and ways in which healthcare products and services have transformed human lives. And, in the instances when such stories are told, deepest human connections are forged. It is in this moment we realize that there is a hero in all of us! The American Heart Association believes the same. Here’s how:
Awareness about several health-related topics, information on healthcare products and services, emotional trauma associated with illness, as well as patients’ more empowered role in their healthcare, all of this can be addressed successfully through good storytelling.
Here is an exemplary video from CRC Health Group, which showcases that every time someone makes a connection that leads her to a healthier path, the world around her transforms from the darkness of despair into the bright promise of infinite possibilities.
The invoking video given above makes it is quite clear that animated storytelling can help healthcare companies in catering to multiple use cases. Let’s see some of these use cases with examples:
Creating unbranded and awareness oriented content is definitely a great idea in order to be noticed by a large and relevant target audience. When your content is designed in such a way that your audiences feel cared for, educated and powered, they experience a sense of belongingness. It is in this moment that your business is able to create a community of its own. With awareness based content at disposal, companies can gradually build thought leadership and then eventually redirect the incoming traffic to several landing pages on their specific websites.
An important thing to be kept in mind is that awareness videos work the best on social media because they are curated with an intrinsic intent to be non-salesy. And, when the intent is not to sell, companies can see easy traction and engagement on the content that they publish on their soc-med.
Let’s look at two awareness based healthcare videos:
Undergoing a medical procedure needs a lot of courage, conviction and convincing. While a lot of healthcare companies forcibly try to gain that trust, health seekers are truly convinced when they have enough confidence and information about the ‘hows’ and ‘whys’ of any medical procedure. So, to gain unanimous trust and credibility, nothing beats the charm of step-by-step process explainers.
Let’s look at two very diverse ways of approaching process explainers:
Video marketing is not only for external stakeholders. In order to prosper and serve mankind at large, healthcare companies need diligent, motivated and skilled employees at all levels. In order to inspire the internal staff to ‘tough it out’ and not show signs of weakness, healthcare companies should use an ideal combination of rewards, recognition, and training.
Here are two internal facing healthcare videos that we made for two of our clients:
Gone are those days when discounts, pricing and packaging were the dominant dictators of purchase decisions. Over and above, we are talking about healthcare here. Good health does not and should not come with a price tag on it. For healthcare companies that are product oriented, they need to emphasize on telling how their product, invention or device will cater to the greater human good. And, how the product will revive health and well-being. When health seekers would be able to envision themselves as winners over health adversities, they’ll be bound to feel attracted towards the offerings that healthcare companies are making. Let’s verify this through examples:
Brand legacies go a very long way. When healthcare companies leverage their values, goodwill, vision and mission, nothing can cut right messaging better than these. If a healthcare company clicks with the right target audiences through its brand story, all offerings of that company will find an automatic way to an ever-increasing clientele of brand advocates. Let’s see for ourselves, how painting the bigger picture can always have you covered for those smaller milestones:
Now, to be honest, the use cases in which animated storytelling can support the healthcare providers, are endless. And, we truly believe that the role of technology should be to support the ‘provider-health seeker’ interaction and not to dominate it.
The focus of technology should be on the non-human portion of practicing medicine, where working faster shouldn’t detract healthcare providers from having empathetic interactions with health seekers.
Now is the time to bring all elements of medicine, communication, and human relationships together in a perfect blend of art and science, aimed at truly transforming human lives.