Saturday 01 October 2016

CES 2013: The Digital Health Takeaway

Nothing describes the carnival atmosphere that is the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) better than a seeing a fork that buzzes in your mouth if you eat too fast. But that instant feedback based on simple data (time between bites) prompts a behavior designed to improve your health.

This is a simple path, and as Digital Health becomes more complicated, one thread was clear throughout sessions at the CES Digital Health Summit: Be simple, responsible and connected.

What’s clear from a Digital Health perspective is there are three connections marketers must consider: device-device, device-people, people-people. That path really speaks to the devices we use to measure data from ourselves and communicate through another device (e.g., monitor to mobile phone, computer), the retrieval of data and its use as a diagnostic tool, and the sharing of our data with others.

One great example is the work done by Omron Healthcare*. Omron has a number of products that can be linked to its website through consumers’ computers. Downloaded data can be shared with friends and others on the site and on social channels.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, speaker on Day 2, crystalized the main need from the digital health community: Create simple products for those who fall outside the margins of most healthcare discussions. While we see a multitude of products that can measure our running pace, calories burned, oxygen use, etc., and are geared to athletes and enthusiasts, most Americans don’t get enough exercise, or take personal responsibility for their own health.

Omron’s Ranndy Kellogg, VP Marketing, implored marketers to keep it simple and rewarding for the user to encourage ongoing use. Dr. Oz echoed his sentiments: “Personal responsibility will trump personal health,” Oz said. “We need fun, playful ways to nudge people during key moments in a contextually sensitive way” to keep people engaged in their health.

As social media is nearly ubiquitous across all demographics, the inclusion of conversation tools in measuring and monitoring devices and processes can provide added incentive and support for those needing prodding to be more responsible for their own health. Social can provide channels for conversation and feedback that can relay encouragement, support and, when necessary, a poke in the side.

The power of personal responsibility combined with social engagement and easy-to-use health monitoring devices is a win for all. The future is bright for Digital Health with new tools that erase complication and encourage use via social sharing and input.

#CES2013 Photo credit: @Photo

*Omron is an Edelman client.

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