While the beginning of a new year always prompts a watershed of trend lists and stories, we thought we’d take it a step further and combine our trend watch with a wish list for 2012. No question, there are big—even revolutionary—things happening in healthcare. But, trends without the potential for long-term influence are just fads that fade away.
1. Mobile Health: With the market for mobile health apps projected to quadruple to $400MM by 2016, we anticipate continued growth in the volume of sports, fitness and wellness tools designed for use on smartphones and tablets. And, no doubt we’ll see more key tech players coming up with new applications that offer further integration with social networks and other apps, plus durable yet fashionable products to track activities and behaviors.
Wish List: An iPhone app/wearable device that combines RunKeeper, Gain Fitness, The Eatery and LARK’s sleep tool to manage personal health from one product. We think Fitbit is coming close and anticipate the release of the My Basis watch for a tool that aptly combines almost all of these functions.
2. Crowdsourced Dieting: With the introduction of experimental dieting apps like The Eatery and Jawbone’s UP interface, we’re beginning to see that calories are taking the back seat to photos and user feedback for diet monitoring. From apps that allow you to rate how you feel following a meal, to those that allow the users’ friends to weigh-in on a meal choice, it seems like crowdsourcing feedback socially on what you eat is more effective than counting digits, unless you keep that chocolate mousse a secret.
Wish List: A Jawbone UP band that still works after two weeks. #FAIL
3. Regulatory Implications: We’re glad that the FDA finally weighed in with its recent draft guidelines for pharma doing social. Depending on whom you’re talking with, it’s either too little or it’s just what the industry ordered. We’re somewhere in between. But as the industry looks toward social for further engagement, we see it as only good sense that the FDA step in with clearer guidance—faster.
Wish List: We’re listening, FDA! Move!
4. Glocial Health: Pharma’s going big investing in emerging markets, and there are significant challenges—communication, regulatory, skilled workforce, and more. We see communication with a spectrum of stakeholders as crucial to pharma’s success, including consumers, HCPs, and government representatives. And, we know these emerging markets are using social networks and are highly mobile.
Wish List: A brand looking to tackle international social marketing from one Facebook hub. Share your ideas; we’re listening!
5. Health Reform: Even though President Obama uttered a mere forty-four words about healthcare in his recent State of the Union address, we see this as a driving discussion among candidates and legislators as we enter election season. Expect that discussion to play out across social networks, and watch how candidates listen and participate in those exchanges.
Wish List: Meaningful social discussion and common-sense legislation to help us, the people and patients.
What are you looking forward to or anticipating in healthcare this year? Share your thoughts below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to share!