Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Blausen Human Atlas – Next Step in Intimate Medical Marketing?

Today we consider a dramatic iPhone app from Balusen. But can it be marketed?There’s probably no conscious connection between the next American Marketing Association-Houston Healthcare SIG event and its venue…the Houston Zoo. Still, synch up your calendars now for Friday, September 25 – the SIG presents “Healthcare Marketing via Emerging Technologies.” Read all about three-hour event (including networking and a bite of breakfast) right here.

To be clear, this seminar’s not about those technologies themselves, which I am sure are quite excellent. This group of people will talk about how you might use some of the technologies to market to broad groups of customers – patient groups, physicians, nurses and so on.

The presenters will cover the marketing capabilities inherent in data analysis software (which should be challenging), and how hospitals are using e-marketing. Since I’ve helped create the program, I hope to hear some fresh ideas.

I have the biggest expectations of all for the Blausen Human Atlas and its iPhone application, especially after talking it over with Blausen Media CEO Bruce Blausen and Account Director Mike Hensgen. Blausen will be doing the presenting.

Why the high hopes? Well, who do you know who doesn’t have an iPhone yet? (Besides me, I mean.) According to blogger Greg Kaiser at the end of April, Apple had sold 21 million of them and that was before new models caught on. Big deal stuff, especially when you consider the iPhone can be a pretty amazing marketing implement.

But it’s not about the smartphone, it’s about the Blausen app on the smartphone. The “Human Atlas” lets users manipulate superbly detailed medical illustrations and animations at the touch of a finger. There’s a zoom feature that provides the ability to explore different body systems.

Blausen points out that a click of a button helps explain a complicated medical problem or diagnosis. Seeing the problem in pictures helps doctors (for example) relieve fears and concerns for all kinds of patients. Hensgen says that the individual experiences with the application are stunning: Learning and understanding are speeded up dramatically.

In selling the application, Blausen wants to leverage both the iPhone and web-delivered versions to give hospitals a competitive advantage in terms of communications. The hospitals’ medical and nursing staffs can take the educational opportunity right to the point of care, and deliver a patient experience that’s superior to any other.

Hensgen demo’d the Human Atlas on his iPhone for me; it’s dramatic. The tool also just got a perceptive nod from iPhone Medical App Review: …this is an app that could change the way physicians and providers communicate with patients. We've been using this application on a daily basis with our patients.

Coming to the AMA Healthcare SIG event, Blausen and Hensgen have a slightly different challenge. Can they envision (and communicate to SIG attendees) how an institution might combine its use of the Human Atlas with its hospital-wide iPhone platform – and then market the combination to its stakeholders?

To paraphrase Harvard professor Theodore Levitt: Marketing is different than selling. Marketing views the entire business process as a tightly integrated effort to discover, create, arouse and satisfy customer needs.

The implication (to me) is “user intimacy” – the inherent opportunity to bring customers much, much closer to a brand. Register for September 25. We’ll find out together how “technologies” like the-palm-of-your-hand Human-Atlas-plus iPhone combination will take us to the next level of healthcare marketing.

A big thank-you to Bruce Blausen and Mike Hensgen for helping me think ahead on this topic. Photos courtesy of Blausen Media.

1 comment:

Blausen Group said...


Thank you for your kind words and for posting the notice for the upcoming AMA Houston Healthcare SIG including Blausen Human Atlas Medical App on Signalwrite. We look forward to interacting with the Houston Healthcare Community.

Blausen Group
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