VMware and CHOC: enabling better outcomes
Rodney Davis has a background in delivering technology solutions inside hospitals and healthcare organisations. After a stint at Texas Children’s Hospital where he was responsible for providing applications, devices and technology in many different forms to care providers and patients, he joined VMware as part of their solution architecture team, focusing specifically on healthcare. “We try to take that same knowledge and apply it to more practical situations, rather than just the traditional VMware products and solutions that we have in our portfolio, which is very vast” he says.
Their core service is delivering any application to any cloud to any device. “That means customers are going to be able to get applications and services into the hands of their customers, no matter where they are, or what they're doing. That's where VMware is leading the charge in the industry.”
They have a partnership with Children's Hospital Orange County (CHOC), helping the organization with their strategy and vision as well as execution plans. Davis explains this involves “understanding the business needs coming from their executive leadership, and then translating that back into organizational opportunities for us to invoke change and digital transformation within the organization.”
“The mission that CHOC has is something that's near and dear to most professionals - we all have family and most of us will have children as well, so we understand that providing good natured care is critical for their mission and their success. The partnership comes by way of making sure that our technology is supporting that mission, from top to bottom” Davis explains.
As an example he cites a current project to deliver a new technology into clinicians’ hands, something that has previously never been successful. “From VMware’s perspective, we’re here to make sure that is successful. Ultimately that's leading into care being more accessible to the clinicians, and maybe more consistent as well. Finally, those patients get to go home with better services and the clinicians can do their jobs in a more efficient manner.”
He sees VMware as enablers of these efficiencies. “VMware is a component of the organization's ecosystem. We're not the be all and end all to every solution that's out there, even though our portfolio is very vast, but we absolutely are in the middle of just about everything from the consumer to the data centre.
“But in order to truly be impactful, extending to a third party is very important, so there are a lot of system integrators and other partners that are part of that ecosystem. We want to integrate with those individuals and organisations as well, so we're delivering consistent end-to-end solutions that may carry outside of VMware’s point of view. Ultimately that’s going to drive better outcomes for CHOC, and make them more successful from a patient care and delivery perspective, and hopefully drive all the different financial and business outcomes they need to be a relevant player in the Southern California medical industry.”
VMware’s portfolio is continuously expanding, and Davis explains that in the last decade they’ve transitioned from being a data centre company to an application company, before moving into security and networking. “All this ties into the idea that we make sure our customers are connected, no matter where they are” he adds.
How can the healthcare industry build trust with consumers?
One of the many ways the pandemic has impacted society is that it has firmly cast the healthcare industry in the public spotlight. From producing ventilators and PPE to developing life-saving vaccines, consumers have looked to pharmaceutical and healthcare companies to keep us safe and find a way out of the Covid-19 crisis.
As a result, healthcare companies have an opportunity to build upon this and utilise their marketing to drive greater engagement and trust with consumers. When it comes to effective marketing, it’s vital to remember the important role which visuals play. Consumers increasingly engage with brands through the visual communications and storytelling they absorb while online or browsing through media channels. These visual communications can have a huge impact not only on consumer purchasing decisions but also the relationship between brands and customers.
At Getty Images, we work with healthcare companies throughout Europe to advise them on their visual content. This study forms part of the research for our insight platform Visual GPS, which looks at the key factors affecting consumer decision making and how that impacts their visual choices.
In partnership with YouGov, we surveyed 10,000 consumers globally and have been tracking this consumer sentiment for the past two years. This latest deep-dive into the healthcare industry is part of our wider on-going research, and aims to better understand how consumers in different regions are interacting with the healthcare sector and what motivates their visual preferences.
Our research revealed that many companies are not using visuals as effectively as they could. In the UK, for instance, the vast majority of consumers do not feel represented by the visual communications which businesses are producing – only 7% of British respondents to our global Visual GPS survey say they felt represented. That is even lower than the global average of 14%.
This latest deep dive into the healthcare industry has uncovered some important insights that can help us better understand how consumers in different regions are interacting with the healthcare sector.
Mental health should be centre stage
A key finding shows that mental health remains a highly relevant issue for consumers. Over nine in ten British consumers think it is important to talk about mental health and put it on an equal footing with physical and emotional health. Not surprisingly, 55% of British consumers believe that more people are being diagnosed with depression due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
There is a growing awareness of the importance of mental health across Europe. Health and pharmaceutical companies should acknowledge this in their visual communications but do so in an empathetic and compassionate way. Only five years ago, visuals around mental health often depicted people alone, isolated and expressing feelings of shame, whereas now we are seeing a more empathetic and supportive approach to visualising mental health - with an increasing number of positive visuals showing support groups, or individuals proactively seeking and finding support.
Visual communications that show support for mental well-being in a meaningful way will resonate deeply with consumers.
A more holistic approach
Another key finding is that consumers want to focus more on holistic health. Our survey found that the majority of UK consumers place an almost equal importance on emotional, physical and mental health, and almost three quarters (73%) placed the health and well-being of family as a top priority.
It’s important that healthcare companies reflect this. Our research paired with ongoing image testing revealed that consumers want to see visuals that humanise healthcare, so companies should consider visualising inclusive care across intersecting factors such as age, ethnicity and gender. Brands can help establish trust with their customers by highlighting a collaborative relationship between medical professional and patient, as well as ensuring that their visual choices feel genuine.
Technology and innovation in healthcare are gaining traction
Thirdly, eHealth and purposeful innovation was another key finding. Consumers want innovation that will meaningfully support their care. Particularly in Europe, the older generation will pay more for brands that use technology to provide advice and recommendations, while Gen Z & Millennials are willing to pay for self-service capabilities. It’s important therefore for healthcare companies to incorporate purposeful innovation in their visual communication and demonstrate consumers at the centre of accessible eHealth.
Given these insights, what visual content do consumers expect to see from pharmaceutical brands? Our research highlighted three key themes.
- Consumers want to see how healthcare companies fit into people’s lives. Accessible health services are a key factor here. Decision makers should build trust by showing consumers at the centre of a holistic healthcare ecosystem.
- Consumers want to see the emotional rewards others get from using a healthcare company. This can be achieved by building brand loyalty through empathetic and inclusive visual storytelling.
- Finally, consumers want to see people who are similar to them and their lives. British consumers want to see people that look like them and reflect their lived experiences in advertising and brand communication. Decision-makers should ensure that their visual communication is inclusive and authentic and represents the diverse population of the market in which they’re operating.
Ultimately, the key to successful visual storytelling for pharma and healthcare businesses is to ensure that they understand what matters to their audience while establishing trust of care. An important element of this is authentically representing the full spectrum of the population. That means representing all ethnicities, ages, abilities, body shapes, sexuality, religion and genders, to ensure patients of all backgrounds feel included and represented.
Healthcare brands should bear in mind that, as a result of the pandemic’s impact on healthcare systems around the world, consumers may be feeling anxious about whether they will be able to access care if they need it. The healthcare industry has an opportunity to reassure customers and build greater engagement and trust by showing them that they matter through inclusive visuals that represents them authentically at the heart of brand storytelling.