Artificial Intelligence in Health Care, and How to Market It

May 15, 2019

By Dusty Majumdar, Paul Schrimpf

Golden Sikorka/

Earlier this year, Dr. Eric Topol of Scripps Research became yet another leading voice in health care to join others such as Dr. Steven Alberts of the Mayo Clinic, Dr. Aziz Nazha of the Cleveland Clinic, and Dr. Scott Ramsey of Fred Hutch in their vision that artificial intelligence will dramatically impact how we deliver health care in the future. Despite these endorsements in the medical field, there remains significant skepticism about whether today's AI-enabled solutions are actually moving toward this vision. Creating added pressure is the abundance of AI offers and businesses with investors who are seeking an ROI, leaving health care marketers struggling with how to market and brand AI in their respective spaces.

We believe there are four elements — what we call A.R.T.E — that health care organizations should consider when positioning their AI offer in health care.


The A.R.T.E. of Marketing AI in Health Care

  • Authenticity: Make it real and make it tangible. A big part of this authenticity involves defining AI in a focused way that clearly explains how AI is specifically helping in the task and what the benefit is. For instance, in the field of radiology, Arterys helps provide clear clinical proof with an FDA cleared cardiac image interpretation and workflow application that reduces a 90-minute scan to a 20-minute scan. Arterys alone won't revolutionize the field of radiology, but it is improving a critical part of it.
  • Relevancy: Begin with the challenge, not the solution. Set up the pressing health problem and describe how your AI solution will help solve it. For example, as health systems consolidate and grow, operations become more complex and capacity is stretched. GE's command center, in partnership with Johns Hopkins Medicine, can help address this by using advanced predictive analytic technology and artificial intelligence to monitor and target real-time data on incoming patients, patient discharges, bed availability, and other hospital logistics.
  • Transparency: The reality is, you can't touch or see intelligence. Therefore, building confidence that an AI solution is the right fit, let alone safe, is much more difficult to do than it is for other "products" in health care. GNS and its use of peer reviews to critique, debate, and validate possible AI solutions in health care is a great approach to improving transparency.
  • Empathy: Too many organizations developing AI solutions spend most of their time in product development, and the user becomes an afterthought. To increase adoption, begin with the health care professional, and design the AI solution around their world. Cliniserve is an emerging startup that uses AI to help nurses work more efficiently and minimizes disruption to IT as it doesn't require complex systems integration, accelerating adoption with two critical decision makers in health care.

Keeping those positioning elements in mind, the next question is whether to brand it, and if so, how?

  • Whether to brand at all: Most AI solutions from established health care companies are largely unbranded. For example, the Cleveland Clinic brand stands strong on its own, thus its Center for Clinical Artificial Intelligence needs only to be descriptive. While Philips HealthSuite Insights is meant to pair with and stretch the Philips brand into a more AI-oriented space.
  • Whether to lead with an AI brand: BenevolentAI is an organization that leads with AI first, and then talks about how it cascades into specific product offerings such as drug development. Alternatively, GE's Edison brand is more of a supporting cast member that improves upon existing products and experiences that users are already familiar with.
  • Whether to personify the brand: The name Edison, derived from Thomas Edison, carries a degree of personification. There are many advantages to this, but not everyone is personifying their AI offerings. OptumIQ, for example, brands its advanced analytics and AI but does not personify it and keeps it closely linked to the overall Optum brand.

While the above captures the unique aspects of marketing and branding AI in health care, proven marketing approaches will always hold true: Be strategic, focus on your customer, and focus on your situation. We're still seeing far too many examples of unsophisticated marketing and branding in health care, where organizations copy what they see other organizations do. An effective marketing and brand strategy should be linked and enable your own growth strategy — not someone else's.

Dusty Majumdar is a founder of and managing director at DeepRx. Paul Schrimpf is a partner at Prophet and a co-lead of its health care practice.

The views and opinions expressed in Marketing Maestros are solely those of the contributor and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the ANA or imply endorsement from the ANA.

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