The Role of Technology in Driving Affordable Healthcare
Brillio CTO Chander Damodaran Shares Some Promising Trends in Healthcare Market Dynamics
If any event could cause a massive upheaval within the healthcare industry, it would be a global pandemic. COVID-19 forced institutions and practitioners to reevaluate their methods and internal systems from top to bottom. Technology, telecommunications, and consumer industries pivoted their attention towards the healthcare industry looking to address new challenges and disruptions caused and revealed by the pandemic. Telehealth, in particular, saw a massive increase in interest and funding from these sectors as the global pandemic accelerated the need for digital solutions.
At digital tech companies like Brillio, team members search for solutions to the challenges faced by patients and practitioners alike. Their team is focused on developing forward-thinking, real-world tech to meet the growing public demand for better, more efficient healthcare. According to Brillio’s data, the global healthcare IT market is projected to grow 29.3% within the next 8 years reaching a value of $135.6 billion. The telehealth revenue share in the global healthcare IT alone is anticipated to grow at a rate of 41%, the fastest growth rate ever recorded.
According to the CTO of Brillio Chander Damodaran, the market is becoming vastly more patient-centric. For digital tech companies, the time is opportune to develop technology solutions that can benefit the average patient. Most of us are pretty comfortable with wearable technology- think Apple Watch or Fitbit for example- but there is massive potential to digitize all of the different systems including wearables to create a truly connected digital experience. Tech that monitors and shares health parameters is nothing new, and it could be just the beginning. Telehealth is poised to bring patients and providers closer than ever before, if not physically, then certainly virtually. Damodaran predicts a swift increase in the utilization of telehealth services of 38% post-pandemic as health systems weave digital solutions into their institutional systems.
In his opinion, there is a massive demand for telehealth solutions that benefit consumers by making pricing and procedural information more transparent. One way this is manifesting is through the emergence of mandates from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Office of National Statistics. These mandates, including the CMS Interoperability and Patient Access Final Rule published in May 2020 and the CMS Price Transparency Final Rule published in July 2022, would allow patients to make an informed decision on their providers and services thus offering greater control over their healthcare plans and spending.
Damodaran is optimistic about where the industry is headed in relation to digital tech. From venture capital to private investment, investment in telehealth is booming. Increased interest in tech solutions for the healthcare industry is driving up investment rates, allowing for more development. This could result in better immersive and wearable technologies, the acceleration of solutions like digital twins, and the development of new tech solutions.
While many are still trying to understand the extent of their healthcare costs, increased accessibility and transparency remain at the forefront of the conversation. All these trends are not only exciting developments for the tech world and interesting opportunities for investors, but they are also potentially life-changing developments for each one of us leading to affordable healthcare and access to globally renowned experts and practitioners.
For more information about the role of technology in healthcare, visit www.brillio.com.
Frontier Dental Lab’s Direct-to-Consumer Marketing Connects Dentists and Patients
Dr. Caylin Frye, a cosmetic dentist at Mid-City Smiles in New Orleans, has worked in the dental industry for over two decades. In all that time, she has never had a dental lab bring a patient to her office door. However, that’s exactly what happened when Frontier Dental Lab Group connected her with Ignacia Soto-Aguilar.
The inspiration behind Frontier Dental Lab’s direct-to-consumer campaign
Gil Villavecer, Chief Marketing Officer at Frontier Dental Lab Group, was well aware of two key factors influencing Frontier’s marketing strategy. First, he knew his clients were dentists who tended to stick to traditional marketing methods as simple as word of mouth. Second, he knew that most people didn’t realize dental labs even existed. For these reasons, labs like Frontier have historically been absent from the direct-to-consumer marketing space.
“I like to be a trailblazer,” says Villavecer. “My lightbulb moment came when I realized that we have far more horsepower than the average dentist. After all, what dental office has a full-time marketing department? To better serve our dentists, I shifted our approach to a direct-to-consumer campaign.”
Villavecer’s first hurdle was introducing Frontier Dental Lab Group to a public that, up until that point, had been unaware of its existence. In general, dental labs have avoided digital marketing, but Villavecer knew the internet was the only way forward. So, Frontier uploaded educational clips to YouTube and fired up an Instagram account with a new mission to “Educate, Entertain, and Connect.”
Frontier Dental Lab’s DTC marketing in action
Frontier Dental Lab’s most innovative initiative is its Smile Simulations. Through this program, potential patients upload selfies to Frontier’s website and receive before and after pictures showing the possibilities of a smile makeover.
Soto-Aguilar first encountered Frontier Dental Lab through the Smile Simulation initiative and was blown away by her digital makeover. “The assessment was so quick and personal,” she remembers. “I received my before-and-after shots in an hour, and I couldn’t believe the amount of detail that Frontier put into it. That was my first insight into how much Frontier cares about its patients. They enabled me to visualize exactly how I would look with a new smile.”
Along with the Smile Simulation, Frontier Dental Lab sent a list of seven Trusted Frontier Dentists in Soto-Aguilar’s area who could make her simulation a reality. “We try to make research easy for people,” says Gil. “We believe that educated consumers are the best consumers.”
Frontier Dental Lab builds trust between dentists and patients
For convenience, Frontier linked each cosmetic dentist’s Instagram profile. When Soto-Aguilar clicked on Dr. Frye’s Instagram account, she felt an instant connection.
“Dr. Frye and I are both artists,” she explains. “I saw the care she put into her online presence and knew I would be in good hands. In this digital world, we put our work out there to show our clients what they can expect before we ever meet them. It’s visual and very intimate.”
Soto-Aguilar’s trust in Dr. Frye grew with every new piece of information she learned. She scanned through before and after shots of smiling patients and read a feature article about Dr. Frye dancing with her clients. Above all, she was struck by Dr. Frye’s honesty in describing her practice.
“I felt like I already knew her,” recalls Soto-Aguilar. “She wasn’t trying to sell anything to me. She was just talking about her passion for beautiful smiles.”
Within two days of uploading her selfie to Frontier Dental Lab’s Smile Simulation Center, Soto-Aguilar was talking with Dr. Frye in her office as if they had known each other for years. At that consultation, she scheduled an appointment for 20 veneers.
Dr. Frye says this is the most straightforward case she has closed in 21 years because of the foundation of trust established before the consultation. “Ignacia contacted me through the email from Frontier Dental Lab and was so excited that she even brought the smile simulation to our consultation. By the time we met, she trusted my work as a cosmetic dentist and Frontier’s work as a dental lab.”
In fact, Dr. Frye was so thrilled about the direct-to-consumer marketing that connected her to Soto-Aguilar that she shot a text to Villavecer that day: “Hey, Gil! Super cool story! A patient went through the smile simulation on your site, you sent her my info, and she’s coming in tomorrow. That’s the power of your marketing in the flesh!”
Villavecer counts that among the most exciting messages he has ever received. The only one he might enjoy more came days later from Soto-Aguilar. Along with pictures of her new smile, she texted: “Hi, Gil! You’ll love to see this! My smile is just how you imagined it!”
Currently, Frontier is focusing on harnessing the power of digital marketing to reach consumers. Its ground-breaking efforts to Educate, Entertain, and Connect potential patients prove that this marketing campaign is about much more than sales — it’s about building relationships and helping potential patients imagine the possibilities.
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