It was a great experience to land in Sydney for the GLOBALHealthPR AGM amidst some of the great healthcare communicators from around the globe. Sitting in the conference room at Park Hyatt Sydney overlooking the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, it was the perfect setting to meet all the partners and discuss global trends in healthcare communication. I did notice that around the world there are newer challenges that the pharmaceutical and healthcare industries are facing as far as effective communication is concerned. As the globe is getting economically stronger and flatter, health issues are dynamically changing. With increasing life spans, the global population is ageing, bringing with it new challenges for elderly care. The fast-increasing incidences of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, cancer and other afflictions are taking a toll on public health and highlight a dire need for early diagnosis and care.
Also, obesity is a big challenge across age-groups, ethnicities and cultures. Psychological issues, nutrition and lifestyle disorders, too, are becoming serious threats to global health. Never before has there been a graver need for disseminating the right health information to tackle these issues at multiple levels.
With the advent of digital media, increasing numbers of consumers are getting information and as a result, health literacy is on the rise. The challenge is to provide the right information in the correct context – and that is a tall order. How do we create memorable messages that stand out, while also making them relevant and simple to understand? Content is becoming increasingly critical in the current times.
The GLOBALHealthPR group discussed (and agreed) that similar trends have been observed worldwide. It is critical to generate relevant and contextual content which has a meaningful purpose and gives people the information they need to lead happier, healthier lives and manage various health conditions. GLOBALHealthPR has been focused and passionate about scientific content, and values the dynamic changes that the Digital era is bringing in. Using social media channels to engage with your audience and share videos, infographics, blogs and simple stories makes content more personal and helps to get key messaging across.
As we move to a more collaborative world, it will be critical to understand the challenges and the emotions of patients across health conditions. Empathy will help create the best solutions to these issues. The future of health communication will be creating content that keeps the patient at the center of all things we do, adding passion to it and leveraging the key messaging with the right mix of media and channels. The above thoughts resonated with across our Partnership, from Australia to North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, and South America, over our three days of discussions at the AGM 2014 in Sydney.
While I am finishing this blog at the office of our Australian partner, VIVA!, in peaceful green Mosman, Australia, the Kookaburra on the nearby branch is making its typical ‘laughing’ call. I really couldn’t decode his message, though!