I attended the Mumbrella Health Marketing Summit last week and it was not what I expected. Let me explain.
I was looking forward to hearing the program of case studies and insights, and having meaningful discussions with likeminded colleagues. I knew I would come out brimming with new ideas that I could incorporate into my client recommendations and conversations.
And yes this did happen and I saw real examples of the disruption already taking place in healthcare right now. It gave me goose bumps seeing new AI technology being trialled in Sydney hospitals and aged care facilities changing the way healthcare professionals respond to patient needs. I saw healthcare campaigns that polarised communities, but ultimately resulted in behaviour change empowering people to act. I was curious (and slightly apprehensive) hearing about a pharmacy program in the US connecting patient medical history data, facial recognition and the patient’s own body sensors to help pharmacists identify a patient in pain or in need of medication.
I was by no means however prepared for the emotional rollercoaster that I would experience during the day. From the raw, heart-wrenching, yet inspiring, story from Mitch Wallis CEO Heart on my Sleeve who described mental health as the “global warming of health”, to CHE Proximity’s two years and dogged determination in creating their pro bono Curing Homesickness campaign, supporting sick children to get home from hospital sooner.
It was a day of self-reflection. It reinforced the importance of engaging and empowering people to take control of their health. It was a reminder of the vital role of empathy and understanding in our communication – we are all potential patients and no matter our demographics, we are all human and all seek connection.
It was an important reminder of why I do what I do and my personal purpose as a healthcare communicator. To use a quote from the keynote speaker Jason Kahner, President, Global Heath & Wellness, GREY “purpose is your reason for being, not your reason for selling”.