Marketing to Save Lives
Going to the doctor is similar to waiting for the Toronto Maple Leafs to win the Stanley Cup or even just to get into the playoffs. It is a long, long process. But imagine you could show up at the neighbourhood walk-in and they are already up to date with your current medical situation. Or that you are visit the nearest ER knowing they only have a wait time of 10 minutes with GPs that are rated the best. This idea seems unlikely and somewhat far-fetched, but with technology developing everyday and hospitals feeling the pressure to become more up-to-date it is possible. Be it locating the nearest medical devices, testing yourself for disease or fundraising for sick children, location based services are making it happen.
Holland’s AED App
Airports, hospitals, and major attractions have become common locations to find an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) within arms reach. To be effective, the AED needs to reach the patient within minutes. The Radboud University Nijmegen Medical Centre in Holland teamed up with Layar to create an augmented reality app that showcases the AEDs within your vicinity and which is closest to you. Their objective was to reduce searching time and provide users with a quick and easy app that could save lives. If you ever find yourself walking through LAX and someone drops beside you, then pull out this app and it’ll guide the way. Hopefully it lets you know to use the AED, too!
MTVs Get Yourself Tested Badge
There is an outstanding statistic that every one in two people will contract an STD by the time they’re 25. To help young people become more aware of STDs, MTV teamed up with Foursquare to develop a badge that users would receive after checking into clinics to get a STD test performed. The campaign was called Get Yourself Tested and was endorsed by an overwhelming number of celebrities through the MTV website. During a month of the campaign, if users checked in to a clinic they would be entered in a contest with the chance to win a free trip to NYC to be on MTV. Although an extremely mortifying place to check into on Foursquare, MTV was a milestone for cause-related and healthcare-related badges. Next time you go for a colonoscopy, check if there’s a badge. Everyone deserves a badge for that appointment!
UCSF launches Social Media Fundraiser
UCSF Challenge for the Children kicked off an 8-week campaign designed to reach out through social media channels like Facebook and Twitter. This encouraged people to contribute as individuals or become team leaders to support the hospital. Some team leaders included celebrities like Aston Kutcher. They successfully reached their fundraising goal and broke into a space that hospitals have yet to frequent.
For location based marketing, hospitals and other health care related fields have yet to be explored in serious depth. Recently the FCC and FDA signed an agreement to collaborate on the development of technology for wireless enabled medical devices and services, which opens the doors to possibilities. What will come next? Will hospitals use augmented reality to help patients navigate through their maze-like walls? Will Facebook Places allow patients to locate and critique their local OBGYN or GP? Will hospitals use RFID to pin point all of their MDs on a map? Really the opportunities for this space are endless and can really make the healthcare industry more appealing, approachable and up-to-date. In the future when you are feeling under the weather, tweet about it and maybe a nearby doc will make a house call or in the least Dr. Oz re-tweets you.