HCB Health 7 Learnings for Healthcare from SXSW Interactive 2017

7 Learnings for Healthcare from SXSW Interactive 2017

Posted by Sarah Hudgens at 1:40 pm, April 7

We sent several associates into the frenzy of downtown Austin to attend the city’s annual SXSW Interactive Festival. Their only assignment: LISTEN. HCB tuned into the trends at SXSW, and this is what we learned…


Gathering Data Is Easy; Using It Is Hard

“We’re accumulating data at a much faster rate than we can analyze and use it. This isn’t just regarding the health or advertising industry. The health industry also faces unique regulatory challenges with how the data can be collected/used, and there’s no standard for how to collect/analyze/use it.”

—David Buck, Media Supervisor


Everybody Loves to Play

“Gamification principles can be used to create better digital experiences. There are eight core drives that motivate everything we do, and they can be categorized by left brain/right brain and white hat/black hat. The key to a fun, engaging experience is to ensure your product capitalizes on at least one core drive. And by understanding our audiences, we can build experiences that intrinsically motivate people to repeatedly use them.”

—Tanya Mahr, Content Strategist


New Drug Delivery Devices Come Straight out of Sci-Fi

“As someone who is obsessed with medical device technologies, I was incredibly intrigued by the winner of the SXSW Interactive Innovation Award this year. It was awarded to Portal Instruments for their new needle-free drug delivery device. Imagine being able to self-administer insulin or an RA biologic without a needle stick! It simply infuses the drug through the skin via a micro, high-powered jet.”

—Amy Dowell, Associate Partner, EVP Strategy

HCB EVP Amy Dowell at SXSW

Chatbots Are Changing Social

“We need to meet patients and customers where they already are: on social media. Chatbots are an excellent solution for high-utility, low-friction transactions (e.g., health queries with concrete answers, medication reminders, etc.), and their potential is infinite when combined with human support for empathy and complex decision-making.”

—Sarah Hudgens, Social Content and Research Specialist


Follow-up Is Key to Changing the World

“Health Hackathons need a standardized system for following up with participants. We’ve got to make sure we keep earth-shattering ideas from slipping through the cracks!”

—Ryan Newberry, Copywriter


Immunotherapy Is Like Soccer

“Immunotherapy could be the wave of the future for cancer treatment, but there are still problems and challenges. The clinical trials are different from other testing and require a combination of various regimens. There are also quite a few unknowns around how it could potentially work with other traditional treatment options such as chemotherapy and radiation. Greg Simon from the Biden Foundation said it best: ‘Immunotherapy is like soccer; everyone is on the ball, but there’s no one to kick it to.’”

—Kim Carpenter, Associate Partner, EVP Integrated Services


Changing Habits Takes a Nation Rich in Biometric Data

“If creativity were a nation, it would be the seventh largest in the world. That’s a lot of influence. The question is whether we are focusing our strengths in the right areas. Advanced biometric tools have collected immense amounts of data that could help us develop more useful tactics, more powerful messaging, more compelling visual language, more promising strategies for brands striving to change behavior. We aren’t Vulcans (yet). So we have to appeal to emotions. With the right biometric data, there’s no faking how you feel, what you’re interested in, and what you intend to do.”

—Amy Hansen, SVP Creative Director


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Sarah Hudgens

Sarah "Hudge" Hudgens is our quality assurance guru and social media shark.

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