Innovation & Consumer Behavior
Technology and healthcare are two of the most challenging consumer markets in all of global commerce. Both industries are characterized by colossal brand competition, the quick commoditization of products, and a never-ending need to demonstrate innovative outcomes in order to remain relevant. One very important differentiator between the two, however, is the way each sector leverages the innovation process in connecting with target consumer markets.
Tech consumers are constantly on the hunt for what’s new in gadgetry. They’re known for being insatiable and constantly ravenous for new product offerings, often times moving onto second- and third-generation products before they’ve had a chance to fully adopt the first-generation. Technology companies thereby thrive on faster-than-the-speed-of-light accessory development, making the innovation process vital in quenching buyer-thirst for the latest and greatest. Unfortunately, the equal and opposite effect of that speed is that rapid-fire production often causes shallow, brief market penetration.
Conversely, healthcare innovation tends to be reactive, rather than proactive – largely driven by consumer preference to choose medical treatments that yield proven results, rather than select a novel, and potentially pioneering, medical treatment that lacks a history of success. In this sector, innovation is often accompanied by a tone of uncertainty and caution, driving key corporate players to invest fewer resources into innovation, and larger sums into reliable, tried and true solutions.
But at the intersection of these two markets lies opportunity and the potential to improve people’s lives through mutually beneficial relationships that advance both sectors. This is the sweet spot – the future of healthcare personalization, made possible by the latest technological innovations. To be most successful, healthcare product manufacturers must embrace this trend.
Collaboration Moves Markets
The beauty of a collaboration between medical and technology platforms is that each are perfectly poised to tackle the other’s consumer challenges. Tech companies need to prioritize the development of more meaningful, quality technologies to achieve longer-term product adoption, and healthcare companies must emphasize innovation to deliver more effective treatment options that simultaneously spark consumer excitement.
Today, I have the fortunate experience of joining some of healthcare and technology’s most notable leaders to discuss one of the largest beneficiaries of such collaboration – senior citizens and persons with disabilities. The two-day M-Enabling Summit, held in Washington, DC, brings together global leaders who are developing life-changing applications for seniors and people of all abilities to share best practices and discuss the future of accessible and assistive mobile solutions. This year, the conference is centered on mobile innovations that enhance digital accessibility, promoting “Smarter Living for All.”
On behalf of ReSound, I was invited to join this discussion to speak about the company’s collaboration with Apple and the results it yielded, namely, the launch of the world’s very first made for iPhone hearing aid, the ReSound LiNX™. This game-changing smart hearing aid allowed users, for the first time, to stream sound directly from a smart device into hearing aids—all without the need to wear an intermediary, often-stigmatizing, streaming device. Further, individuals finally had options to customize their individual hearing experience based on personal preference through the ReSound Smart™ app, available through the Apple Store.
The immediate and immense success of the ReSound LiNX grew even larger when we launched the next-generation smart hearing aid, the ReSound LiNX2™ in March 2015. The ReSound LiNX2 provides the most advanced, natural hearing experience available on the market today, and gives wearers an avenue to connect, interact, and effortlessly engage with the world around them. And the incredible collaboration between ReSound and Apple didn’t stop there—we were able to deliver yet another level of unprecedented user freedom with the launch of the ReSound Smart app designed specifically for Apple Watch. Now, users have all the connectivity and personalized control they’ve grown accustomed to, right at the touch of their wrists.
Ultimately, recent advances in smart hearing aid technology are just one example of how valuable cross-industry collaboration is for consumers. With Apple and ReSound, ours is a collaboration founded on the premise of advancing both healthcare and technology, and by our example, other like-minded companies will continue to collaborate, move markets, and change peoples’ lives.
Morten Hansen is Vice President of Partnerships & Connectivity with GN ReSound, a leading international developer and manufacturer of advanced and innovative hearing healthcare solutions. He is passionate about using cutting edge technology to set new standards in hearing healthcare and using innovative platforms to empower users to take control of their disabilities. Hansen is based in Copenhagen, Denmark.