A Highly Personalized New Year

personalized medicineWith a predicted annual growth rate of 4.8 percent, the health and wellness industry is, in a word, healthy. However, one of the segments within health care expected to grow at more than twice the rate of the industry as a whole is a specialty known as “personalized medicine.”


The simple definition of personalized medicine is “the right treatment for the right person at the right time.” According to The Institute for Systems Biology co-founder Dr. Leroy Hood, there are four attributes of personalized medicine:


It is personalized, because it takes into account an individual’s genetic profile;

It is predictive, because it anticipates health problems and drug reactions;

It is preventive, focusing on wellness and not on disease;

It is participatory, empowering patients to take more responsibility for their health care decisions.

Personalized medicine is made possible by advances in genomic testing and proteomic science that have resulted in more highly targeted diagnostics and treatment options. Supporters of this approach cite increased efficiency of treatments, reduced instances of adverse drug reactions, elimination of unnecessary treatments and improved outcomes. As individuals become more aware of their individual risk, low-tech approaches like functional foods and nutraceuticals will also play an important role in personalized medicine.


In a report entitled “The new science of personalized medicine: Translating the promise into practice,” PricewaterhouseCoopers predicts:

The U.S. personalized medicine market is estimated at about $232 billion and is projected to grow 11% annually, nearly doubling in size by 2015 to over $450 billion. The core diagnostic and therapeutic segment of the market—comprised primarily of pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics companies—is estimated at $24 billion, and is expected to grow by 10% annually, reaching $42 billion by 2015. The personalized medical care portion of the market—including telemedicine, health information technology, and disease management services offered by traditional health and technology companies—is estimated at $4-12 billion and could grow tenfold to over $100 billion by 2015. And the related nutrition and wellness market—including retail, complementary and alternative medicine offered by consumer products, food and beverage, leisure and retail companies—is estimated at $196 billion and projected to grow by 7% annually to over $290 billion by 2015.


By all accounts, personalized medicine is a disruptive innovation, taking place at a time when the U.S. health care system is already undergoing many changes. As a result, there are several exciting opportunities for companies within the core B2B medical industry sector, which includes pharmaceutical, biotech and medical device companies:

  • A reduction in the time, cost, size and failure rate of clinical trials
  • The ability to command premium pricing for drugs and therapies of proven effectiveness
  • Reduced number of drugs or devices recalled due to safety concerns


Healthcare providers who embrace this approach will benefit as well. According to the report, “the biggest opportunity in personalized medicine may lie in identifying new products, services and information targeted directly to consumers. Success in this space will require new approaches, new relationships and new ways of thinking.”


How does this relate to Armada clients and their marketing challenges in 2015 and beyond?


I believe the trend toward personalized medicine presents excellent marketing opportunities across the spectrum of healthcare businesses:


Device manufacturers are able to position their technologies to specialists for greater utilization within at-risk populations. For example, an individual at risk for stroke could benefit from enhanced cerebral perfusion monitoring on everything from complex cardiovascular surgical procedures to less invasive interventional radiology or orthopedic procedures. Marketing strategies include surgical team education, pre-op patient education and payer initiatives.

Biomedical testing companies can work with primary care physicians to better identify personal risk within broader patient risk categories. For example, a test that determines the effect of aspirin resistance can lead to a more personalized approach to reducing cardiovascular risk that may result in adjusted aspirin doses or alternate medications to achieve therapeutic goals. Marketing can capitalize on this with increased physician education through direct marketing and public relations targeting print and online media read by PCPs, as well as strategic partnerships with pharmaceutical companies.

Genetic testing improves the identification of cancer risk, and genomic tumor profiling results in more targeted and potentially less toxic cancer treatment with fewer side effects. For example, a hospital or diagnostic center specializing in breast health can embrace these technologies and differentiate itself from other providers in both referring physician and direct-to-consumer marketing, such as television, print, radio and digital advertising in order to attract and maintain loyal customers.


These examples represent the proverbial “tip of the iceberg” in marketing opportunity, and as history has shown, adoption can be accelerated through direct-to-consumer marketing approaches—even for companies that have previously focused exclusively on provider marketing.



Armada Medical Marketing Hires Michael Elmendorf as Business Development Manager

We’re excited to announce that Michael Elmendorf recently joined Armada Medical Marketing as Business Development Manager. Based out of our Denver headquarters, Michael is tasked with targeting, researching and strategically growing our client base through a dedicated new business effort.

“Armada has a high level expertise in working with a variety of medical device manufacturers and health care providers,” he said. “I’ll be looking for opportunities for the agency to work with companies who have marketing challenges that we are uniquely equipped to solve.”

Michael said Armada Medical Marketing’s integrated approach makes it ideal for health care companies that offer a product or service that has met resistance within the medical community and has not yet realized its full sales potential.

“Armada has a long and distinguished history of helping these companies to more effectively target and persuade physicians and other health care professionals, as well as the patients they serve,” he said.

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Niche Product Launch for Cardiac Surgeons Gains Fast Acceptance

MVC Clinical Brochure (3)

Client: Sorin Group

Project: Launch of the First Prosthetic Aorta with a Biological Heart Valve

Planning/Goals of the Project: 

Sorin Group, a global medical device company and a leader in the treatment of cardiovascular diseases, requested Armada Medical Marketing’s assistance to successfully launch the company’s latest innovation: the Mitroflow® Valsalva Conduit. The new device is a solution for patients requiring both an aortic valve replacement and a prosthetic aorta. Armada Medical developed product launch messaging and materials to effectively position the new FDA-approved biological valve product available for the procedure. The resulting collateral system was designed to:

  • Drive product and brand awareness and preference among cardiac surgeons 
  • Provide surgeons with the clinical information about the conduit’s immediate and long-term benefits
  • Create messaging to help surgeons rationalize use of the product with other decision-makers

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Facts, Stats and Graphs

Imagine the Power of Imagery160939709

2012 was the year of imagery and health care marketers strategically applied visuals to a variety of social and marketing platforms. 2013 is no different. For the health care industry, graphics alone may not get the point across. Therefore, infographics are a great route for health care marketers. Infographics provide graphic visuals that present data and information.

Get the Words to Stick

With the popularity of sites such as StumbleUpon, it is clear that attention spans are diminishing with the average person leaving a page within 10 to 20 seconds. Visuals are processed 60,000 times faster than text and text is only 7 percent of daily communication. That is not to say text is completely obsolete. Words play a major role in describing abstract ideas and conveying a specific message, which is important for health care marketing. But words are supplemental to visuals, which can help grasp a reader’s attention.

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Leaders in Breast Care Converge in Las Vegas

 23nd Annual Interdisciplinary Breast Center Conference to address communication and digital marketing

Armada Medical Marketing | NCBC Conference 2013 Las VegasWe’re in Las Vegas for the National Consortium of Breast Centers’ annual convention this week. We will hear from world leaders in breast imaging, surgery, medical and radiation oncology. Additionally, there will be new techniques and technologies introduced and new ways of approaching clinical management will be discussed.

NCoBC brings health professionals together from all over the world to discuss latest technologies and practices in breast cancer and disease detection. Armada Medical Marketing is exhibiting and is excited to share our services and expertise in marketing women’s imaging and cancer treatment services.

A comprehensive and integrated marketing program can help a hospital or breast center effectively demonstrate its expertise and differentiate it from competitors as a way to increase patient volume. Additionally, medical device manufacturers are at the forefront of cutting-edge technology and require effective marketing services to communicate the benefits of their equipment over that of others.

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Changing Physician Practice Patterns, Part I

Fighting the good fight

Consider these scenarios:

A primary care doctor knows a CT scan of the lungs is more likely to reveal cancerous lesions, but orders a standard chest X-ray instead.

A gastroenterologist knows a 13C urea breath test is just as accurate as the endoscope at detecting H. pylori, but orders the scope anyway.

A cardiologist knows that the stress test is not as effective at determining heart attack risk as other tests, but continues to put his patients on the treadmill.

A cardiothoracic surgeon knows a particular heart valve would be better for her patient, but because her hospital refuses to purchase it, she uses an inferior device.

It is an outrage. You might even think it’s a crime.

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