I’m going to Mexico for 24 days
I’m leaving for Las Vegas in 12 days
I’m staying in New York for 30 days
These statuses can be sporadically found on Facebook (with variations concerning purses and underwear) and they are encrypted messages to make women more aware of breast cancer prevention.
This viral campaign had achieved global success and millions of women have taken part in it. Unfortunately, this campaign (like many others which are regularly launched on TV or through concerts or other awareness events) have a limit: they miserably fail to cover all four letters of the well-known A.I.D.A. acronym, essential for any successful advertising: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. In the specific case of this viral Facebook campaign, it certainly caught people’s attention and interest, but it did not ignite their desire to take action.
Sharing a status or clicking ‘like’ is easy and immediate. Going to a hospital or to the doctor’s, consulting a specialist, booking an appointment for the early diagnosis of a pathology requires an effort, including that of overcoming a considerable psychological barrier, because facing the idea of an illness isn’t all that pleasant.
As illustrated in a previous post, the relevance of a message increases if it is put in the right place, and aimed at the right person, at the right time. Where is the right place to spread a message concerning the prevention of illnesses?
The right place: of course, this can be the waiting room in a hospital or medical practice. These are the advisable locations as the person who is there, either as a patient or visitor, is affected by the subject of health and illness (his/hers or someone else’s).
The right person: as we have seen in the examples of social, TV and press campaigns, messages are put out there without being able to identify a specific demographic target. An already consolidated medical doctrine suggests certain age and gender categories for which it is advisable to undergo periodical testing for the early diagnosis of specific pathologies.
In other words, let’s go back to the example of breast cancer (although this example can apply to dozens of illnesses). Being able to target women with this message, and not to men, improves the targeting level by 100% as opposed to a random message distribution. The National Centre for the Monitoring of Screening recommends periodical mammograms starting from 50 years of age.
Before the age of 50, periodically check one’s breasts through palpation is advisable. Hypothesising four age categories and identifying the correct category allows to further improve the target by 400% as opposed to random messaging.
The right moment: As we saw in the example of the viral Facebook campaign, sharing a status or clicking ‘like’ is much easier than deciding to turn to a doctor or go to a hospital for a check-up. But if these people are already in a hospital or medical practice, resistance to taking action will be lower and if the right message reaches the right target, maybe the A.I.D.A. acronym will be complete with the desire (“D”) of health and the action (“A”) of booking an appointment.
In this case, a Digital Signage platform with a face detection module allows to send messages which are suited to the target. Thanks to the possibility of interacting through QR codes or touchscreens, people will be able to immediately book an appointment through the integrated CRM. Thanks to an easy way-finding screen, it will be possible to show how to reach the medical practice where the appointment has been booked.
Let’s talk about money!
Even medical centres need to be careful with money and have to come to terms with a limited budget. In the case of Digital Signage commercial applications with targeted messages, immediate return can be seen through an increase in sales.
In the case of medical applications, the return on investment concerns two aspects:
- the human aspect: diagnosing and treating an illness in its initial stages allows to reduce the patient and his/her family’s suffering and also to increase the chance of recovery and return to a normal life. On the contrary, a pathology detected in its later stages implies serious pain for the patient and his/her family. Saving even one life would be an immeasurable moral success.
- the financial aspect: by analysing only the financial aspect, it can be observed that diagnosing and treating a pathology in its early stage entails paltry costs as opposed to a late diagnosis. One chemotherapy cycle costs thousands of Euros, without considering the cost of complex surgery, hospitalization, social security, loss of ability to work, etc.
If we hypothesise an improvement of even a small percentage as to early diagnosis, hundreds of millions of Euros could be saved every year and could then be profitably invested in order to offer a better health service to the community.
Spaces in the medical sector are characterized by a high potential of interaction between users and health facilities, which are constantly called upon to offer a focused and dynamic communicative experience, in particular in their waiting rooms, hallways and between different complexes.
New information and communication technology, if adequately organized in an interoperable model which interacts with the company information system significantly improves the users’ interaction experience when accessing services.
Giving more effective information, offering interaction opportunities through devices and on site sensors, collecting data and proposing multichannel dynamic communication models also through mobile applications is a challenge with notable social implications and tangible benefits, as it appeals to increasingly technologically advanced users and is predisposed to interact with IT and telecommunications systems.