Boomer stay young at heart!

Although Millennials have been on the minds of marketers, they shouldn't forget about seniors.  In fact, at the Adele concert last month in Boston, I couldn't help but see all the parents there with their families and adult children. 

Baby Boomers still represent a large segment of the American population and significant spending power. In 2015, the 75 million U.S. Baby Boomers represented 39% of total income dollars and 34% of net worth.

Although they are aging, this generation intends to remain young at heart! This infographic looks at their approach to longevity and how it's creating marketing opportunities for health and wellness brands.


Women as advocates and activists in health innovation today


It couldn’t be more compelling than in the health care space where big pharma, medical devices & diagnostics, insurance companies and hospitals influence your health today, your retirement tomorrow, and a good portion of the nation’s GNP.

What's compelling is that the level of trust consumers have in your health brand or organization influences value. 

With women as THE health and health care influencers, marketers have a powerful ally to help a health or wellbeing brand connect with its audience in a way that builds trust and adds value.


The Game Has Changed


It’s well-known that women make or influence more than 85% all health and healthcare decisions, but, ironically, a recently published study in the Harvard Business Review described the new “female economy” as one that was larger than any bailout, but noted healthcare as one of six major industries that does a poor job of marketing “to” women.

As more women turn 50 than 30 and potentially enjoy thirty-plus years beyond “mid-life”, the $20 billion dollar women’s health market includes much more than oral contraceptives. Women have taken aging into their own hands and seeking out quality of life solutions that make 60 the new 40.

Demographic and psychographic changes in addition to the rapidly evolving 2.0 technologies of the Internet over the past few years have allowed women an enormous space to not only voice their opinions and emotions but to act on and share them immediately.

As Laura Zalaznick, President of NBC Universal opined “Women are no longer simply consumers.  They are moving from consumers to advisors, advocates, and activists.”

This means marketers and organizations must do more than use traditional “push” marketing to take their share of a whopping $800 million that working women in the US alone contribute to the US economy.

 How are your engaging with women in your healthcare practice?  Are you effectively marketing with them or just speaking TO them?

Key Success Factors for Any Digital Health Solution

  Healthcare is more than the prescription that's written and the pill you take.   Healthcare has gone digital.     

Healthcare is more than the prescription that's written and the pill you take.   Healthcare has gone digital. 


Healthcare is more than the prescription that's written and the pill you take.   Healthcare has gone digital. 

 Right now, we are on the cusp of a digital revolution in healthcare. In today's digital age, technology has altered virtually every aspect of our society and our daily lives. We shop online, we bank on our smartphones, we buy our cinema tickets on our tablets, and in fact it's hard to think of a service which has not been transformed by the internet. It was only a matter of time until healthcare underwent the same transformation that we have seen in other industries, and over the last year interest in health IT seems to have peaked among healthcare professionals, the technology industry and, of course, patients.

This is an excerpt from a blog post that originally appeared on the Health Advances Blog on June 6, 2016.

Health Advances convened a group of 32 thought leaders and executives from across healthcare sectors at MassBio’s offices in May 2016. At this event, participants highlighted critical success factors they believed were applicable to any digital health solution. Key takeaways included the following:

  1. Frictionless integration -- both system to system and system to person. Adoption of solutions critically require interoperability and the ability to exchange data with other proprietary systems in an ever-fragmenting workplace. Solutions also need to integrate well with current workflow and practices of their human users.

  2. Meaningful clinical and economic measures -- any solution’s value must align with improved outcomes, economic benefits or improvements to active care management.

  3. Preserve existing clinical relationships and encourage new relationship development -- solutions need to preserve and improve both patient-clinician relationships and the patient’s relationship with their data. In addition, clinicians and their training programs, will need to understand both how to use different types of data in clinical assessments and how to create better partnerships with community resources.

  4. Leverage existing infrastructure to support adoption -- encouraging uptake is key, and to be successful solutions need to take advantage of what is already in place to get themselves in the hands of as many patients as possible.

  5. Optimize data management to support ease of use -- huge data sets and analytical power are only useful when they can be translated into actionable guidance. Using solutions to better inform and guide patients and physicians with data will be key to demonstrating value and generating uptake.

Apart from these five key critical success factors, there are also a number of trends that would affect the development of digital health solutions. These include the reimbursement landscape, regulatory approval of digital solutions as non-traditional healthcare devices and the future role of big data and predictive biomarkers in diagnosing illness earlier and more accurately.

As we look to digital health solutions to increasingly play a role in treating and preventing disease, it is important that healthcare players consider how digital health innovations may complement their current offerings. With the digital health market still in its nascent stage, forward-thinking organizations that integrate a clear digital health strategy into their overall priorities now are sure to benefit in the long run as this market continues to rapidly mature.

MassBio is hosting a new Digital Health Forum series that will feature industry leaders, patients, providers and investors as they share their insights on the challenges and opportunities of digital healthcare.

3 Ways Health Advocacy Sparks Your Own Story

 The risk for breast cancer is one in eight over the lifetime of a woman. Dr. Susan Love wants to make sure we cure it, not stop at treatment. She is a physician and a patient living with acute myelogenous cancer.

The risk for breast cancer is one in eight over the lifetime of a woman. Dr. Susan Love wants to make sure we cure it, not stop at treatment. She is a physician and a patient living with acute myelogenous cancer.


Ready to amplify and spark the stories of women to improve health and advance life science?

Your diagnostic innovation or genetically-based molecule is based on scientific data but there's always a bigger story. It's the patient, the unmet need and the promise of improving millions of lives in a better way. (than your competitors).

One of the ways you can inspire action is to nurture women as the change agents they are. Ready to mobilize women for a dynamic women's health advocacy campaign?

What is health advocacy?

Health advocacy incorporates third party support, such as key opinion leaders, patients, patient advocacy groups, research and development executives, the media, and healthcare professionals - to raise awareness about a health condition that your innovation improves or cures.

Here's 3 ways health advocacy can spark your story:

 1. First, health advocacy, can inspire people in a way that "marketing" does not.  

Health advocates can launch campaigns for difficult to discuss conditions to fuel a movement.  The approach motivates patients, healthcare professionals and the media to "get on the bandwagon" and take action to support those coping with the condition or their caregivers. (that pretty much appeals to all of us, doesn't it?). 

The action can inspire investors and the media because they witness that there are people that suffer without treatment. You can directly connect with patients and their advocacy groups to build a compelling story supporting your innovation. 

2.  Second, when health advocacy is viewed as fundamental to your business' success, it's much more than a "publicity" effort.

Today business is built by the people it serves, so your patients should be integrated strategically into your early stage development efforts.  Their experience with the product and their interactions with your company will reflect your values, priorities and mission. Their story is your story, only better.  It is experience-based, not technology or data based, and connects emotionally with investors and the media.

3. Third, health advocacy contributes to building an outreach strategy for your story.  Health advocates include patients, and healthcare professionals...and they share information with the media, usually via social media such as twitter. While this is cause for caution for sure, you can also use early buy-in with your marketing or R&D team to learn how patients will use social media.  This may include twitter, instagram, Facebook and Linked In.

My interest in patient and health advocacy has inspired me to interview over 100 health advocates - with the goal of empowering women to be their own best health and wellness advocates. I would be delighted to share my coaching and consulting platform with you to spark your own story...and build your personal or business brand. 

Are you a women's health innovator interested in building a story? Join me in my mission to spark your own story and build brand value. 

I am interested in hearing from you!

Simply email me at Kelley Connors,



Digital Health Summer Series Starts June 21

 MassBio's Digital Health Summer Series Starts June 21st in Cambridge.  Find out how the State of Massachusetts  is partnering with academia and industry to accelerate digital health innovation. 

MassBio's Digital Health Summer Series Starts June 21st in Cambridge. Find out how the State of Massachusetts is partnering with academia and industry to accelerate digital health innovation. 

What does digital healthcare mean for life sciences industry professionals? How does it affect patients? Why has it become such a hot topic?

To address these questions and more, MassBio is hosting a new Forum series that will feature industry leaders, policymakers, patients, providers and investors as they share their insights on the challenges and opportunities of digital healthcare. This is Part 1 of our Digital Healthcare Forum Series.

 Digital healthcare is everywhere and has quickly revolutionized the industry by increasing access to diagnostic, treatment, and preventative care, and by dramatically reducing costs. This disruptive innovative technology impacts a range of stakeholders including patients, providers, drug manufacturers, payers and regulators. Fueled by advances in technology and the pressing need for improved patient and cost-effectiveness outcomes, digital health dominates today’s healthcare conversation.

The keynote speaker is a digital healthcare futurist who will define today’s landscape and set our sights on the future horizon. Open discussion will follow with our panel representing entrepreneur, investor, innovation and pharma perspectives.

 This Forum is open to nonmembers for a $35 fee.

Register here:

Here is a recent article in the Boston Globe describing the Fenway area as an incubator for digital hfealth. 


3 P's of Patient Engagement

 Dr. Danny Sands, Founder, Society for Participatory Medicine with E-Patient Dave DeBronkart (photo credit: Dr Danny Sands)

Dr. Danny Sands, Founder, Society for Participatory Medicine with E-Patient Dave DeBronkart (photo credit: Dr Danny Sands)

This was an article I published in Dorland Health June 2013.

Patient engagement is on the minds of healthcare leaders today who care about the Affordable Care Act and its driver, healthcare reform. While many healthcare leaders embrace the engagement as a concept, challenges loom large in an industry characterized by opposing financial incentives that have, heretofore, kept patients passive, and suffering from preventable and progressive conditions that lead to rising healthcare costs.

According to Susan Dentzer, former editor of Health Affairs, “Research shows that more informed and empowered patients, who participate with their providers in making wise care decisions, have better health outcomes – and there’s some evidence that they even have lower healthcare costs. And, if there were a blockbuster in this case, the “drug” is actually a concept – patient activation and engagement – that should have formed the heart of health care all along.”

While its timing as a critical success factor is unarguably late, it’s now the perfect storm as the ACA becomes law (unbeknownst to consumers) and our U.S. economy struggles under the weight of “sickness” and “pay for procedure” incentives that have made our healthcare system one of the most inefficient on the planet. Despite our high cost of care, including hospital readmissions rates, lack of primary care physicians, and unpaid and uninsured caregivers, we as Americans still expect a positive healthcare experience.

So, as we collectively move forward to a new world where patients are informed and empowered participants in healthcare, evaluate the “3 P’s” in the design and implementation of your patient engagement strategies: planning, partnerships and personalization.  Read more here...

What's Your EP?

Last week I participated in a new online digital platform with leaders from the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.

 Many times when we’re in career or job transition,  we can use a quick tip, a shout of encouragement or a gentle reminder of our natural talents.  You are already enough!

I wrote this post to bring more awareness to your natural ability to exude EP.

 It’s not EQ, its EP. It’s one of those leadership qualities you can’t define but you know it when you see it. It can be a highly nuanced communication style, subtle and refined or it can be charismatic, visionary and colorful.

 It’s called executive presence.

 Here’s the thing: nobody is born with executive presence and we know hard work is certainly key to succeed. But you can — and should  - cultivate a top-notch professional image to get ahead in your career.

 You need excellent verbal and nonverbal communications skills to exhibit EP according to Julie Kelly, VP, Client Strategy/Account Management at TeleRx, who recently led an online panel with the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association.

Communication skills create perceptions, and perceptions influence how others feel about you as a leader. Your leadership and EP is just as much about bringing others along, and communicating in a way that is clear and concise so others feel your confidence and will follow you.   The more you move up in an organization, the more these abilities will be in the spotlight.

Based on a nationwide survey of college graduates working across a range of sectors and occupations, Sylvia Hewlett, author of EP, and the Center for Talent Innovation discovered that EP is indeed a dynamic, cohesive mix of skills. Beyond excellent communication skills, appearance, and gravitas matter. While these elements are not equal, to have true EP, you must know how to use all of them to your advantage.

 Appearance includes not just clothing, but self-awareness in understanding how we appear to others. For example, someone with EP walks with a relaxed confidence, standing tall, shoulders back. All of their nonverbal cues say, “I got this. Everything is good on my watch. And, there’s nothing I would rather do”.

Aspects of gravitas include confidence and grace under fire, decisiveness, integrity, emotional intelligence, reputation, and vision/charisma.

Executives who have a strong executive presence also show initiative. Leaders don’t wait for someone to tell them what to do: When they see something needs to get done, they do it or figure out a plan for getting it done.

 What should you do to embody presence as a leader? According to Amy Cuddy, author of Presence, it’s our ability to be self-aware that guides us. As she explains it, we don't need to embark on a grand spiritual quest or complete an inner transformation to harness the power of presence. Instead, we need to nudge ourselves, moment by moment, by tweaking our body language, behavior, and mind-set in our day-to-day lives. Now when is the last time you gave a yourself a nudge to focus on your presence?

Telling Your Brand Story with Passion

Are you in love with "your baby"? If you've ever thought that your product was a beautiful baby your'e not alone, but your love can get in the way of an effective, and persuasive pitch to your stakeholders or investors or the media.

Many inventors, and innovators can become attached to their game-changing product or service because they've been on the front lines working with R&D or scientists on the innovation. A strong attachment can sometimes play havoc with connecting to the audience. And connection to the audience is key in telling your brand story.

The key to connection is a common "buzz word" that is often misused. It's authenticity. Specifically, authenticity is believing with your whole body, head an  heart what you say. Belief with a capital "B".  It's simply walking the talk so that your audience can connect with you on a personal level.  They believe YOU.

So, how does this relate to bringing passion into a brand story - it's your baby and you know this is a game-changer for health care. How do you actually bring the right amount of passion into your selling presentation while staying authentic?  

First, passion can be exuded quite effectively with a story that begins by bringing in a personal anecdote, one that can be emotionally moving.  This story should be related or aligned with your product development that is personal, and connects you to your vulnerability as a change-maker. 

Who can you learn from in this area? Passionate patient advocates can tell a great story, and I can recommend the work of Regina Holliday, patient advocate and artist.  Brene Brown talks quite a bit about vulnerability in her TEDTalks from an innovation and leadership perspective.   

Health innovators are in the business of improving human lives, and innovation is key. You undoubtedly have the story already that will come across inspiring and motivating to your audience. Tap into your own personal story in a way that is authentic and brings out your true beliefs in a powerful way.