The Brave New World of Healthcare – A Conversation with Tom Hileman

By: Lea Titas  | 05/01/2019

As the healthcare industry continues to move from episodic sick care (think treatments for cancer, heart conditions, etc.) to ongoing well care, healthcare marketers need to change their thinking. In this new age of consumerism, patients are empowered to make their own decisions when it comes to healthcare. Before, we were at the mercy of healthcare providers. Now, we are able to research conditions and treatments before even making an appointment.

It’s an interesting time to be a healthcare marketer indeed.

We sat down with our very own Tom Hileman to get his take on the topic and learn about his recent podcast with Touch Point Media.

So, how’d you get involved in this podcast?

Touch Point has about 10 or so podcasts. They like to take 15-20 minutes about a topic and then interview an “expert” (in this case, me). They thought our flywheel was an interesting concept and were also looking to do a follow-up podcast on other healthcare topics.

What is this “flywheel”?

It’s a concept we came up with to represent continuous patient engagement. We’ve been thinking about users going through a funnel – and we still use a funnel when thinking about metrics – but really, what we want to do is keep patients engaged throughout their entire lifecycle. This individual flywheel is about the engagement with that patient across a given point in time, whether it’s acquisition, activation, nurture or whatever. Find our flywheel concept here


Why a wheel?

The idea is that this is never-ending. It doesn’t start anywhere. You could start on acquisition (set up an appointment) and had never gone through a nurture. Or you could meet with a physician (encounter) and then go to follow-up. It’s not episodic in that you do 'x' and then you’re done.

More specifically, why a flywheel and not a funnel?

Funnels assume that when you pour stuff in, something falls out the bottom (a conversion). That’s not how we want to treat our patients. It’s a useful tool to measure conversions, but the flywheel is a more effective way to think about the patient journey.

Historically speaking, a flywheel is a big rock that spins. By nature, flywheels are often used to provide continuous power in places where the energy source is not continuous. It takes a lot of energy to get going, but once it gets going, it’s takes very little energy to keep it going. It’s pretty effortless. Flywheels inspire motion, inspire progress and inspire success.


You can listen to the podcast here.

Thanks Tom for your time!



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