Innovation Leadership: A Shingle Idea That Led To Much More

Close up of couple checking pulses with heart rate app on cell phones

A new concept in solar energy efficiency has recently come into existence, but it doesn’t seem to have made very much noise. (Perhaps the din of the media during election time squelched the chatter a bit.) When Elon Musk takes the stage, it is usually on behalf of SpaceX or Tesla, but recently he announced a new product on behalf of another company in which he plays a role in as chairman: SolarCity. The concept includes a series of new glass roofing tiles, each including a solar cell that ties into an array. This is no ordinary glass; the substrate is as strong as steel and, at a glance, looks pretty much like a traditional asphalt, slate or terra cotta roof.

The sleek, modern design makes a solar roof much more appealing than the familiar huge, monolithic, rectangular modules mounted over your current roof.  But the thinking that Musk and his teams are bringing to this concept runs much deeper than the shingles. They are seeking home and personal transportation autonomy for energy consumption, thereby creating the potential to move further and further away from the grid. The triad they are pursuing employs attractive solar roofing to feed a Tesla Powerwall home battery that can, in turn, provide both homes and electric cars with the energy they require.

Understand Your Audience and How They Will Choose to Engage With You

This confluence of factors is driving companies like Tesla and SolarCity to quickly advance the possibilities in areas of the energy ecosystem. It is also why we see quantum leaps in connected living each and every day from other companies like Amazon, as they apply predictive purchase models and connect Echo not only to your purchasing requests, but to the creature comforts within your home. Even an old-guard tech company like Microsoft just blew us all away with the innovative new Surface Studio. Like Tesla and Amazon, they are viewing their end users’ needs as holistically as possible and are bringing a similar “single system” mentality to the overall experience.

In the realm of health, we can leverage such models to innovate on behalf of patients, caregivers and healthcare professionals. For example, CRM used to equate to email communications just a few years ago.  But now that email has become a commodity while CRM has become an industry unto itself, we need to reimagine CRM in ways that connect with our audience consistent with the ways they are consuming information on mobile devices. Further, we need to figure out helpful ways for our innovations to appear in a world of AI and bots. There is a huge opportunity to embed content in the more ubiquitous and hands-free experiences people are encountering in their cars, homes and workplaces.

All of the above begs the question: how might we begin such thinking by first not only envisioning a website that is mobile-first, but content-enabled at the same time? The answer: by creating clear pathways for specific user profiles.

Intelligent Coupling Will Build the Next Generation of Value Exchange

Much of our day in health care marketing is spent collaborating with our clients on content that will be expressed in the form of online advertising, websites, email and offline touch points – as consumers are slowly migrating away from any number of these means of communication.

Daily scheduling, fitness, meditation and rest cycles have devices communicating with one another like never before. With the onset of wrist wearables, stick-on sensors, smart clothing and even smart oral medications making it to the market, we in the health industry are exploring ways to get ahead of the curve to add value to patients and bring more data to the health care professionals caring for them.

Monitoring can certainly help with adherence, but there are so many more opportunities to assist in the patient/HCP relationship as a whole.  Putting aside privacy and security concerns for a moment, consolidating and coalescing the data could lead to huge strides in the reduction of comorbidities, for instance, as current behaviors along with predictive models could help the pair work together on an avoidance plan, all the while, monitoring that plan together.

Just as SolarCity conquered all the issues that might stand in the way of a homeowner adopting an energy triad solution, healthcare IT pros are working on data privacy and security as marketers are getting to the core of just how valuable the data/value exchange is for all parties.  Companies are even looking at how that secure data can be leveraged to help others in a similar situation get into a therapeutic stream earlier to find the relief they are seeking.

Admiring the Wider Issues Can Lead to a More Complete “System”

I believe we can observe innovative models from other industries and use them to adapt our own solutions and better serve our customers. The savings, convenience, curb-appeal and consolidation of the SolarCity concept make it a smart and scalable idea. That’s the type of thinking we can emulate. We can start by consolidating, producing, and procuring content and resources for our audiences in ways that we have not yet explored. And explore we must — for the sake of better health outcomes.  After all, in this industry, that truly is our charge.