Welcome. Part of Propeller’s mission and promise is to be at the forefront of digital. We consistently strive to bring innovation and creativity to our healthcare partners and their customers.

It is in this spirit that we curate a quarterly experience, strategically selecting the latest, most important digital marketing trends and tech innovations—and assess the impact each of these has in healthcare, and why it’s important for you to know, now.

Together, let’s be experts and so on the Pulse!

Q2 2022


T R E N D   # 1


The next big thing in tech

What is it

The metaverse is the anticipated future of the internet that provides users with a fluid, integrated digital world, incorporating virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and video experiences

The metaverse is a 3D model of the internet that will allow users to engage in a range of different activities in completely digital spaces, parallel to the physical world

It has the potential to disrupt and replace current models, from business travel and the future of work to gaming, health and fitness, entertainment, marketing, and education

While the metaverse is still very early in its development, it will be woven into marketing strategies and accelerate quickly

What it means for healthcare

The metaverse plans to revolutionize the healthcare space with promising technology that could lead to endless, more accessible possibilities, such as unlocking new potential in telehealth, virtual care, remote patient care and monitoring, and data-driven care

Creators and influencers will be integral to the success of the metaverse, and, thus, healthcare marketers can leverage them to help build relevant content and experiences

Partnerships with companies that are more native to the space can create credibility that will help brands get started in the metaverse. For example, Pfizer partnered with Grand Theft Auto to create vaccine checks throughout the video game

While the metaverse is still very much in the infancy stage, we predict it will influence these key areas in healthcare:

Medical Education & Surgical Training Students can train in a virtually identical 3D environment before moving on to humansScans superimposed in the surgeon’s field of vision directly over the patient’s body can create an x-ray vision environment

Patient CareVirtual 3D consultations with artificial intelligence (AI) “doctors,” via avatars, in digital worlds will serve to help with doctor-patient communication

Events & ConferencesA metaverse platform can provide real-time, interactive opportunities

Cassette’s “Virtual View” platform to build healthcare metaverse experiences

Cassette is an immersive technology studio leading the way in the metaverse by delivering VR, AR, and innovative web experiences. “Virtual View” is Cassette’s web-based platform that houses digital experiences in bespoke 3D environments. It’s a flexible collection of tools that can be adapted for a wide variety of healthcare uses, such as HCP training, conferences, device demonstrations, patient journeys, and lab or facility tours

T R E N D   # 2


The next big thing in data

What is it

NFTs (non-fungible tokens) are one-of-a-kind digital tokens that exist on blockchain. Blockchain is a system of recording information in a way that makes it difficult or impossible to change, hack, or cheat the system

NFTs are bought and sold online–the value is based entirely on what someone else is willing to pay for them

They are like physical collector’s items, only digital, representing real-world objects like art, music, games, and videos. Because each NFT is unique, they cannot be traded or exchanged at the same price

What it means for healthcare

We don’t know for sure what NFTs mean for the future of healthcare, but we do know pharma brands are already slowly incorporating them into their marketing strategy

Big health companies are already joining in on the NFT trend. For example, CVS Health applied for NFT and metaverse-related trademarks so they can establish an online store and create downloadable virtual goods ranging from prescription drugs to beauty and personal care products. CVS wants to transition some of its in-store health services, such as non-emergency medical treatment services, wellness programs, nutrition advisory services, and health lifestyle and nutrition counseling, to a virtual setting. The company will create its downloadable virtual goods using blockchain technology. Digital assets and collectibles will be sold as NFTs

We predict that NFTs will disrupt the digital healthcare landscape by giving patients unprecedented control over their medical records and owning digital healthcare data to possibly profit off of. With all this potential comes obvious risks as well. Appropriate controls would need to be in place to protect personal healthcare data and personal privacy

NFTs offer a new way to combine marketing and customer relationships, fostering genuine investment in brands. If someone buys an NFT, then they have ownership of it forever, unless they sell it. This can tie consumers to brands permanently in a way that didn’t previously exist

Movember campaign plays off of the NFT hypE

A new virtual product, Non-Fungible Testicles, entered the metaverse as an inventive way to remind men to check themselves regularly for signs of testicular cancer:

The campaign comes from men’s health organization Movember, with agency MRM New York, and features NFT designs from streetwear company Mishka NYC. They launched a collection of spherical character pets for purchase

Once purchased, the goal is to get people in the habit of regularly checking in on their testicles (pets). More check-ups earn more unique traits for the NFT. If people start to neglect them, then they’ll lose the new features and prizes

Just like NFTs, these Non-Fungible Testicles are one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable

This campaign launched during Testicular Cancer Awareness Month, and all proceeds from the collection’s sales will benefit testicular cancer research initiatives

T R E N D   # 3


The next big thing in customer centricity

What is it

AI is technology that can imitate the human mind’s ability to learn and make informed decisions

When given the correct data, AI can make accurate predictions on who is most likely to buy your product and how to advertise to them

AI machines get smarter the more they are used, so they continually get better at their job

It can be used for targeted marketing, content marketing, identifying micro-influencers, and much more

AI can live in multiple formats, including chatbots, websites, banner ads, social posts, and audio

Its data will create a shift in marketing automation and agility—and support more personalized customer experiences

What it means for healthcare

AI allows for quicker and more accurate diagnosis, increased and streamlined drug discovery, virtual patient monitoring, and big patient data analysis, which all help to create a more personalized patient experience at lower costs

According to Insider Intelligence, 30% of healthcare costs are associated with administrative tasks. AI can automate these tasks, such as pre-authorizing insurance, following up on unpaid bills, and maintaining records, to ease the workload of HCPs and ultimately save them money

AI can recognize where customers are in their prescribing journey and how they are engaging with a drug, and adapt messaging accordingly to increase patient adherence. By gathering data from multiple AI sources across the healthcare ecosystem, HCPs and brands can monitor treatment efficiency and make more informed decisions throughout the patient journey

Wearable healthcare technology also uses AI to create a more personalized experience. For example, the Oura Ring can help customers and HCPs monitor daily health and initiate more productive conversations by having access to that near-real-time data

With the increased data available from AI, it is important to take steps to regulate it. An FDA AI Guidance plan has been created to focus on a patient-centered approach and improved machine‑learning algorithms. Once we have a better picture of the role FDA-approved AI plays in healthcare, regulation will soon follow

Google Health expands AI capabilities to organize patient data with Care Studio

Care Studio is an electronic health record search tool that pulls electronic patient health records into an interface to help clinicians more easily find useful information

There are many challenges to getting a holistic summary of a patient’s medical history, which can be frustrating to both HCPs and patients. These challenges stem from unstructured notes, data silos, and little to no organization. They use different abbreviations or acronyms depending on their personal preference, which health system they’re a part of, their region, etc.

With this latest feature, Google Health applied AI to understand medical concepts from notes that may be written in incomplete sentences, shorthand, or with misspelled words. Using natural language processing, the technology can add context for a condition that is mentioned and map these concepts to a vocabulary of tens of thousands of medical conditions

With these new resources that AI provides, a clinician can quickly understand a new patient’s medical history, allowing more time to be focused on diagnosis and treatment, and ultimately allowing the HCP to provide a more customer-centric experience

T R E N D   # 4


The next big thing in platforms

What is it

Reddit is a multifaceted social platform known colloquially as the “front page of the internet” that has seen consistent growth in the past few years Daily active users (DAU) increased 44% from 2020 to 2021, seeing 52 million DAUFrom 2019 to 2020, Reddit saw a ~19% increase in comments across all subreddits

Its wide-ranging communities allow users to anonymously dive into their interests, hobbies, and passions in ways not seen on channels like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter

People look to Reddit for trusted product and brand recommendations, where they can take a much more active role in obtaining information compared to more passive behavior on other platforms

Reddit is currently making inroads to allow users to essentially own portions of the on-site communities with cryptocurrency–allowing owners to have more control over them

What it means for healthcare

Reddit’s health-related conversations don’t just come from patients–there are more than 14 million HCPs on the platform driving more than 22 million monthly page views on provider-specific subreddits such as r/medicine and r/askdocsThese forums provide marketers with boundless discussions to supplement traditional research through social listeningSocial listening conducted on Reddit taps into these unfiltered conversations, revealing attitudes and behaviors directly from the end user

Beyond social listening, Reddit has untapped potential in the healthcare space through impactful ad products (such as promoted posts and videos, trending and category takeovers, and new products in beta), yielding stronger results over other platforms

Compared to select platforms*, Reddit ads:Were 47% more relevant to the userWere 16% more likely to influence the user to research more about the brand/productDrove 50% more brand trust and affinity

*Platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Pinterest, Snap

Biopharmaceutical company hosts an HCP-led Reddit thread for World Hemophilia Day

Catalyst Biosciences hosted an Ask Me Anything (AMA) thread for World Hemophilia Day featuring 2 HCPs fielding users’ questions on hemophilia and bleeding disorders

An AMA is a preplanned forum where experts on a subject (hosted by an individual or a brand) answer questions

Dr. Steven Pipe and Dr. Howard Levy answered community questions directly and in real time, allowing for a more authentic discussion than traditional social content such as in-feed posts

The activation resulted in 34 comments, all focused on the discussion at hand and compliant, as Reddit maintains a robust discussion moderation system to ensure optimal end-user engagement

T R E N D   # 5


The next big thing in video

What is it

YouTube is an online video sharing service where users can create their own profile, upload videos, and watch, like, and comment on other videos

YouTube continues to generate greater attention across the demographic spectrum as it tries to position itself as a major competitor to traditional TV for media buyers

YouTube is making a comeback by elevating user experience, staying competitive with other social platforms, and incorporating influencers to enhance credibility and reliability

What it means for healthcare

YouTube has often-evolving capabilities that healthcare marketers can take advantage of:

Improvements to YouTube Shorts: Short-form videos (think TikTok and Instagram) that are 60 seconds or less and believed to be the future of video content, so marketers need to diversify their video content to reach a wider audience

Influencers: YouTube has its own influencers, and healthcare can harness their following and expertise by partnering with them to expand their brand’s reach and messaging

Media placements: Ad spots such as in-stream, in‑feed video, and pre-roll are becoming even more targeted, ensuring brands can reach their ideal audience

Collaborative live-streaming: In real time or pre‑recorded live-streaming can increase virtual healthcare trainings and conversations between patients and HCPs

Immersive experiences: YouTube is starting to create experiences in the metaverse that could be an authentic way for marketers to introduce their brand into the space. For now, they are focusing on immersive gaming viewing experiences

New shopping capabilities: Shoppable videos will provide more engagement among viewers and increased product sales for over-the-counter products


When you think DOLs, you think Instagram or TikTok for execution channels—not likely YouTube. Physician influencers are creating their own identity on the platform, opening up the opportunity to bring relevant conversation to where HCPs are already consuming content

Paving the way in the healthcare space, physician influencers are getting recognition on YouTube for educating, entertaining, and demystifying medicine on a daily basis. The videos are so popular because they are well⁠‑rounded, combining medical and science expertise with familiar, everyday topics

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