Building trust, by G42 Healthcare’s Faheem Ahamed

As the world has started asking more questions, transparency is key to a new model of healthcare marketing, writes Faheem Ahamed, acting group chief communications officer for G42.

It is no secret that the world has changed. The enduring impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has put the most resilient governments and healthcare systems to test. Global economies have felt the strain, and new strains of the virus are affecting businesses, the general public and youth around the world.

But, in this time of adversity, the global healthcare community came together like never before, bringing hope to people everywhere. Pharma giants, research institutions and medical scientists joined hands in the quest to develop a vaccine. Indeed, Covid-19 ushered in a new era in collaboration and became an unintended force for a medical revolution.

The UAE has been at the forefront of the battle against the pandemic, devoting its resources to saving human lives and contributing towards scientific and humanitarian efforts. In the UAE and globally, vaccine distribution is well underway and hospitalisation rates are decreasing. However, the threat of mutations and further waves of infection remains.

Bringing life back to some normalcy is the world’s priority, but the way that people interact with the world around them is changing, and human priorities and values are evolving. Organic opinions have found their collective voices, both online and offline, not just on public health, but on personal health choices, and are holding systems accountable. Add to that complexities of mis- and disinformation, which have contributed to chaos, panic, and delayed effectiveness in pandemic management.

Healthcare-related communications and engagement have had to evolve, and the disruptive approaches have led to positive change in the art and science of communications. In the new world order of transparency, trust has to be re-established and, in that, marketing engagements have to be more meaningful and relevant to establish trust based on motive, judgement and delivery.

The regional healthcare sector presents distinct communication opportunities. While fundamental medical marketing and communications principles are universal, the changing dynamics of the industry and audience expectations demand a new and highly nuanced approach.

At G42 Healthcare, our experience with the 4Humanity Clinical Trials, the world’s first inactivated vaccine trials and the first ever to be conducted across the Pan-Arab region, was successful in recruiting 43,000 volunteers who included 125 nationalities, as its marketing ethos remained true to following science.

The programme’s effort was to build awareness, educate the public and stakeholders on risk versus benefit and allow them to make their own choices. It was nuanced and tailored for all audiences with an omnichannel approach. The programme was consistent, sustained and deliberately kept simple. The purpose and mission of the programme was always at the core of the marketing communications, and the model was an example of public-private partnership and collaboration for ethical public health communication.

We at G42 Healthcare remain committed to advancements in the sector to transform healthcare from sick care to preventive, personalised healthcare. Our healthcare and life sciences business is rooted in supporting the health of future generations – from genomics, imaging and diagnostics to digitisation programs, manufacturing, and cutting-edge research backed by AI, big data, and health tech innovation.

Additionally, the Emirati Genome Programme is one example that will revolutionise healthcare management for future generations. The programme’s ambition is to create an advanced genomic healthcare system in the region, underpinned by the latest scientific advances, which ultimately will unlock the power of personalised care.

At the heart of this unique programme, which mirrors the UAE’s focus on future advancements across every sector, are robust marketing and communications efforts that seek to drive a nationwide call to action for all Emiratis to support and become part of this country’s evolving healthcare system that safeguards the health and wellbeing of all.

Success will be grounded in the ability to drive trust amongst the Emirati public to participate in the programme. Our marketing and communications efforts are centred on creating understanding around the importance of genomic medicine and personalised care with a deep focus on the impact and value such advancements will have on the UAE’s healthcare infrastructure transformation as the nation celebrates its 50th anniversary and sets its vision for the next 50.

The healthcare industry is perhaps the most exciting one to be in, and one of the toughest. Nevermore than now have better health outcomes been so desperately needed, in a world beset by challenges but where every single man, woman and child deserves the best health of their lives.

All the old truths we knew are being swept aside, as innovation ripples through the industry and reinvents the healthcare continuum from the bottom up. With this transformation comes the need to authentically communicate by committing ourselves to make a better, healthier future for everyone. Today we are creating a legacy for future generations through innovation,