Today, patients who have been diagnosed with cancer undergo multiple X-rays, CT scans, MRIs and PET scans. Often they are performed at different hospitals and at different stages of a patient’s care and are not coordinated.
But a start-up company in Atlanta is hoping to change that.
Velocity Medical has developed a digital platform that allows doctors to “stack” various types of medical images on top of one another to better treat cancer patients. By creating a “patient-fused map,” images from all these different imaging devices can be “fused” together digitally to help physicians make better decisions on how to treat patients now and in the future.
They also have created a digital library where hospitals can store medical images so that historical data on past patients can be used to help future patients, a solution referred to in the healthcare industry as population-based decision support.
I recently talked with Velocity Medical to learn more about their business and what they are doing to get the word out about their new technology.
Like most start-ups, they have an interesting story that grew out of discovering a better way of doing something.
“The founders came out of Emory and were frustrated that there wasn’t a way to integrate all these images to make better decisions,” said Joelle Fox, chief financial officer. “They saw a problem and thought, we can do this better. It’s about improving decision making and team collaboration for each patient.”
Velocity Medical’s customers are academic medical centers and hospitals throughout the country. But their technology uses complex algorithms, which often can be difficult to understand.
“We want the provider team to understand that it is difficult to solve complex patient cases without using a solution like Velocity,” said Anthony Waller, head of Product Marketing. “Our goal is to take our complex algorithms and present them to the care teams in the context of patient care.”
Velocity Medical understands that having a great product is not enough to get customers to buy it. Developing clear messages about what your product does, how it’s different from the competition and how it benefits your customer is critical to marketing and sales.
To market their product, Velocity uses white papers and case studies written by physicists to show the value proposition to their target market of physicians and physicists. The academic institutions will often use Velocity’s software to conduct their own research to evaluate which software tool works best for their patients. Promoting those studies through press releases, blogs and bylined articles is a great way to share successes with other academic medical centers.
Velocity Medical also sponsors luncheons and events at national trade conferences, including a recent “Cocktails and Case Studies” event during the American Society of Radiation Oncology. Leveraging these events in the trade press, white papers and blogs can further promote their solution.
For Velocity Medical, like most start-ups, budgeting for public relations is a concern. With limited dollars, companies sometimes are reluctant to allocate the necessary funds for an effective public relations and advertising program.
But how you advertise and promote your goods and services may make or break your business. Having a good product or service and not advertising and promoting it is like not having a business at all.
Many business owners operate under the mistaken concept that the business will promote itself, and channel money that should be used for public relations and advertising to other areas of the business. As any business plan will tell you, public relations and advertising, however, are the life line of a business and should be treated as such.
Velocity Medical’s Joelle Fox understands that. With more growth on the horizon, she expects the company to rev up its PR and marketing engine next year for continued success.
Tags: Alpine Communications, Alpine PR, American Society of Radiation Oncology, Anthony Waller, Blogging, Blogs, Cancer Patients, Case Studies, CT scan, Digital Marketing, Health IT, Joelle Fox, Marketing Campaign, media relations, Medical Imaging, MRI, Oncology, Patient Care, PET Scan, PR, PR plan, PR professional, public relations, Trade Press, Velocity Medical, Wendy Alpine, White Papers, X-ray