Rudolf Mezei managing director, Promecom – Medistance
“Genuine communication is inevitable in case of such a great value as health.”
Healthcare is one of the most problematic but also the most beautiful field of brand management. Problematic because its operation conditions are complex and services require special tools. Beautiful because health branding, the branding of medical services and products is a relatively new trend throughout the World. We haven’t really seen good examples in Hungary, yet. Why did you undertake the branding a medical service – that bases on an innovation – and build a huge brand around it?
A company with technological aims that only deals with instruments or the marketing and distribution of these instruments have already outgrown this story in its thinking and culture. Due to these changes; the whole company worth more. We see the provision of constant care or monitoring - that is desired by us and our clients - as a demand of the market, of ourselves and of those communities whom we are in contact.
Finding solutions to real problems and demands is the key element of brand management. Consumers and customers might not recognize the real demand. Medical services overcome huge issues but our society, including me; only notice the constant fear and lack of time. Somehow, communication took a wrong turn somewhere.
Indeed. The term ‘health’ recalls illness. Moreover, we don’t have a proper expression to a ’healthy person’. If we visit a doctor, we instantly become a patient even if we only go in for a screening or a health check and we feel completely fine. Present days’ healthcare lacks the definition of a healthy attitude; maintaining a healthy lifestyle, caring about our health condition and monitor it constantly with regular health-condition checks. This is about to change. Our mission, our quality service is the one that provides constant and continuous health condition monitoring, home checks and that also creates community care with informing both the healthy and the unhealthy.
You talk about community, it is very important. When I say community I think about social media and Facebook, but the real social life doesn’t root in social media.
Health is a value that has to be treated in its place by everyone including the young and the old. If a kid is born completely healthy he/she will take his health evidently. Us, adults, also do not really act on the preservation and care of our health. I talk about building a community around healthcare that includes not just professionals like doctors, pharmacists, therapists but family members as well.
Medistance is a relatively new, innovative tool and complex system. How could you make such a system likeable and acceptable?
This instrument is well-known in every household since years. You can find a blood-pressure monitor in one and a half million family in Hungary. These tools operate and exist among us. Connecting a service to these instruments is complex in its technology but still what matters is its simplicity. With just one button, anyone can send his health condition data to professionals whose feedback can start the real healthcare process. It is not really the complex technology what makes the difference, but the community that participates. Everyone analyses the same quality data with the same regularity and everyone gets guidance or alarm at the proper moment. Hence, it is easy to use, home-compatible and available for anyone.
You stepped on the stony path of brand marketing. Why did you think the market needs that strong type of brand presence? You obviously have employees, consumers and partners.
Luckily, our partners also constructing heavily from brand aspect. The base of our job, current actions and future plans are the attributes permanency, quality and sincerity. Sincerity is, mostly, what characterizes our partners’ know-how, knowledge and network. I think in case of such a value as health, a valid brand and a valid communication in connection with that brand is inevitable. The complexity of this requires the inclusion of professionals and their advices. Brand marketing is a long-term process but we believe that this attribute of the company is necessary in order to remain competitive both in Hungary and abroad.
Although Medistance has created a relatively new category, healthcare is a highly competitive market. I don’t say that this field is rich in adventurers but most of the present representative companies communicate quite vaguely. What is your opinion about that? Are they rivals, competitors or something other?
Every entrepreneur has their own point of view. Our message is that, in our belief, good health is an inevitable attribute of a happy life. Complete mental and physical health. This healthcare concept is new in a sense that the service includes a series of measurements, not just ad hoc ones. Personalized target values can easily be managed this way.
Self-care is a strong trend throughout the World excluding Hungary. Besides financial investments I also mean savings and constant care. We can state that a complex tool wasn’t available before Medistance system and services. Basically, you democratize this part of healthcare, the possibility of self-care and constant monitoring. You make it simple and available.
The essence of this caring system is that participants, a family member or a professional team constantly get valid information about the health condition of their far-living relative or patient. This can be carried out at home while family members still have the possibility of communication and consultation before making the final decisions. Not to mention the professionals whose worries are the same as everyone else’s. You can never know if your relatives or parents got up with exuberant health or a not so exuberant one. Our system makes this possible in a valid way.
You have just reached this level. To what do you owe this success? To the social changes or technological developments or to the fact that mobile communication now can be used not just for sending text messages but also for daily tasks even in Hungary? Now we are talking about Hungary but I don’t know about any other system in the World with this strong validity.
The system just became capable for that. It’s not the right word but I would say it can be mass-produced.
Just like I said, it can be democratized.
We managed to provide a caring program with services in an insurance system that is a certified quality-assurance system. Technological components operate steadily on a high level and educational developments enable the caring system to get around easily even on a professional level. Technological components and professional recognition are combined.
At the end we have to simplify the message and give room for our emotions even if it is painful to talk about healthcare.
Indeed. With the advantage that our system provides, our customers can monitor their health condition and therapy from home with constant feedbacks. We simplified the whole time-consuming waiting at the clinic, unnecessary travelling and doctor-patient meeting process that often only took place for a blood-pressure measurement to just one click. Everything moves toward simplification and optimization.
The other popular field is sustainability, CSR. Firms and companies emphasize the various good activities they do. Here, it is really interesting. Your basic activity is great; healthcare serves humanity, the human resource part of sustainability. How do you think about sustainability, what activities you do apart from your basic one? The management’s whole operation is more important than a time-to-time donation.
At our company sustainability can take two directions. One is the usage of environmentally friendly technologies and materials. The system itself is economic; it cuts down the number of travels, has low energy consumption and doesn’t affect the environment. One part is environmental protection, the other is human resource sustainability; holding human resources on a sufficient level. We see that our caring system has a role in this process and the further decisions of company leaders will also point in this direction.
How can your staff adapt to this set of values? They are the first point of contact.
Our mission was to provide accurate and valid tools for measurements. In some cases we lent blood-pressure or blood-sugar monitors to make sure that the health-condition tracking was valid. From now on, this changes from casual patient-buyer-customer-professional contacts to a persistent one. The basic aim – validity – remains the same; it only becomes deeper, more continuous and intensive toward our partners and cooperating customers.
Hungarian innovations have always conquered the World. Can you step into the world-market with this particular brand, the Medistance? You have serious competitors in this field. At Apple, everybody focuses on health. How could you keep pace with this?
The first and one of the most important things is to find our place, the proper area where we can efficiently cooperate as a market operator. We have to do this both in abroad and Hungary as well. Obviously, we choose our partners carefully. They must be the most erudite and must have the greatest professional background in their field. We hope this brings international success in itself. This is certainly not easy to achieve and there are a lot of competitors but if we choose our partners wisely and give them a valuable know how they will be happy to present Medistance to foreign markets. They will do that in the area and in the cooperation system which fits the particular market the most. Our cooperation will jointly be productive.