In 2002, Proctor & Gamble coined the term First Moment of Truth (FMOT) to describe the 3-7 seconds after a shopper first encounters a product on a store shelf; a transient moment in which a product can be sold by appealing to the shopper’s “senses, values and emotions.” The Second Moment of Truth occurs each time the purchaser uses the product, because every positive usage experience increases brand loyalty and enhances future sales. In 2011, Google introduced the business world to the Zero Moment of Truth (ZMOT), arguing that the widespread availability of internet searching had shifted the transient moment of sale to the precise moment when a shopper “has a need, intent or question they want answered online.” (Google, 2011). The concept reflects the fact that most of us no longer go into stores to make decisions about purchases. We search the internet, “educate” ourselves with reviews, then find the store that sells the product we want at the price that we want. We make our decisions to buy products based on what we read online at the moment that we have the need. In that digital moment, a company has only a fraction of a second online to sell us on their product. And it only takes one bad review or comment by one user that appears high enough on our search results for us to bother reading it, to turn us away from that product. These digital moments, which briefly digitally connect a business with a potential customer, represent transient opportunities to improve product sales, or transient risk to worsen them.
The Internet of Things has augmented the transient opportunity of the digital moment even further. Gartner describes the business moment as a “transient, customer moment that organizations can exploit dynamically based on the interconnection of many things.” In the value stream process of the business moment, business opportunities can be extended beyond the initial sale by capitalizing on the digital moment of engagement with the consumer.
Gartner uses this theory to explain how a paint sale can generate a sale for laundry detergent and other household products utilizing internet of things devices in a home (Gartner, 2015).
Thanks for the marketing lesson, but what does this have to do with healthcare?
Like the Moments of Truth, or Gartner’s business moments, a health moment exists as a transient opportunity to improve your health, or a transient risk to worsen it. Digital interactions aside, we experience these health moments many times each day. Should I have the french fries or the side salad? Should I exercise for 15 minutes or catch up on email? Should I take the stairs or the elevator? We consciously make a multitude of daily decisions that affect our health in some way, and there are many more opportunities that go unnoticed because we fail to recognize or act on them.
We live in a world of increasingly frequent digital moments of engagement that could be used to improve our health, or to improve how healthcare is delivered to us and how we experience it. The widespread availability of personal digital health products such as wireless blood pressure cuffs, cloud-based fitness trackers, and even internet-connected bathroom scales means that these digital health moments are becoming increasingly actionable. As healthcare providers and healthcare delivery organizations more fully embrace electronic health information systems, we will see increasing opportunities to create actionable digital health moments in healthcare delivery.
Capitalizing on digital health moments requires thinking outside the traditional healthcare delivery model. Tom Kaneshige gives the example of how a hospital’s television commercial can be used to reduce emergency department visits over time by identifying Twitter users that watched the commercial and targeting them with educational health promotions, capitalizing on the digital health moment that transiently existed when those higher risk individuals watched the commercial (Kaneshige, 2014).
The smart hospital operationalizes digital health moments by connecting patients, healthcare providers, health information systems and medical devices through the Internet of Healthcare Things, providing “just-in-time” information and intelligent healthcare process automation that create a personalized patient and provider experience. Consider the moment that you arrive at the hospital for a scheduled follow-up in the fracture clinic. Your hospital wayfinding app directs you to the closest empty parking spot. The clinic is instantly notified of your arrival, but they are running late, so why don’t you grab a coffee in one of several convenient locations (directions provided). You won’t need to register since you already used the online advanced check-in feature. The radiology department was also notified that you were in the building, and they have a cancellation, do you have time now to get that follow-up ultrasound schedule for next week? Don’t worry, the fracture clinic will automatically shift your appointment time to accommodate both. Come to think of it, you are due for routine bloodwork later this week before seeing your family doctor. Want it done in the hospital lab? By the time you have completed your appointments at the hospital, your family doctor’s office has received notification of the bloodwork results, and has posted a copy to your secure patient portal with comments from your doctor “Looks good, enjoy the rest of your day!” One digital health moment triggering multiple semi-autonomous “smart” processes, resulting in a number of opportunities to improve your health, and improve your healthcare delivery experience.
Going with the french fries? A quick view of your most recent cholesterol profile flashes on your smart watch, along with a reminder to book a follow-up appointment with your family doctor. Maybe I’ll have the salad instead
Spender, A (Gartner, 2015). The Rise of the Business Moment. Available at http://www.gartner.com/smarterwithgartner/the-rise-of-the-business-moment/ Accessed July 2015.
Lecinski, H (Google, 2011). ZMOT: Winning the Zero Moment of Truth. Available at https://ssl.gstatic.com/think/docs/2011-winning-zmot-ebook_research-studies.pdf Accessed July 2015.
Lafley, AG (P&G, 2002). P&G 2002 Annual Report. Available at http://www.pg.com/annualreports/2002/pdf/pg_ar2002.pdf Accessed July 2015.
Kaneshige, T (Kaneshige, 2014). CMOs Must Capitalize on Digital Moments of Engagement. Available at http://www.cio.com/article/2848464/cmo-role/cmos-must-capitalize-on-digital-moments-of-engagement.html Accessed July 2015.