Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Health Value Messaging - The Single Sentence Statement

The focus on health care value is a powerful organizing principle, but communicating this concept in an elevator pitch is challenging

The Healthcare X PRIZE continues to build momentum as we receive a steady stream of inquiries regarding this $10MM competition. While many of the inquiries are regarding timing, application, and registration process, we have also been receiving a number of high quality request for information from technology companies, academic organizations, and communities who are interested to understand how they can participate. In fact, the most passionate inquiries seem to come from community based organizations who have a clear vision of how the community can be architected to function as a single entity that maximizes health value. It is great to see how the X PRIZE can inspire this type of thinking.

However, we have received some feedback that the health value story is a little difficult to grasp. Admittedly, it feels like it takes two or three sentences to explain what we mean by health value, how community health is related to that, and how individuals are connected to and influence the community. This is in contrast to the single statements of other prizes that immediately evoke a powerful and clear notions of what is the prize is about. As an example of the single sentence statements that create a singular focus:
  • Ansari X PRIZE: "100Km, twice in two weeks, with three person payload"
  • Archon Genomics X PRIZE: "100 genomes in 10 days"
  • Google Lunar X PRIZE: "Land a rover, motate 500m, send back high definition images"
These are all clear and compelling; single statements that can be pitched in an elevator and understood by a child. They also represent significant scientific and technical breakthroughs that are understood and can be systematically worked through.

However, the Healthcare X PRIZE is a different animal. It is actually a prize designed to change a system (and a very complex one at that). With approximately 20% of the GDP involved in the industry we are trying to reform, it is worthy of an X PRIZE type effort although many believe we are pushing the boundaries of the X PRIZE framework in designing a systemic prize versus something more confined, constrained, and ultimately more conservative.

But it is a challenge we are willing to take on. We believe that health value is the right organizing principle, but perhaps we communicate the same message in a different way that drives home the point in a more singular fashion. Perhaps we need to focus more on the "healthy community" aspect (using the health value measurement framework), ala the huge success we are seeing with initiatives like Shape Up Rhode Island. Perhaps we need to shift to focus on a leading indicator condition like the Heart of New Ulm (which to impact would still require the systemic changes we seek). Or, perhaps, we just need to keep preaching the Health Value story with direct outreach, clear examples, and compelling case studies.

We look forward to your feedback as we continue to evolve the messaging of the Healthcare X PRIZE. Given the potential impact of the prize to demonstrate that radical transformations within health care are possible, we look forward to developing the most compelling single sentence statement.

Would love to get your feedback.
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