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Minnesota’s beacon of healthcare innovation beams at MANOVA Summit

Photo credit: @HealthFair11

One bright spot in this week’s rainy, dreary Minneapolis weather was the inaugural MANOVA Summit, a global conference on the future of health from Minnesota’s Medical Alley that assembled thought leaders from all corners of the state, nation and globe to discuss emerging trends, processes, policies and theories that will help shape healthcare for years to come.

The three-day summit, supremely coordinated by 2023 Partners and a host of sponsors, produced an all-star lineup of the most influential leaders and brands in healthcare today and featured a number of Minnesota’s own healthcare visionaries. Some of the most fascinating talks were given by:

  • Andy Slavitt – Acting Administrator for CMS (2015-2017); Board Chair & Founder, United States of Care
  • James Carville and Mary Matalin – Nationally renowned political commentators
  • Sam Kass – Former Senior White House Policy Advisor for Nutrition; Executive Director of Let’s Move! Campaign; Author
  • Arianna Huffington – Founder, The Huffington Post; Founder & CEO, Thrive Global; Author
  • Dan Buettner – Founder, Blue Zones, LLC

The strength of the summit’s content transcended the big-name keynotes. There were dozens of thought-provoking sessions delivered by executives from Johnson & Johnson, Walmart, Verizon, Mayo Clinic, 3M, Allina, Bind, HealthPartners, UnitedHealthcare, Facebook, RAND Corporation, University of Minnesota, and IBM Watson Health—among many others.

The unifying theme among them? Disruption.

Here are our top takeaways:

  • Health for everyone; equally: Mission-driven innovation that improves the health of our most vulnerable communities is what the healthcare industry needs most right now. But understand this isn’t just about access to care when people are sick. It’s about prevention. From access to healthier food choices to increasing socialization to removing bias and increasing tolerance in this world, all stakeholders must focus on innovation that gives everyone equal support and opportunity to stay healthier and live longer.
  • Consumerization of care: The escalating shift to consumer-driven healthcare is lighting a fire under a wide range of non-health brands to enter the healthcare sphere to bring down costs and improve access to care. At Inprela, we specialize in serving healthcare brands, but I guess we should say healthcare stories. Because it’s becoming increasingly clear that there probably isn’t an industry out there that couldn’t add value to improving health. So, keep an open mind: healthcare innovation will flourish if the industry embraces new, creative approaches to improving healthcare.
  • The important role of big data and AI: We’ve amassed a wealth of data that, if harnessed and understood, can accelerate our ability to improve care. Predictive medicine. Customized treatments. Reduced errors. The list goes on. MANOVA thought leaders remind us that data can do the most good if we increase our collective access to it and develop a shared language. We’re better together.

What is the takeaway for brand managers? MANOVA highlighted that storytelling with intention matters to the future of healthcare. Take time to understand the needs of the broadest community your brand has the potential to serve and customize your strategy and message accordingly. Devote a significant percentage of your marketing effort on educational efforts that deliver value to the stakeholders you serve. Focus on purpose. Revenue will follow.

It’s clear we all have a lot of work to do. But the future of health is incredibly bright if we channel our innovation in the right direction.

Well done, MANOVA. See you next year.

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