The Power of Creativity, Technology and Healthcare: Observations from Day 1 of Lions Health

June 20, 2015


Break boundaries and create exceptional work that saves lives. That is the challenge that Lions Health festival gave over 900 delegates during day one of the second Cannes Lions Health Festival. Throughout the first day, a central theme was clear: There has never been a better time to make a difference. We must embrace the incredible advancements in science and technology to make a positive impact in the lives of patients. The 1,862 submissions this year, a 30% increase over last year, prove the industry is eager to showcase their work in the most complex space to be creative: healthcare.

Believe it or not, it has only been eight years since the launch of the first iPhone and in that brief amount of time we have seen a meteoric growth in technology. The way we capture, collect and analyze data continues to evolve. These advancements combined with creative communication tactics are having a tremendous impact on how we educate and share health information to create behavior change. The potential for connectivity between smart phones, sensors and wearable technology opens the doors to new possibilities in healthcare communications.

While the power of social can’t be denied, let’s not lose the personal connections, the human element. The Internet may be replacing doctors for the first or second opinion, but we cannot neglect the important role that the real, not virtual, physicians play in healthcare and the feelings of patients that should guide our efforts. Harness the power of technology, powerful design and creativity, but the focus of our efforts must remain on the patient – their needs, their voices, and their well-being. Believe passionately in the power of creativity and don’t ignore the dynamic interplay that is underway. Embrace it, but keep the patient at the center. That is the challenge before us each and every day.

As to not to omit the amazing work on display here, I will end with some examples. And yes, perhaps the sun and sea air of Cannes has impacted the choice here but I can’t resist. The sun is great, but too much is not good for your skin. Of the roughly 260 shortlisted campaigns, three included a similar challenge:  How do we raise awareness, educate and change behavior around healthy skin?  Answer:  A giant frying pan, a doll and tattoo artists. Confused?  Check out the Lions Health website to learn more about these brilliant campaigns that showcase how creative communications can produce powerful results and change behavior.

Creative bravery.  Just like sunscreen, apply and reapply after repeated exposure to sunlight, regulatory and legal review.