Skip to content

Trade press emerges as top choice for health tech decision makers

Health and social care professionals involved in health tech decisions revealed a clear preference for staying ahead of industry developments through trade publications, a new survey has found.

The Big Health Tech Communications Survey, conducted by Silver Buck, unveiled that a resounding 64% of respondents favour trade press as their primary channel for information, with 91% of those comprising influencers and policy makers.

Health tech leaders disregard national press

The survey found that although over half of professionals also use NHS bulletins (52%) and b2b social media platforms (42%) for health tech and product updates, trade press such as Digital Health and Health Service Journal were the most used channels to the keep them informed. National press was the least preferred channel.

The survey, which set out to identify how communications between suppliers and health and social care professionals could be improved, also found frustrations with the way that suppliers currently communicate with health tech decision makers and influencers.

NHS professionals need more valuable content from suppliers

Of the 50 respondents, a quarter said they wanted more valuable content from suppliers and a fifth said that they wanted suppliers to get to know them better, suggesting a potential for improved engagement strategies. Meanwhile policy makers and influencers said that their biggest challenge is knowing what to believe and the lack of high-quality content available.

Despite time constraints being a significant challenge for 40% of NHS professionals, the survey also identified that case studies were deemed the most valuable type of content when evaluating health tech products or services. Information from sessions at physical events, such as Digital Health Rewired and virtual events, closely followed, while podcasts lagged behind with only 10% acknowledging their value.

Trade press is the ‘cornerstone’ for information

Sarah Bruce, cofounder and director of Silver Buck said: “The survey underscores that, despite time constraints and a challenge to keep up with the pace of change, trade press remains the cornerstone for decision makers in the digital health and social care sector. However, it also highlights the pressing need for suppliers to deliver valuable, evidence-based content to facilitate informed procurement decisions and to get to know their stakeholders and their pain points in order to this.”

An earlier survey by Silver Buck that looked at supplier communications in the sector highlighted that health tech companies are largely seeing impact from their investments in events and social media.

Bruce added: “This supplier survey is reassuring given that NHS respondents considered these platforms as useful, however suppliers may be neglecting the pressing need to deliver valuable, evidence-based content to facilitate informed procurement decisions, as well as a need to keep at the forefront of the trade press.”

Despite B2C sectors more widely seeing an increase in newer platforms like podcasts and social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, health tech professionals continue to gravitate towards more traditional platforms for work purposes, with 92% of those asked claiming to use LinkedIn and 69% using X.

You can read the full report here

About the survey

The survey took place for two months between October 20th-Decemeber 20th 2023 and was taken by 50 participants within health and social care who had an interest in digital health/health tech. 75% of participants were senior NHS decision makers or worked within policy making units.