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How To Write A Health Tech Press Release In A Pandemic

By Fraser Gillies 23 March, 2020

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Amid the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), there has been significant strain put on the global health tech industry.

With over 210,000 reported cases worldwide and 8,000 reported deaths, the European Union funding vehicle, the European Innovation Council (EIC), has freed an extra €164 million for research and development projects combating COVID-19.

As a result, health tech companies are quickly developing technology to combat the virus. Some companies have already made great strides: 

Machines designed by Vici Robotics are helping doctors treat COVID-19 patients without making physical contact. Meanwhile, VivaLNK’s wearable sensors are giving Shanghai clinics the tools to constantly monitor patient temperatures to curb infection rates. 

As governments ramp up efforts to contain COVID-19, competition between health tech companies has equally accelerated. Global media coverage of the pandemic has become saturated, meaning it’s now much more difficult for health tech companies with coronavirus solutions to gain exposure. 

Nonetheless, press releases are still one of the best channels to earn media coverage. For example, CureVac announced via press release on March 15 that it would be concentrating all resources on vaccinating people against COVID-19. The following day, the European Commission announced it had supported CureVac with €80 million in research and development funding.

Taking inspiration from these successful press releases, Publicize has put together a step-by-step guide to writing a health tech press release during COVID-19 pandemic.

Open with the key information

Your opening sentence should detail what, where, when, and who.

Take EarlySense’s announcement regarding their collaborative efforts with Sheba Medical Center to treat patients in a contact-free manner. EarlySense clearly shows who they are, what they’re doing, why they’re doing it, and how in its introduction. We’ve bolded the key information below:

‘WOBURN, MA – March 16, 2020 – EarlySense, the global leader in contact-free, continuous monitoring solutions for the healthcare continuum, announced today it is one of the strategic medical technologies being used by Israel’s Sheba Medical Center to help protect staff while  monitoring isolated patients suspected of coronavirus exposure.’

Remember, people are overloaded with information at the moment. Your health tech press release needs to immediately express what’s happening with your business to be swiftly processed by readers. 

State facts and stats relevant to the pandemic

Your readers need to contextualize your announcement. For example, say you’re a health tech company announcing that you’re increasing production on robots to assist doctors treating COVID-19 patients. Provide specific numbers around the quantity being produced, and the number of people this will directly impact. 

At the same time, not all readers of your press release will be health professionals. In your announcement, highlight statistics that compare your progress to the current state of the industry. People want to know how your announcement measures up against developments that have already taken place in the health tech sphere. 

Scanwell Health’s press release is a perfect example. Scanwell Health bolsters why it developed its at-home diagnostic app for COVID-19 with data from an in-depth study. We’ve bolded the stats below:

‘The clinical trial of the IgM and IgG rapid serology test for SARS-CoV-2 from five institutions in China demonstrated 87.3% sensitivity and 100% specificity when compared to traditional tests. Though the presence of IgM and IgG antibodies can take time to develop, antibody tests are especially helpful for tracking the spread of the virus as they also identify asymptomatic carriers (the World Health Organization reports that 80% of infections are mild or asymptomatic) and those who may have been previously infected.’

Use a neutral tone

During the outbreak, it can be easy to fall prey to emotive language. 

However, your press release should be professional and neutral for it to be taken seriously, and your company presented as an authority on the matter.

Simple tricks to avoid using emotive language include:

  • Not writing with modal verbs like should, would, might, ought to
  • Removing adverbs like ‘quickly finding solutions’ 
  • Writing in the active voice, not passive. For example: ‘Bob is producing 50,000 machine assistants to doctors’ not ‘50,000 machine assistants to doctors are being produced by Bob’ 
  • Limiting personal pronoun usage like I and we. Replace them with your company name or product

Orion Health’s press release flawlessly showcases use of neutral tone. Again, we’ve highlighted the key aspects: 

‘A globally available website, https://www.covidrisk.com/, has been developed to support the different clinical protocols that have been produced by countries and regions to support the unique aspects of their local health systems and the current progression of COVID-19 within their jurisdiction. This site provides a regionally configurable online symptom checker with a background calculation of patient risk based on a number of factors.’

Summing up

When writing a health tech press release in a pandemic these steps are simple yet effective. By opening with key information, stating facts to reinforce relevancy, and using a neutral tone, you show readers that your announcement is worth reading.

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