The healthcare industry is at a turning point. Emerging tech-enabled solutions show promise in accelerating drug discovery, aiding in diagnosis, improving care, and lowering cost. This transformation is fueled by the joining of healthcare and tech, but progress can be stalled when these sectors collide.

Healthcare is slow moving, cautious, and highly regulated. By contrast, tech is fast-paced, disruptive, and teeming with risk-takers. To succeed, communicators must evaluate best practices from both. Here are six principles to guide a progressive health tech communications strategy.

Lead with an innovation narrative. Research shows healthcare brands consumers view as innovative are more likely to earn the love of their stakeholders and be defended in times of crisis.

Balance function with purpose. Healthcare is inherently purpose-driven. Tech tends to lead with functionality.

Embrace the speed of evolution. While tech moves at the speed of disruption, healthcare can move only as fast as regulation.

Reveal health tech’s emotional side. Healthcare is human care.

Be prepared to tell a connected story. Make sure it shows how your product or service fits into the health tech ecosystem.

Lean into proof over promise. Tech media often report on a company’s work in progress or vision for the future. Healthcare media require proof: peer-reviewed published research and third-party endorsements. Health tech companies need to be counseled about this difference and what it means for them.

Healthcare communicators have an opportunity to pause and take a fresh look at how communications in this industry needs to evolve. I predict that how we communicate today will look very different 10 years from now — as it should.

Stephanie Marchesi is president of the health sector and the Eastern region at WE Communications.