Seven companies specializing in patient education and point-of-care media are banding together to form a trade group called the Point-of-Care Communications Council, or POC3 for short.

“The value provided by point-of-care channels is increasingly important to a wide variety of constituents in the market,” said Accent Health CEO Dan Stone, “to educate patients and improve healthcare outcomes. Since so much is changing in the market, and since we touch so many points in the system, we saw a benefit of coming together as an association to really help people better understand how to utilize the channels, which are being utilized more as access to the health system increases.”

Point-of-care marketing is a $500 million industry, the group estimates. Member companies include Catalina Health, HealthBridge, Health Media Network, Health Monitor Network, Patient Point and Time Inc.’s Targeted Media Health, along with Accent Health. Together they have a hundred years’ experience in the space between them, says Stone, and touch virtually every patient in the system.

They’ll host conferences, conduct research and issue white papers disseminating best practices – the bread and butter of trade associations. They’ll also try and establish standards of measurement for point-of-care marketing.

“One of the things we’re trying to achieve is to help set standardized measurements of investments in the point of care,” said PatientPoint CEO Tom McGuinness, “so that brands can compare in a very clear way investments they make in point-of-care versus investments in more traditional channels.”

The group holds its inaugural meeting June 12 in New York City.