Several years ago Remedy Health, a digital health media company, launched a set of longform stories meant to help bring patients’ stories to life  —  complete with video, pictures, and animation as part of its Live Bold, Live Now platform.

Now the publisher is saying that brevity, too, can help grow audiences and create an emotional connection with patients.

Remedy Health recently launched two new initiatives — Memo to Me and The Big Picture — in a bid to foster engagement with patients in moments, rather than minutes, and appeal to those who don’t have time to consume a multi-layered and multimedia-driven story.  

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“We started to find that people are consuming these stories in different ways,” explained Jim Curtis, president of advertising, strategy and operations at Remedy. “Diabetic patients would finish an 18-minute story, but [for] someone with heart disease who may know a lot about the disease already, we’re only going for small snippets.

“We want [to bring in] people, that are in different phases of understanding their condition, to finish the story,” he continued. “We’re looking at Instagram and other publishers that are really able to tell a story in a moment, like Humans of New York. You get a picture, two lines, and you’re immediately connected to a story.”

Memo to Me is a short video series where individuals share hard-earned wisdom with their younger selves. One video features Peter Bruun, who is 52 years old, talking about how fear crippled his ability to support his daughter.

“Before my daughter died, I had more fear than I realized,” Bruun said in the video. “I feared what would happen to her. I feared her getting hurt. When she died, I lost all my fear, and in losing my fear, I could see very clearly how fear got in the way of me being more compassionate, more rational and more open in my support.”

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The Big Picture draws on the popular Humans of New York series, which is a documentary project told through a series of portraits. In the same vein, the initiative features professional photography accompanied by revealing captions. In one on psoriasis, Jennifer Pellegrin, a patient with the condition, is shown decorating a pink cake. The caption states, “I still do suffer from the looks and the stares. I mean you never get used to it. You just don’t. I’m a cake designer. I’ve had customers cancel orders.”

Remedy is providing advertising options to pharma companies for both of the new platforms. The Big Picture series on psoriasis features ads for Novartis’ Cosentyx, a treatment for the disease. The Memo to Me series on depression contains ads for Rexulti, an antidepressant manufactured by Otsuka and Lundbeck. Curtis said that drugmakers do not have input on the process other than suggesting a condition or therapeutic category for a series.