Navigating the Health Tech Landscape: Insights from V2’s “State of Healthcare Tech Journalism” Webinar

In the wake of JP Morgan’s Healthcare Conference and the lead-up to ViVE and HIMSS, we’re in the thick of healthcare media’s busiest season. As health tech brands seek to establish awareness and favor among providers, payers, and patients—as well as prospective investors, partners, and employees—communications professionals have a big task: developing narratives that break through the industry noise and position their companies’ offerings as critical tools among target audiences. That’s easier said than done.

On Feb. 8, a panel of distinguished healthcare technology journalists gathered for a V2 Communications webinar on The State of Healthcare Tech Journalism. In a discussion moderated by V2’s Healthcare Practice Lead, Kristen Leathers, panelists—including Aaron Weitzman from Axios, Eric Wicklund from Health Leaders, Katie Adams from MedCity News—discussed everything from their AI fatigue to their PR pitch horror stories. The panelists shed light on the issues and trends guiding their reporting, the types of companies catching their attention, what news or story “package” inspires them to write, and how to best engage with them, particularly at shows like HIMSS and ViVE.

Watch the full webinar recording here, and read on for a recap of what was said:

All In On AI?

The panelists unanimously agreed that while AI is undeniably a key coverage focus for each of them, they are experiencing a bit of fatigue when it comes to the volume of pitches about “AI” companies and solutions. The ones they care about are ones that are proving to deliver real value to providers or patients, or ones that are using AI in novel ways.

The panelists also expressed interest in solutions outside of AI, and are really interested in covering the whole digital healthcare space. They mentioned wanting to cover technologies that health systems are adopting in the clinical space, medical devices and telehealth in particular.

What Makes a Good Story

Beyond the technology itself, Katie, Eric, and Aaron all agreed that healthcare tech companies must be able to prove the value their solutions are delivering via third-party validation.

For example, Katie emphasized that because she covers providers and health systems, she must speak with clinical leaders or doctors using the technology that she’s being pitched. Aaron and Katie noted that they often want to speak with VCs who can provide context on hot markets and the companies leading them.

The journalists also expressed interest in both company-specific and industry-wide data, emphasizing the value of surveys from hospitals or health systems, as opposed to vendor-commissioned data, which may be skewed.

The consensus was clear: successful stories need to showcase technologies that are making a real impact on the healthcare.

How to Engage with Them: The Do’s and The Don’ts

When it comes to effectively engaging journalists with story ideas, the panelists said customization is key. While Eric revealed how he immediately ignores pitches opening with “Dear Journalist,” Katie said to “make the pitch relevant to me from the beginning, and tie it to a trend or news hook happening right now.”

All panelists enjoy attending industry events like ViVE and HIMSS and jam-pack their schedules when they go to make the most of their time. They enjoy meeting with C-level execs who can share a general overview of the company and the market, and they ask PR people factor in execs’ availability so they can speak with them shortly after they receive a pitch. They also attend after-hours networking events where they say they often have some of their most enjoyable conversations and build the best relationships with health tech companies.

The panelists discussed their openness to holding introductory calls with companies outside of industry events, but acknowledged the challenges of scheduling these discussions due to daily deadlines and story quotas.

Breaking through the healthcare tech industry noise isn’t easy. If you’re interested in learning about V2’s healthcare tech practice, reach out to Kristen Leathers at [email protected].


February 13, 2024


By Allison Webster


Health Tech