Life sciences get the huumun touch as digital innovator secures £2m loan
Scientific communications specialist will use growth capital to fund continuing international development
The UK’s life-sciences sector, worth more than £70bn to the country’s economy, is one of the most productive in the world. The sector is innovative but also highly competitive, meaning that marketing communication strategies must be executed precisely for products to succeed.
Huumun’s core business is the delivery of effective strategies to the world’s leading life-sciences companies, enhancing engagement between pharmaceutical businesses and customers, so that information about even the most complex medical product is interesting, accessible and easy to digest. The result is more meaningful customer relationships for Huumun’s clients, with healthcare professionals finding it easier to make prescribing decisions, based on better access to accurate data and information.
How does Huumun do it?
The Reading-based business, founded in 2003, combines strategic communications experience with smart digital technologies, specialist medical knowledge and data-science expertise. It is this unique blend of skills under one roof that differentiates Huumun in a crowded digital sector.
“Huumun’s team is truly disruptive,” says principal Lauren Couch, who leads BOOST&Co’s Bristol office and worked with the company on the deal. “They are cutting-edge and transformational and they think completely differently, much like BOOST&Co. They have taken a traditional digital-consultancy model and turned it on its head, creating a business that is tailored to the life-sciences market by harnessing the power of data-science, future-proofed tech.”
The business offers many of the services one might expect from a forward-thinking digital consultancy, from content-creation programmes to data visualisation, but the HuumunTouch, HuumunHealth and HuumunTech products particularly stand out. Here, user research and UX design are combined with innovative technology such as AR to “enhance scientific engagement between pharmaceutical representatives, healthcare professionals and their patients,” according to Huuman’s website.
Impact in the real world
But what does this mean in layman’s terms? It means that when blue-chip life-sciences companies are preparing to launch a new product, Huumun can conduct extensive research into buyer personas, user intent and prior product awareness, to develop innovative and engaging tools that provide information in a way that engages practitioners.
The results range from interactive multi-platform applications that give users information about a particular product, to advanced data visualisation tools for presenting complex clinical trial data sets. The aim is to build trust among targeted healthcare professionals, presenting complex scientific information and data in a digestible and engaging format, so that they can make informed decisions about the products they go on to prescribe.
“Huumun is constantly aware of the human element,” Couch says. “It’s what the business’s name is all about: the team are aware of the impact their work has on their clients, on the healthcare professionals buying the products and also on us, the patients. They want to improve people’s lives and this is a sentiment we are happy to support.”
Founded by chief executive Paul Hartigan, Huumun has been growing organically and developing its customer base for the past 16 years. Having seen the positive impact of their work, the members of the management team now wish to expand their offering and serve more clients with the help of a £2m loan from BOOST&Co.
Hartigan says:“We’re reshaping the traditional approach of life-sciences companies to sales, marketing and medical communications, and as a result, our client base is expanding in Europe and the US. Looking for investment to support this growth, we were keen to work with a partner that understood the journey for a tech-based business. BOOST&Co really stood out in this respect, and we’re excited about working with Lauren and the rest of the team.”
Due diligence on the deal was conducted by Wilkins Kennedy. “Huumun is an exciting business that has developed a niche in the pharmaceutical market. This promises to help the company grow significantly in the next few years, and our review of key areas highlighted the strength of the opportunity that BOOST&Co’s funding will drive,” says Dan Nixon, partner in Wilkins Kennedy’s London office. “Working with Lauren was a pleasure. We look forward to liaising with her on further projects and to seeing Huumun continue to succeed in the coming years.”