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April 2, 2016

Treating uterine fibroids

INSIGHTEC’s MRgFUS treatment option provides a non-invasive solution for symptomatic Uterine Fibroids. This non-invasive option spares the uterus and enables return to normal activity within days.

How Does it Work?

Focused ultrasound waves, guided by magnetic resonance imaging are used to safely ablate tumor tissue, ensuring a high rate of effectiveness with minimal side effects.

The patient campaign case study took place in Israel at one of the leading healthcare providers, Sheba Medical Center, near Tel Aviv. In Israel, the treatment is reimbursed nationally, making MRgFUS a widely accessible treatment for all patients.

Regardless of positive national coverage, 2014 was not a prolific year for MRgFUS fibroid treatments. There were approximately 5000 hysterectomies performed, ~15% due to uterine fibroids. For every MRgFUS treatment, there were 20 hysterectomies performed.

Surgery is only one option for treating uterine fibroids, but recent survey results show that it is the most recommended option.

For a company determined to make non-invasive treatments the standard of care, these statistics were hard to grasp.  Therefore we decided to identify the market inhibitors and found the following:

Israeli women tend to fully trust their gynecologist:

- 89%% said they completely trust their doctor

- 62% of them won’t seek a second opinion

 Given that the healthcare system is public and gynecologist consultations are about 10 minutes per patient, many women felt that they were not presented with all relevant treatment options.

 When Israeli women were presented with MRgFUS and asked if they would choose MRgFUS, had they known about it, the overwhelming answer was, “Yes.”

Seeing the results of this survey, we realized women must be made aware of the MRgFUS treatment option, so they can bring it up when discussing treatment of their symptomatic uterine fibroids with their gynecologist.

The Campaign

The easiest place to start is a simple Google AdWords campaign. Patients with the diagnosis search it on Google in attempt to learn more, and then they are served with relevant ads. However, when we looked at the numbers we found that there is a relatively low search volume of related keywords. This is in line with the survey findings we had – that most Israeli women do not take a proactive role in managing treatment and seeking alternatives. It meant we had to capture their attention, wherever they browsed with the main message at the forefront.

We worked with a team of advertisers to develop a creative concept for the campaign and this is the final result:


The concept was about empowering women to have an intelligent, comprehensive discussion with their doctors, getting educated about treatment options, and making their own decisions. After many debates, we decided that using a spokeswoman will best serve the campaign and the messages we wanted to convey. We chose to work with Miri Nevo, a local, well-known sports newscaster who is a strong, successful and respected woman in a predominantly male arena, sports broadcasting.

Another key pillar of the campaign was creating original educational content and advertorials about fibroids, highlighting empowerment and educated decision making in the treatment selection process. Here are some examples of the topics we touched upon:

- My Body My Decision – a Journalist column by a leading woman blogger in Israel (Orna Ben Dor) about her personal story (breast cancer, breast reconstruction and taking her own decisions about her treatment)

- Uterine fibroids - Symptoms, Treatments Options – an interview with Dr. Machtinger from Sheba Medical Center in Israel

- This is How I Saved My Femininity – a patient testimonial

- Hysterectomy – Not The Only Option - an Interview with Dr. Rabinovici from     Sheba Medical Center in Israel

True or False: 10 Myths About Fibroids – Dr. Rabinovici from Sheba Medical     Center in Israel

- 5 Things Gynecologists Say That You Should Double Check

- 5 Reimbursable Treatments That You Did Not Know About

We created the campaign deliverables (see below) and bought mostly women specific media, both online, print, search, and display. We also used the Sheba assets for distribution of our message. Rollups and screens in the maternity and gynecology wards, as well as the hospital’s newsletter and website.



Streamlining patient flow

We were getting ready to create some buzz and we wanted to make sure that the process flow, once these women expressed interest, would run as smooth as possible.

We worked with Sheba medical center on creating an automated, online funnel, where patients are referred by the campaign to our dedicated mini-site.  Patients were invited to fill out a questionnaire to assess their suitability for treatment and they immediately received an email response that informed them if they are suitable. They were then asked to submit their ultrasound summary, which was reviewed for suitability by Sheba’s medical team and suitable patients were scheduled for an in-person consultation at the clinic.

Campaign results

Campaign results were overwhelming with very positive feedback from Israeli women who loved hearing about their options. The campaign activities drove over 120,000 visits to the website, by 84,000 unique users who viewed over 140,000 pages. The pipeline of patients also drastically increased as well as the number of actual treatments.

The success of this campaign was two-fold  (1) It played a critical role in educating women, making them aware of alternative treatments for uterine fibroids and (2) The results greatly exceeded the initial campaign targets.

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