Industrial Automation needs Healthcare’s PR Firm

A man working in the lab

In our previous article we described why manufacturing and healthcare are so alike. Today we’d like to drill down further into what makes the perception of these two industries so different. 

Unfair Media Portrayal  


Let’s look at the difference in the way automation is talked about generally versus medically focused automation:   

  • Growth trends for selected occupations considered at risk from automation The Bureau of Labor Statistics goes in depth addressing the employment problems associated with automation. There are some hopeful projections that the risks of automation putting people out of business are overblown, but a lot of copy is wasted on which professions are vulnerable, historic patterns of job replacement, and addressing concerns about how machines will take jobs.  
  • Silos in healthcare are bad for us. Here’s the solution | World Economic Forum ( This article talks about a problem with a segment of automation in healthcare. Silo medication treatment, a strategy where healthcare organizations specialize their care, is becoming an impediment to treating patients with multiple diseases. Instead of criticizing Electronic Medical Record systems, insinuating that the problem is caused by processes driven by negative intentions or stubborn adherence to inefficient practices, or advocating for better manual processes, this article makes every argument for more automation and IOT interconnectivity.  
  • Calls out the labor shortage in medicine and how much better EMR could assist in reducing burnout, increasing speed, and supporting medical professionals.  
  • Advocates for a fully integrated interoperable IT system.  
  • Makes economic sense for healthcare, and that’s a good thing.  
  • Reduces waste.  
  • Improves quality of services.  
  • “We need an integrated approach to healthcare.”  

You’ve probably noticed that you can take most of these arguments from the second article, swap the medical terminology, and make a glowing recommendation for industrial manufacturing automation integration. The difference is perspective, and a willingness to pursue the facts to natural conclusions.   

The willingness to explore medicine over manufacturing plays out in entertainment. The medical procedural ER is #10 on the list of most Emmy wins of all time with 23 wins and 124 nominations, and you could find dozens of critically acclaimed series about doctors, nurses, and EMTs. There are no procedural shows about industrial manufacturers. There are no comedies, there are no dramas, the best you can find are occasional documentaries or informative television.   

A media that is unwilling to portray industrial automation shouldn’t be trusted to direct public opinion about it. For years articles have been written to drive laborers away from manufacturing and technical schools, now manufacturers face a labor crisis with no end in sight. Financial thought leaders wrote articles about how manufacturing overseas is a cost no brainer, and manufacturers were paralyzed when international supply lines froze during the pandemic. You can type ‘automated machines steal jobs’ into Google and find reputable news organizations confirming that world view, but offering no alternatives to automated machines that can improve the work environment, safety, speed, throughput, retention, quality, and consistency for industrial manufacturers.    

Trust industrial automation through the media’s portrayal of healthcare automation. The media promotes stories of robot assisted surgery, internationally consistent medical records, and exciting automated healthcare trends. If excitement, relief, and improvement are tenets of healthcare automation, they must be for industrial automation too.  


Lethal Stakes Taken for Granted 


Just like our health professionals, we trust our manufacturers with our lives. When was the last time you ate a piece of prepackaged food without looking at the label? Are there any favorite snacks you eat every day that you’ve never examined? Have you kept eating even when you aren’t sure what all the terms and ingredients on the label mean? People eat preprocessed foods without fear that they are poisonous, deadly, or improperly prepared every day. We trust government regulations to keep our chemical manufacturers in spec, manufacturing standards for tools and parts uniform, and safety definitions to keep the products we buy, use, and wear are functional, affordable, and harmless. Customers take the quality and safety of our manufacturing industry for granted.  

The healthcare industry has modeled a level of automation technology adoption that industrial manufacturers should emulate. During the pandemic they threw their resources, time, and training into new telehealth technology, predictive analytics, and data sharing technology. While some of these expensive adoptions were reactive to the crisis (a quality electronic medical record (EMR) license can cost millions of dollars to a hospital network), they were integrated in ways that permanently supported the future efficiency, accuracy, and positive health outcomes of their patients. Healthcare professionals understand that the consistent path to better business, cost-effective healthcare, and positive patient care outcomes, is through integrated automation technology.  


Same Importance, Indirect Interaction  


During the pandemic, our manufacturers bravely kept food on the table, delivered PPE and medical supplies, and manufactured necessities while most businesses shuttered their doors and waited for recovery. The Covid vaccine supply was built by our manufacturers. Our healthcare apparatus could never have managed the pandemic without the mobilized efforts of our manufacturing industry. But most people have never seen a production line in person. Most people have never visited a manufacturing plant. People notice the consequences of bottlenecks in the manufacturing supply chain when toilet paper or bread don’t make it to store shelves, but the average person does not feel the burdens of our manufacturers.   

When the average person visits a doctor four times a year, it’s easier for the average person to understand doctors than the upstream support from our manufacturers. Medical staff administered the vaccines. Hospitals full of doctors and nurses checked vitals, monitored health, and announced the research findings for new drugs and studies that managed the pandemic. The concept of the family doctor is common, and treatment is intimate. The average person is biased to trust medicine, to trust hospitals, and trust the decisions they make.  


Instead of worrying about whether the case can be made for industrial automation to the average person, consider that the case for automation has already been made by healthcare. Industrial automation doesn’t need a PR campaign when healthcare has laid the test case down that the average person craves automation.   


Proof of Concept is the First Step 


At DEVELOP LLC we consider it our responsibility to convey the rewards and benefits of custom automation solutions. Our project managers, software engineers, and manufacturing experts understand that every business has unique challenges. We scope your business, target your processes, and create custom automation integrations that permanently improve your throughput while achieving the swiftest return on investment. Tell us more about your project, schedule a virtual meeting, or call (262) 622-6104 to learn how you can improve your production outcomes with responsible automated integration. 



Sean McKittrick and Matt Moseman

Previous Post
Healthcare: Manufacturing’s Mirror
Next Post
2023 Automation Industry Insight Article Roundup