What Is the Meaning of Repurposing? Healthcare, Marketing, & Innovation Through Evolution

However you slice it, there is, ultimately, only a finite matter of stuff in the world. Particles, carbon, water, even energy… none of it is inexhaustible. But with the right perspective and some imagination, all – or almost all of it – is transferable.

“The purpose – where I start – is the idea of use. It’s not recycling. It’s reuse.”

- Issey Miyake

“Good programmers know what to write. Great ones know what to rewrite.”

- Eric S. Raymond

Often, in order to innovate, we have to look back to move forward. This means thinking again about what is already there, and imagining what else it could be. How we could use it differently. What other thing it might become. This is the essence, the meaning of repurposing.

In the context of healthcare, and healthcare marketing, the spirit of repurpose can wear many coats. It might be that pharmaceutical companies discover new uses for existing drugs. A care home could repurpose buildings to give them a new lease of life. We might find a way to upcycle old computer equipment. Healthcare providers might even find that, surprisingly, old materials and technology can be reimagined as art. Stranger things have happened.

Examples of repurposing in healthcare abound – the point, even with finite resources, it is infinitely possible, and this is the concept we’ll be digging into today. Stay tuned as we explore the ways we can repurpose in healthcare, marketing, and beyond. Or, if you’re ready to put some old assets to new use, contact us today to discuss the project.

The Meaning of Repurposing


To find a new use for an idea, product, or building:

  • “The company's role is to repurpose print data for use on the Web.”
  • “Cinemas are harder to repurpose than ordinary shops.”

Table Of Contents

Repurposing embodies the art of transformation, taking existing resources, ideas, or materials and giving them new life and value. It's not merely recycling; it's about reimagining possibilities and exploring alternative applications.

In healthcare and marketing, repurposing fosters innovation, leading to novel solutions that optimise resources and drive progress.

Why Repurpose? Finding New Value

Repurposing unlocks untapped potential, offering a sustainable approach to innovation. By repurposing, businesses can reduce waste, lower costs, and uncover novel uses for existing assets. It fosters creativity and resourcefulness, driving meaningful evolution and value creation.

Cost Efficiency

Repurposing minimises the need for new investments, saving resources.

Environmental Sustainability

It reduces waste and supports eco-friendly practices.

Innovation Catalyst

Repurposing sparks creative solutions and drives innovation.

Diverse Applications

Existing assets can be adapted to meet new demands and market needs.

Drug Repurposing

Drug repurposing, also known as drug repositioning or reprofiling, refers to the process of identifying new therapeutic uses for existing drugs beyond their original intended purpose. This strategy offers several advantages:

  • Accelerated Development: Repurposing existing drugs can bypass lengthy phases of preclinical and early clinical trials, reducing the time and cost required for drug development.
  • Lower Risk: Repurposing drugs with established safety profiles and known pharmacokinetics reduces the risk associated with developing new drugs from scratch.
  • Expanded Indications: By identifying new therapeutic applications for existing drugs, drug repurposing can lead to expanded indications, providing additional treatment options for patients.
  • Addressing Unmet Medical Needs: Repurposing offers a potential solution for addressing unmet medical needs by leveraging existing drugs for novel therapeutic purposes.
  • Economic Benefits: Using repurposed drugs can lead to cost savings in healthcare spending by maximising the value of existing resources.

Drug repurposing often involves computational approaches, high-throughput screening, and systematic analysis of molecular mechanisms to identify new uses for existing compounds.

What Else Can Be Repurposed In the Medical World?

In addition to drug repurposing, the medical world offers numerous opportunities for repurposing various assets and resources to drive innovation and enhance patient care:

  • Medical Equipment: Repurposing medical equipment involves adapting or modifying existing devices for new applications or patient populations, optimising resource utilisation.
  • Healthcare Facilities: Repurposing healthcare facilities can involve transforming existing spaces to accommodate new services or populations, enhancing operational efficiency.
  • Biomedical Waste: Repurposing biomedical waste involves recycling or converting discarded materials into valuable resources, minimising environmental impact.
  • Patient Data: Repurposing patient data for secondary analysis or research purposes can generate new insights and inform personalised healthcare strategies.
  • Telemedicine Infrastructure: Repurposing telemedicine infrastructure to support remote monitoring or virtual consultations can extend access to healthcare services.
  • Diagnostic Tools: Repurposing diagnostic tools for new diagnostic applications or screening programs can improve early detection and disease management.

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Repurposed Assets For Marketing

Repurposing existing commercial collateral is like discovering hidden treasure within your marketing toolkit. To that point, almost two in every three (65%) marketers agree that repurposed content is more cost-effective than building it from scratch.

It's about finding new ways to breathe life into content that's already resonated with your audience – and, by unlocking the potential of repurposed assets, healthcare marketers can extend their reach, optimise engagement, and maximise ROI.

Visual Assets

Imagine you've created a compelling infographic that showcases the benefits of a new healthcare service. Now, think about how you can repurpose that infographic into a series of eye-catching social advertising posts. You could transform key statistics into shareable graphics, or even turn the entire infographic into an animated video for increased engagement.

Another example could be with images. Let's say you've taken some impactful photos of your healthcare facility for a blog post – those same images can be repurposed into attention-grabbing social media posts, incorporated into email newsletters, or used in promotional materials.

And don't forget about videos. Maybe you've produced an educational video about a common health condition; you can repurpose snippets of that video for social media, turn it into a webinar, or create a highlight reel to promote an upcoming healthcare event.

Written Content

Written content is another goldmine for repurposing. An ebook, brochure, or whitepaper you've developed packed with valuable healthcare insights could be broken down into healthcare SEO blog posts, offering bite-sized pieces of knowledge.

Or that same content can be repurposed into downloadable guides for lead generation, or adapted for email campaigns to nurture relationships with potential patients.

Blogs are also ripe for repurposing. Your blog posts can be repackaged into social media content, repurposed for guest articles on industry websites, or compiled into a comprehensive industry report.

This not only maximises the value of your original content but also ensures it reaches a broader audience across different platforms.

Meetings, Webinars, & Events

Let's say you've hosted an engaging webinar on a trending healthcare topic. You can repurpose the webinar recording into on-demand content, extract highlights for social media snippets, or repurpose the insights shared into educational blog posts.

Events – whether virtual or in-person – provide rich content for repurposing. Capture testimonials from attendees to use in social media campaigns or develop event presentations into downloadable resources for ongoing community engagement.

Testimonials & Case Studies

Testimonials and case studies are potent storytelling tools and powerful trust signals. Repurpose patient testimonials into compelling social media proof, feature them in email campaigns, or incorporate them into your website to build credibility with potential patients.

Similarly, case studies can be repackaged into infographic formats for visual storytelling, transformed into video testimonials, or used as educational resources during webinars.

Repurposing & the Art of Innovation

From a business perspective, embracing a ‘repurpose mindset’ is a strategic approach to innovation and growth. By tapping into the hidden value of existing assets, organisations can unlock new avenues for ROI and expand their impact.

Healthcare companies can repurpose marketing content to reach new audiences, discover new applications for existing drugs, or leverage medical equipment in innovative ways. The possibilities are limitless – but there’s also a cultural advantage.

Imagine an environment where progress thrives on reimagining the familiar; where every piece of content, drug, or medical equipment holds untapped potential. This culture fosters resourcefulness and ingenuity, where nothing goes to waste and everything can be transformed into something greater.

Are you ready to explore new opportunities and reimagine your healthcare marketing strategy? Book a free consultation with a healthcare marketing specialist today.

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