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How Is Technology Supporting Healthcare Consumer Behavior?

Posted By: SGK January 08, 2018

This blog post has been contributed by Karin Bauer, VP Client Services, SGK Health

From passive recipients to active participants, our role in healthcare as patients and consumers has changed. Consumer expectations have changed, so how can we engage with increasingly savvy shoppers in this dynamic healthcare landscape?

WATCH: Why Empathy-Driven Marketing Works in a Changing Healthcare Marketplace

Obviously, transparency and access to information have been factors in the changing healthcare world. We all have a better understanding of our health with the assist of technology, and we have the capacity to bring that knowledge into our doctor’s office to enable real-time conversations with them.

On a global, macro level, there has been a shift to value-based care, and now CMS is reimbursing providers and/or hospitals for better patient outcomes.

What drove this shift?

No surprises here: technology.

Now, instead of looking at how one patient is doing in a hospital, we have the capability to monitor an entire hospital to see the entire population health. Providers are now looking at how they can change their model to reflect healthier populations. The result we’re seeing is a lot of integration of people and data — expanding the opportunity for a big data healthcare system.

“For the eleventh quarter in a row, the U.S. health services industry witnessed over 200 deals.” – PWC LLP Q2 2017 Health Services deal activity report

In general, moving from a treatment model to a prevention model is less expensive, which is a huge motivator for the healthcare industry. On the other hand, this is shifting the cost of care. Providers need to provide better outcomes, otherwise they will not get the reimbursement, and in turn, we as consumers are seeing higher deductibles.

READ: 7 Challenges Facing Pharmaceutical Packaging Today

At the end of the day, as consumers pay more, they are also becoming more careful and discernable healthcare shoppers. Here are a few more ways consumers are responding:

  • Embracing new technologies
  • Being more selective in choosing care + care providers
  • Delaying and forgoing care

“Behavioral science shows that people’s choices are driven not only by rational factors but also by a variety of societal, emotional, and psychological drivers.” - McKinsey, January 2010

Below, seven ways technology supports consumer behavior and the focus on prevention:

  1. Big data
  2. Genetic mapping
  3. Artificial intelligence
  4. Telemedicine
  5. Hand-held real-time on-demand Dx and solutions
  6. Wearables and bio-sensors
  7. Opt-in clinical studies in the cloud

Through data-driven care and metrics, we are also seeing a rise in new levels of care personalization and predictive modeling. Virtual visits and home care is a trend you may see more of in 2018.

From passive recipients to active participants, our role and expectations in healthcare as consumers and patients has been fundamentally redesigned.

Successful companies will leverage this change and make emotional connection with their brand a part of their broad strategy, involving every function in the value chain – from product development and marketing to sales and services. 

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To learn more about the consumerization of healthcare, join the SGK Health team at the JP Morgan 36th Annual Healthcare Conference in San Francisco, CA – January 8 – 11, 2018.

About Karin Bauer: Trained in science and journalism, Karin discovered two developmental cancer therapies before honing her research skills to focus on telling compelling stories about products and organizations that move markets. Karin is a passionate advocate for break-through technologies that transform healthcare for the better. She has led in-house and agency brand strategy communications on healthcare products that have moved markets, and maintains strong ties to the research and health technology communities that are driving the future of healthcare.