Creating better experiences
Convenience and personalization are the core features of the emerging model of “anytime, anywhere” care. A company must get close to the consumer and find the right digital tools as first steps toward developing a personalized engagement strategy. After all, precision health is more than identifying a symptom and prescribing a treatment; it consists of personalized engagement and experiences.
Are consumers receptive to this kind of relationship? In our survey, a majority say they are willing to share health-related data with their primary care physician (82%). However, this contrasts sharply with the percentage of consumers who used either administrative (67%) or diagnostic (47%) technologies to date.
When we asked consumers what would increase their digital engagement with physicians, several themes emerged: they’re looking for ways to save money, make care more convenient and reduce wait times — all essential parts of a future health strategy. When access to digital records was added to those three incentives, 93% said they would be willing to engage with their physicians digitally.
Physicians are also on board. Virtually all agreed that medical records are useful for managing their patients’ health and well-being. However, improving outcomes across a consumer’s life-span will require more than just the available clinical data: most of what determines how long we live and how healthy we are happens outside of the health care system.
More convenient care options are also popular among consumers. Sixty percent are willing to use some form of retail health center or urgent care for non-emergency visits. In addition, 54% agreed that they are ready to be treated via an on-demand e-visit instead of in-person for common, acute issues.
While today’s convenience-based technologies are broadly popular, the more game-changing methods of care delivery — involving smart pills and virtual hospitals — are gaining traction only among younger consumers. This highlights the need for a strategy that has room for different types of consumers.
Digital efforts so far have fallen short. Health businesses built small bits of an experience to ease some frustrations, but they aren’t highly utilized. Take patient portals: patients say they want them, but the vast majority of people (about 70%) haven’t used them either to make an appointment or to pay a bill. The point solutions of today clearly aren’t delivering that or improving engagement.