The consumerization of Healthcare. Is SMART really EMPOWERED ANYWHERE?
Healthcare is most likely the last frontier of a non-consumer-driven industry. It operates on a market of necessity in a “take it or leave it” business model, based on supply, not demand. BUT, for the sake of all of us, it won’t be so much longer.
- SMART care, for example the precision medicine, engaging robotics or leveraging medical printing, offers hope for a win-win model, in which affordable patient value will allow vendors to make a reasonable economic living.
- Care ANYWHERE should follow the location of the patients by moving along with their daily life-cycles. Whether it is closer to home under the umbrella of telemonitoring and telecare or it is remote diagnostics, the ultimate objective would be to increase access to required services across society and geographies matching the demand.
- EMPOWERED care should enable patients, being the customers, to drive their path to staying fit and healthy. Consumer control over the purchase process drives for example new trends in retail, and while consumerizing the healthcare market, we may need similar technologies and ideas to drive improved outcomes for the patients.
Hyper-personalization is the trend of most if not all things in the world today. We – the consumers – want our expectations to be fulfilled. It is true across such industries like retail, fashion, banking, service – so why not apply it to Healthcare? Well, it is already happening. With the strong rise of commercial vendors, we become the clients of the healthcare shop. We enter the department store with all types of small boutiques for various parts of our body. We engage in screening, window-shopping and finally purchase and checkout. We are also ready, and many of us prefer this model, to treat a Vendor as a Netflix or Spotify of the healthcare monthly subscription platform. We care less for names, and we move appreciation towards the overall output of the interaction. We value the experience that heals our body and mind and helps us manage our well-being throughout the day, month, year. MemoAR is actively helping patients suffering from early-stage dementia. Speech-to-text’s keyword analysis and face recognition features allow real-time assist in daily life and ease the pain of memory dysfunctions.
Be SMART to see this trend or it will hit you if you are a vendor. Demand is the king in a way and customers – not patients any more – will only pay if they get what they want. And they want fully personalized omnichannel experience, with the ability to select from a vast catalogue of services under the same “Netflix-like” fee. To offer this, smart approaches need to be applied, and technology needs to be engaged. Like in marketing, targeting will be must -have. Like in fashion, matching the exact need for the evening cocktail dress will be favored. And we will pay for the outcome, not the effort, so if you are a vendor be smart to care about well-being, education and prevention to satisfy this need and to manage your cost of service.
“Consumer pressure is driving a disruptive technology-enabled shift in healthcare today. Digital health technologies are beginning to deliver on their promise to help providers understand individual consumer preferences and provide personalized care that effectively coordinates care throughout the broader health ecosystem. By fully realizing the potential of information and technology, we can create an ever increasingly informed and empowered global community of innovators, care providers and patients.” – Hal Wolf, HIMSS President & CEO *
Offer health ANYWHERE they go
We claim in surveys that the most important tool we would regret losing is our SMARTPHONE.
Regardless of how sad it may seem for individuals to fully transfer their lives from real in-person interactions to a digital space, this is what is happening today. Outside the social aspects of making bonds and building relations (which, by the way, is somehow possible and presented by the new generations through social media, video or Virtual word avatar) THE smartphone is a powerful helper for almost everything today. If we add proper backend network of solutions, partners and logistics facilitating the ability to act through this tool, we get all the benefits of mobility. And we get truly mobile as customers, employees, service vendors. As a healthcare consumer, you could fulfil most of your urgent needs in whatever city or even country you are – the same way the ongoing long-term treatments can be maintained even if you need to move around the world.
*In Poland, in 2018 there were 50,38 Million subscriptions which estimate to 133% of our population, while smartphone was the device we confirmed to use in 70% of cases.
Still, ANYWHERE is not only about being mobile per se. It is about appreciating immobility, distance and time of the customers. Telemedicine and telecare should go hand in hand with offering platforms to manage our well-being at our home. Wearables give the patient a possibility of remote monitoring and provide data to improve the care further and adjust it to a single patient or change the process for the entire group. DomoSafety is an excellent example of a leading provider of behavior-based medical data analytics in real-time. Wherever you are, that kind of service will be about monitoring the sick/elderly, supporting parents with their ill kids, about frequent diagnostics necessity or other types of health assistance. After all, travelling to the point of service will always remain an unwanted burden.
Increasing urbanization and growing urban populations (and the density of the cities) only make transport more time-consuming. Sitting there in the waiting room exposes us to other germs, and it is not true that we are able to separate those flu-sick-ones from the kids getting vaccinations. Mothers with small and sick children living in cities with no car do not want to travel for an hour on a bus to get support. The elderly citizens are often simply not able to do so.
ANYWHERE is about appreciating life and the fact that on average staying fit and getting help should not be a difficult journey. If you are a vendor, think how you would like to be treated if you had a high fever, a broken leg, a sneezing and screaming 2-year-old, or you had to take off from work, or if you were diabetic and needed to have your blood or pressure monitored etc., etc., etc.… You should see why it’s important to meet your customers’ demands ANYWHERE they go.
Appreciate their cost of living
Healthcare industry has been historically very reactive. You need to have something broken or be on your last legs with a sore throat to be diagnosed in a confident way: “Sir, you have…. “. Otherwise, it often is “Well, Sir, maybe you should try and see, and if it gets worse, come back and….”
Do not get me wrong – diagnosis is a difficult job and I figure that most of the time the vendor costs go into this part, not the healing phase. And it is about healing that we care. Or actually, we care mostly about being fit and well. We do not want to see the doctors. Unless their prescription regards our physical activity in order to help us stay healthy… this is already possible with an app called MovereX.
If you are a vendor looking for a sustainable commercial model in which you will win on maximizing the outcome value at optimized costs on your side, you need to see that we want to be well and not serviced. You need to understand that society is more and more ready to take the long-term well-being in their hands; not to be well treated, but to avoid treatment altogether. We want to manage our data when we use Spotify when we go on Uber, when we pay online, when we share cars. My claim is that we are also ready to manage our health consciously. If you are a vendor, you may find it beneficial to help us if you convince us that we should trust you more than the overall internet.
Educate us under the same umbrella of Netflix-like monthly fees, use your powers to keep us on our feet and we will pay you for not meeting you. Offer us a 360-degree picture of ourselves in user-friendly mirrors and a guide to use it. Take us by hand and lead us.
Posted by: Michał Grabarz