New research highlights leading industry trends for healthcare and what to expect more of in 2013. Consumers are increasingly seeking to take a more active role in their own care. To that end, providers and payers are working together to harness technology to enable an integrated approach to healthcare.
As consumers are becoming more dependent on their smartphones, there is great opportunity for health care professionals, retailers and brands to develop innovative strategies to reach and engage with consumers when they are on the go. Analysts note a shift from stand-alone "unsponsored" mobile apps to more meaningful "sponsored" apps supported by insurance companies, healthcare providers and other institutions, which will result in higher patient adoption and engagement. In addition, integrated mobile health apps will be created that can connect with other devices, apps and data for more holistic healthcare, where information is safely shared across platforms regardless of the vendor.
CONSUMERS' ONLINE & OFFLINE WORLDS MERGE
Marketers need to be thinking about the complete consumer experience across all touch points. Take, for instance, CEO of National Retail Federation Matt Shay’s comment in USA Today: “What we’re going to see is that the two (online/offline) become further and further indistinguishable from one another. Everyone is playing everywhere now.” Advertisers, of course, need individual strategies for mobile, retail and other platforms, but they must start to integrate all those consumer touch points for a better, more holistic consumer experience.
SOCIAL MEDIA'S GROWING IMPORTANCE
Facebook has more than 1 billion users, Twitter has 500 million, and platforms like Pinterest and Instagram are growing in popularity. Social is here to stay and is where consumers are increasingly spending their time interacting, learning and being influenced. Health care marketers need to create vibrant, engaging and real-time social identities.
PERSONALIZATION DRIVES CONSUMER EXPERIENCE
The rise of digital, social and mobile – along with the empowerment of consumers – is directly tied to the growing trend of consumers wanting personalized communications from brands. No more cookie-cutter approach. Consumers know advertisers have a wealth of data about them and they expect it to be used to customize consumer preferences and needs.
Other healthcare trends that are expected to move from pilots to large-scale implementation in 2013 include:
- Hospitals and other healthcare institutions will begin to move more and more healthcare data into the cloud, with data analytics to better manage healthcare costs by finding and addressing patient needs earlier.
- Remote patient monitoring will move from pilots to large-scale adoption as more hospitals adopt the accountable care organization model to reduce hospital readmission costs associated with chronic conditions.
- Upswing on telehealth to bridge the significant gap between physician resources and patient demand.