Patients are reordering the healthcare landscape!
In the near future, tech-enabled consumers are reordering the healthcare landscape.
According to a McKinsey & Company study: “How tech-enabled consumers are reordering the healthcare landscape” (2016) the consumer, and so the patient will be much more independent and have a big influence on insurers and providers in the healthcare industry.
Two main forces are guiding the healthcare sector in a different direction – rising consumerism and digital/mobile technologies.
People are used and adapted the simplicity and ease of use of online banking, shopping and travel planning, but which is not the case in the healthcare industry yet. Because of this awareness, people are looking for the same comfortability in the healthcare sector. They want to make their own choices, about which provider they want to visit, what they are willing to pay, who they are providing with their health information…
Consumers or patients start to replace traditional healthcare services with digital ones. At the moment a serious amount of people are aware of the existence of digital/mobile health technologies, but only a minority is using them. Millennials are twice as likely as baby boomers, and three times as likely as seniors to use these technologies. Mostly consumers use digital health tools to schedule appointments, to send text messages and e-mails to their doctors, check health status and information and review or rate the experience they had with an healthcare professional.
To assure long term use of health technology, users need to understand the value the technology provides and perceive it as better as traditional approaches, which about 75% thought. For example, to search for hospital ratings, 54% thought new technologies were more effective and 33% thought it was much more affective. A similar outcome could be observed with schedule appointments, seek doctor cost information or pay hospital bills.
As consumers tend to use more and more digital/mobile technologies, to monitor their health status, exercise frequency and to tools to facilitate administrative tasks as payments, appointment managers, addresses the dissatisfaction of the patient with the current system. Moreover, patients seek to be socially connected, if it is for sharing sporty achievements, challenge friends to beat their personal records or to share experiences they made with certain healthcare professionals. Furthermore, these technologies decrease the information asymmetry and could help consumers to use healthcare services more appropriately as well as support for clinical decisions and insights into provider performances.
Basically, the consumers or patients want to have the power over their health and decide what treatment they get, how much money they want to spend and who gets access to sensible and personal health information. The healthcare industry will become much more patient-centered. Today insures and providers control the healthcare experience for consumers. Despite the multiple barriers that still need to be overcome, insurers and healthcare professionals will have less control over the healthcare experience and will become holistic risk managers.
The change is inevitable and in order to be able to keep current sources as their advantage, healthcare providers need to adapt quite rapidly. The healthcare industry is already shifting toward consumer control and digital/mobile technologies are likely to speed up this process.