6 Consumer Trends That Are Changing Healthcare As We Know It
Innovations in healthcare have changed the way people approach seeking treatment, care, prescriptions, and the lifestyle that comes with the medical conditions they live with. The average consumer today is more aware of their health, how a condition may impact them, and what steps they can take to improve their situation.
And a lot of this has to do with the rise of the Internet, social media, and other digital trends—all of which have increased user engagement at all levels.
Large healthcare companies have taken notice of these trends too. Companies throughout the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries have responded with their own catalogs of consumer healthcare products, treatment options, and a deeper acceptance of what we now call consumer healthcare.
The Biggest Trends Affecting Consumer Healthcare
Changing healthcare trends have led to many changes in the healthcare industry. Younger consumers are more willing to learn about their conditions, research alternative treatments, and pursue a personalized approach to healthcare.
Here are a few of the most popular trends that are fueling the push for consumer healthcare.
Healthcare Is Becoming Personalized
Because everyone’s health situation is different, individuals do not have a standardized approach to managing personal health. People are increasingly taking control of their own healthcare decisions as a result.
Social media has largely driven this trend, as studies have shown that nearly a third of U.S. customers use it for healthcare information. People often listen to the experiences of other patients who have gone through similar paths.
There Is a Push for More Natural Solutions
Another trend in consumer healthcare is a push away from new age pharmaceutical products toward more natural solutions.
Consumers today believe natural products are healthier because they are perceived as being less harsh than traditional prescriptions and medications. Advertising departments have taken notice of this trend as well, leading many companies to create natural products.
These changing trends have led to many smaller natural health product companies appearing on the market. CBD is one example of a modern health solution that has taken the market by storm.
Patient Communications Are the Focus
Technology has made it easier than ever for patients to stay in contact with their doctors for medical advice and procedures. Patient communication and education are pillars of outcome-focused customer healthcare.
Hospitals and healthcare providers have an even greater incentive for effective communication for several reasons:
- Patient education ensures that recovery is smooth, minimizing the chance of immediate readmittance.
- Preventative care is more likely to succeed when patients can ask questions and receive information outside of the office.
- It’s not uncommon for care providers to collect customer satisfaction data for financial and statistical reasons.
Hospitals and healthcare firms will be in contact with other industries to develop streamlined avenues of communication with their patients. Telecommunication vendors such as Avaya and Cisco, as well as customer service centers like Teleperformance, will help conduct patient surveys and interactions.
Healthcare Continues to Pursue a Holistic Approach
Individual healthcare today is mostly about diagnosis and point-of-care settings. Industry experts often believe that newer solutions will buck this practice in favor of delivering a consumer-focused experience regardless of where a patient may be.
Through coordinated engagement and communication, a healthcare organization can respond to immediate care needs by passing on contextually relevant information to the patient. For example, if a client suffers a heart attack in his own home, his care provider can transfer treatment and recovery options to him quickly.
Consumer healthcare focuses on both preventative and reactive care, providing patients with a holistic approach to their healthcare needs.
Healthcare Communities Are Growing
Healthcare communities are another popular consumer healthcare trend. These communities provide individuals with access to info about the conditions they have.
Healthcare communities empower patients by providing them with an outlet to discuss chronic conditions, access relevant tips, and learn how to manage the day-to-day aspects of their cognition.
CuraLife’s Winning Type 2 Diabetes Together community is one example of how these communities make a positive impact on its members.
The Purchase of Drugs/Treatment Is Going Digital
COVID-19 demonstrated just how important ecommerce is in our modern society.
Online pharmacies are becoming increasingly popular as consumers look for alternative ways to purchase prescriptions. But many of these online pharmacies may be fraudulent, so consumers need to be aware. However, governments are working to provide more visibility to legitimate online pharmacies.
Natural health products is another segment of digital healthcare that continues to grow. Specialized natural health products have completely embraced the digital model, with many new products appearing on the market for various conditions.
Consumer Healthcare Is Becoming the New Norm
Consumer healthcare today is all about empowering people to make better choices when it comes to their healthcare. It’s about democratizing access to healthcare services, essential information, and patient experiences.
And all of these changes have led to the rise of personalized patient management. Large pharmaceutical companies are now focusing on this as they work to better understand their audience, leverage social media to build strong communities, and work to create products that appeal to an audience that’s interested in natural solutions.
Whether patients seek help from professional healthcare providers, network with a healthcare community, or seek alternative treatments—it’s clear that the individual patient has more choice than ever today.