HEALTH

Deloitte explores consumer mindset around health and tech

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK – An escalating number of consumers are turning to technology to drive their health solutions, the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions reported Monday. Almost one-third of consumers who are managing major chronic conditions, like diabetes, used technology to access, store and transmit health records in the last year, as compared to 19% in 2013. Overall, 22% of consumers who are enabling their health management through technology in 2015 vs. 13% two years ago. 
 
"Health care is becoming more digitized and consumer oriented," said Greg Scott, principal, Deloitte Consulting, and vice chairman and national sector leader for the health plans practice. "It's not an overnight change, but more like how summer turns into fall – gradual yet very perceptible."
 
Deloitte's report also found that 16% of respondents who needed care went online for cost information, up from 11% in 2013. Millennials in this group increased the most, 27% versus 17%. Further, 71% of all those surveyed said they have not gone online for cost information but are "very" or "somewhat" likely to use a pricing tool in the future. 
 
When it comes to judging quality, 25% of all respondents used a scorecard to compare the performance of doctors, hospitals and/or health plans, up from 19% in 2013. The rate was highest in the youngest cohort, with 49% of millennials who received care in the last year using a scorecard compared to 31% in 2013. 
 
The specter of a more customer-driven industry is causing many health companies to transform into retail-focused organizations, said Scott, impacting everything from strategy and scale to operations and human capital. "For the enterprise, this is about more than a cool app – this is about making the end-to-end changes needed to better identify and engage a more empowered purchaser." 
 
The report identifies six consumer types emerging in today's market and quantifies their size – a framework that can help companies pursue customer-segmentation strategies. The "casual and cautious" make up 34% of the surveyed market, followed by the "content and compliant" at 22%, the "online and onboard" at 19%, "sick and savvy" at 11%, "out and about" at 8% and "shop and save" at 6%. The report gives depth on each segment's approach to health care.
 
"Not all consumers are alike in how they engage the system, and a large segment still remains disengaged," said Harry Greenspun, director of the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions. "Companies likely won't take a one-size-fits-all approach in their marketing and operations, but a tailored strategy that considers the unique characteristics of the segments they are most interested in."
 
Respondents most trust physician groups/medical practices/doctor's offices as a reliable source of information on treatments, with 49% giving this category a high rating. However, the scores for health insurance and life sciences companies have doubled since 2010. Specifically, 21% gave health plans a high rating, compared to 10% in 2010, while 18% gave life sciences companies a high rating, compared to 95 in 2010. 
 
"It's not just the hospitals and doctors who are striving to get closer to the patient – it's the entire industry," said Sarah Thomas, director of research at the Center. "The post-ACA rise of the individual market and the need for health organizations to demonstrate value are putting the patient at the center of the health ecosystem."
 
In other findings: 
 
  • 28% of respondents have used technology to measure fitness and health goals, up from 17% in 2013;
  • 23% have used technology to monitor a health issue, versus 15% in 2013;
  • 40% of the surveyed technology users have shared their fitness or monitoring information with their doctor;
  • 63% of the surveyed technology users say their use of fitness or monitoring technologies has led to a significant behavior change;
  • 13% of respondents who take prescription drugs receive electronic alerts or reminders and more than half express interest in using technology to prompt them to take their medication;
  • Rates of conferring with doctors via email, texting or video have doubled in the last two years, suggesting digital communication between consumers and providers may continue trending upward; and
  • 48% of respondents prefer to partner with doctors rather than have them make decisions for them, up from 405 in 2008, and 34% strongly believe doctors should encourage patients to raise questions. However, only 16% of respondents who received care report asking their doctor to consider treatment options other than the one initially recommended. 
 
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Wakefern, J&J share partnership insights during GMDC HBW Business Session

BY Michael Johnsen

PHOENIX — Johnson & Johnson and Wakefern Food on Saturday afternoon during the Business Session at GMDC Health Beauty Wellness showcased just how powerful the kind of partnerships generated out of GMDC HBW 2015 can be — a new, dynamic diabetes-centric set co-created by J&J and Wakefern has the potential to generate $1,000 in incremental dollars annually for every new diabetes customer captured by Wakefern’s ShopRite stores. It has the potential to generate loyalty among a growing niche consumer base that represents a marketbasket five times larger than their non-diabetic peers.  

That’s real opportunity that goes well beyond the simple blocking and tackling of slotting inches into a planogram and clearing turn hurdles. “We used to think very differently,” noted Chris Skyers, VP health and beauty care for Wakefern Food. “We looked at the portfolio, we had 700 items and we went year to year [determining] how to recycle events,” he said.

Skyers and his partners at J&J identified the kind of holistic health opportunities that help bridge the back bench and the front-end. “Now when we meet, we meet with a team of almost 20 people, all working on ideas around how to take the health and beauty side, the dietitian’s side, as well as the pharma side and bring it together.”

“As we start to look at all these [health] trends and what they’re doing, and how it’s pushing people into new spaces, that’s where we all have a new opportunity to start to deliver differently,” added Chris Jobes, director health and wellness at J&J. “Enter the era that’s being called the ‘consumerism of health care.’ So many changes are happening; we’re thinking about it differently,” he said. “We’re starting to approach this with a different sense of purpose and look at driving solutions.”

Next stop? Transforming first aid into a wound care destination center. “This [diabetes program] is an example of partnership, but it really doesn’t end here,” Skyers said. “We are building a best-in-class wound-care set that’s really going to address the need of consumers similar to what we did with diabetes. It’s just an amazing transformation. … It’s a different conversation.”

“The healthcare landscape is drastically changing, with skyrocketing costs, and all of us have a great opportunity to drive the market differently, to change patient behavior for better health and wellness choices,” Jobes said. “The consumer patient is helping swing the pendulum. We can help them change behavior, change mentality and stimulate a better healthcare culture.”
     
“The world is changing, and we must look at this new era holistically, in an environment that puts the patient and consumer first,” Skyers said. “We must find better ways to take care of our communities and rethink how retailers and wholesalers work in this new culture, and we must pull healthcare providers further into the loop.”

“Next-practices” was a big focus of the discussion, and strategies were revealed about how stores can redesign their merchandising toward “how the shopper shops,” and where the consumer is commanding change – which can build a significant lift in sales.

“The rapidly evolving healthcare landscape is fueling a seismic shift in over-the-counter products and explosive growth of in-store pharmacies,” said Patrick Spear, president and CEO of GMDC. “This presentation should spark and inspire members to think about their current marketing process and determine how they should adjust future strategies in order to grow sales in this new environment.”
 

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GMDC HBW Showcase: Hot OTC Products

BY Michael Johnsen

PHOENIX — Suppliers are given the opportunity to showcase their products for retail buyers at the GMDC Health Beauty Wellness 2015 event. Below, Drug Store News highlights some of the hot OTC products in the showcase this year.

Care.IT
What new service would help create the kind of destination-driven differentiated health experience in the store without eating up much more space allocation than an end-cap at 20 sq. ft.? With a demonstration stand just outside of GMDC’s HBW product showcase, Care.IT promises to increase foot traffic and brand loyalty — without the need for an onsite attendant — with an in-store telehealth kiosk that connects patients to local healthcare professionals. The Care.IT Stand 15-minute consult costs between $25 and $50 per visit and enables telehealth physicians to capture a range of biometric measurements, including temperature, ECG, heart rate, blood oxygen level, body weight and height.  


HurryCane
GMDC HBW is one of the first marketplace venues showcasing Drive Medical’s new HurryCane, featuring a cane solution already popular among seniors that Drive Medical acquired in August. HurryCane employs a patented design that allows for maximum mobility on all terrains along with continuous balance and stability. “We believe that along with that [HurryCane] brand recognition comes a huge market for HurryCane products, and with Drive’s extensive manufacturing and distribution capabilities, these products will soon be sold all over the world, as will the many new HurryCane products soon to be introduced,” noted Harvey Diamond, Drive Medical CEO.


Curad
It used to be that the only thing to break up the sea of sameness in the bandage aisle was the latest hot license. But as Medline Industries shows, the latest Curad-brand look across its Performance Series line helps break that monotony with a line of colorful bandages targeting adult athletes and their weekend warrior cousins. But it’s not just a merchandising play, the new Curad series feature “extreme hold” adhesive technology that stays on until you take them off, according to the company. The tough, heavy duty fabric not only offers protection, but also is breathable and flexible. And the colored wound pad is 3-times more absorbent than most other leading brands, Curad said.


Bayer Pro Ultra Omega-3
Bayer is placing a little heft behind the latest heart-friendly pill to hit the market. A commercial promoting the new Bayer Pro Ultra Omega-3, brought to you form the “heart-health experts” at Bayer, impresses upon consumers that Bayer’s new fish oil supplement is a better choice than other omega-3 supplements because it has a 60% concentration of EPA and DHA. The leading omega-3 supplement only contains 25%, according to Bayer. The Bayer brand name should add additional credibility to the fish oil segment, and along with those 30-second spots promoting the brand, Bayer also may help to reverse the current trend of fish oil sales, which were down 6.2% to $438.5 million across total U.S. multi-outlets for the 52 weeks ended Aug. 2, according to IRI.


Say Ahh!
Whether it’s merchandised alongside thermometers, within baby care or as part of cough-cold, BWD Companies Say Ahh! Sore Throat Home Exam Aid for Moms is a tongue depressor with a design element that suppresses the gag reflex.  Combining the facts that more millennial moms are taking care of their children’s medical diagnoses at home and a growing prevalence of telehealth options means more and more moms are going to be looking for diagnostic aids that will help them examine their children — possibly creating steadily incremental demand for a tool like this.

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