Healthcare: A Wave of Change
The momentum of consumer-driven healthcare in the United States is undeniable. Modern culture is quickly adopting a totally new perspective on what it looks like to address one’s health needs. We are seeing acts of “self-care” (researching symptoms online, fact-checking health recommendations, comparing providers, etc.) that didn’t exist even 20 years ago become commonplace.
For a very long time, our society has viewed medical professionals as the great arbiters of our health. That barrier is gone. Today, more and more of us are taking action. We are active participants in our own health decisions.
As technology becomes more powerful and health data becomes more accessible, we are sure to see this transformation accelerate and expand — rippling throughout the healthcare industry.
But what does this transformation mean for healthcare brands?
As with most seismic cultural shifts, some organizations will ride the wave of innovation to great success and impact, while others, unprepared and/or unwilling to proactively jump on board, will soon fade and ultimately become irrelevant.
So what should healthcare brands do?
In a word — decide.
Although the shift toward a consumer-driven healthcare landscape is already well underway, established brands may do well to simply start with the open-ended question, “What does a consumer-driven healthcare world mean for our business?” Then plant a philosophical, yet strategic flag in the ground — decide if customers taking more ownership of their healthcare choices is a boon to the business, or a tragic turn of unanticipated events.
You can do research to validate educated assumptions and marketplace observations. You can conduct strategic summits with all the stakeholders internally and externally. These are smart things, and they should probably happen soon. But first, leaders of healthcare brands should think about the big picture and decide if they believe the reality of consumer-driven healthcare is an exciting opportunity for their business or a contentious threat.