In healthcare, as in other industries, consumers are expecting more. But, not all healthcare consumers want the same things.

In a recent panel discussion we hosted with Lyft and Salesforce in San Francisco, thought leaders from the industry gathered to discuss several of the trending topics in the healthcare space, including the tools and technologies affecting today’s consumer.  Panelist Meg Callahan of Lyft said that what consumers are looking for “is a really humanizing experience. Something that is the same as what they experience in their daily life. A way to interact with healthcare in a way that is not separate. It’s not something different than their day to day experience.”

Pain Points for Today’s Consumer

1. Consumers expect convenient and sustainable fitness and wellness options that can fit into their lifestyle

  • Opportunity: Assisted fitness, personalized lifestyle training and management programs that help them in leading a healthy life

2. Consumers expect easy-to-use, affordable, self-management tools to keep a tab on their vitals and medications

  • Opportunity: Effortless digital tools/solutions integrated with smartphones/provider systems for just-in-time, preventive care

3. Consumers want care in their comfort zone and seek to be connected with their care providers

  • Opportunity: Outcome-focused assisted care programs through digital solutions/telehealth at the convenience of the consumer

According to McKinsey research, “Consumers’ openness to innovation can be seen in their increased use of digital tools. Between our 2015 and 2018 surveys, respondents’ familiarity with and use of a range of digital tools—including online medical visits, activity trackers, electronic health records, online scheduling, and digital appointment reminders—rose significantly.”

Health and wellness are a continuous journey, not an end state. As new technologies are empowering individuals like never before, thanks to the ubiquity of e-commerce and social media, consumers’ expectations have also changed. Social media platforms are allowing patients and physicians to share information in real time. Mobile apps are blurring the lines between smartphones and medical devices, and allowing individuals to conveniently and continuously track everything from blood sugar to sleep patterns. Implantable and wearable sensors are bringing the “internet of things” to healthcare and transforming everyday objects, from weighing scales to running shoes, into medical technologies that can help individuals monitor and manage their care.

Consumer engagement has become increasingly important for all healthcare industry stakeholders, but how does the industry really create a “humanizing experience”? True digital transformation requires reimagining business processes. Applying the principles of design thinking can help accelerate delivering on the consumer experience that healthcare desperately needs.

Design thinking is a truly human-centered way of putting people first—understanding their lives and challenges—in order to identify needs and design solutions. When design thinking methodologies are applied to healthcare they lead to a human focus and an openness to generate and test lots of ideas to find more innovative, far-reaching solutions.

Unlike traditional approaches to problem solving, design thinkers follow an iterative process to understand consumers’ experience journey and uncover innovative solutions. This thorough understanding of what, when, why and how about consumers’ end to end experience journey is what guides the process. And because design thinking involves continuously testing and refining ideas, feedback is sought early and often, especially directly from consumers .

Addressing the pain points of today’s consumer begins with leveraging design thinking as the first step to becoming a digital-conscious organization, an organization that is able to translate data into meaningful insights that inspire people 
to take action.

In a $4.2 trillion wellness market, consumers are focusing on proactive, preventative health and well-being, advancing the overall health of America and creating opportunity for digital innovation from actionable insights for all stakeholders.

At emids we’re focused on helping our customers make digital doable; on helping them navigate their way during this remarketable time. We’ve developed five steps that will not only help organizations make digital doable but also put them on the path to being a digital-conscious organization. What are those steps and what is digital consciousness? Sign up for our newsletter to make sure you don’t miss out as we dive in.