Connected Health Industry Leaders Agree: Consumer-Centric Care is Marching Forward

by Jennifer Kent | Sep. 21, 2015

Last week, over 200 executives in the connected health space gathered at Parks Associates' second-annual Connected Health Summit in San Diego to assess market trends, technology advancements, and consumer engagement strategies. Several common themes emerged across panels during the two-day conference, all of which point in a single direction – progress.

This year, panelists spoke less about trials and how to get solutions off the ground, and spoke more about refining methods, validating outcomes, and improving the user experience. While many obstacles remain, industry players are optimistic that the convergence or regulatory reform, technological advancements, consumer empowerment, and new investments in this space will make a real impact on the triple aim of improving outcomes, decreasing costs, and improving access to healthcare services. 

Technology and Policy are Advancing the Consumerization of Health

Technology advances, moving in parallel with healthcare policy reforms, are pushing the consumerization of healthcare forward.

Consumers increasingly have a financial incentive to engage in better self-care but need the tools to do so effectively.

The growing connected health technology market aims to offer consumers and care providers solutions that close the care gap between doctors’ offices and the home while potentially alleviating costs and resulting in better outcomes.

The Consumer-Centric Care Model is Growing Up

The journey to a consumer-centric care model is moving from the shallows to the deep-sea zone. The healthcare and tech industries now fully embrace the notion that the key to this successful transition is active consumer participation and engagement.

Industry players must go beyond getting affordable self-care tools into consumers’ hands. They also must ensure that consumers find the user experience so delightful that they will continue to use them until old, bad habits are replaced by new, healthy ones.

Such an outcome requires insight into consumers’ motivations, passions, and triggers for change, as close to the personal level as possible. Without such knowledge and insight-based solution features and programs, the tech industry’s push and care stakeholder’s pull will fail.

Personal Data will Drive Consumer Engagement

The insights necessary for sustained consumer engagement will be enriched by personal data generated from our increasingly connected lives. Big data analytics will guide implementation of personalized care in this industry.

Unlocking the value of data for health and well-being is a huge business challenge but also an unprecedented opportunity for both the tech and healthcare industries.

Even though today we remain at the stage of aggregating and standardizing data, the industry is putting the pieces in place to unleash the power of data for consumer care.

New Entrants are Pushing Market Innovation but Require Partnerships for Success

The connected health market is attracting players from outside of the traditional healthcare space.

Broadband and mobile service providers, smart home players, consumer electronics manufacturers, and app developers bring fresh ideas and new business models to the health space.

For new solutions to be both sustainable and effective in bringing about better care outcomes, partnerships between traditional healthcare stakeholders and new entrants are essential.

Validated Outcomes are Required to Move to Mass-Market Appeal and Adoption

The connected health market is steadily moving past the trial phase, but continued market development requires that ROI and improved care outcomes be validated.

Industry stakeholders must work together to provide investors, regulators, and payers with evidence that connected health technologies make a difference.

For more information on the Connected Health Summit, visit www.connectedhealthsummit.com, or download the complimentary Event Summary.

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