Parks Points

The Key to Consumer Engagement for Connected Health Solutions

by Harry Wang | Sep. 12, 2016

Parks Associates wrapped up the third-annual Connected Health Summit: Engaging Consumers in San Diego this week, hosting close to 300 executives and featuring more than 50 speakers, including keynotes from Annette Brüls, President, Diabetes Service and Solutions at Medtronic; Alex Hurd, Senior Director, Product Development, Growth and Payer Innovation – Health & Wellness at Walmart; Dr. David Rhew, Chief Medical Officer and Head of Healthcare and Fitness of Samsung Electronics America; and Stuart Slutzky, Chief, Product Innovation of HumanaVitality.

2016 initiated a new stage for connected health players and consumers using their solutions, following two years of significant market events:

  • 2014: Large consumer electronics companies such as Apple, Google, and Samsung entered the consumer health and wellness market.
  • 2015: Early entrepreneurs in connected health, such as those behind TelaDoc, Fitbit, and MyFitnessPal, met with success and notoriety.

These events occurred during the seismic and still ongoing shift from a fee-for-service to a pay-for-performance payment model in healthcare, and in 2016, the market has crossed over from early investments and pilot-program collaborations to a critical mass of market winners. Customers of connected health solutions and services are picking their winning vendors and partners for long-term commitments—good news for true innovators and bad news for those with failing solutions.

One factor driving this growth is the continued expansion of the connected home concept and the consumer-based Internet of Things (IoT), which offers a large “opportunity footprint” for health solutions. The continued emphasis on pay-for-performance is also driving new business strategies for the connected health industry.

In both cases, companies need to engage consumers for their healthcare solutions to be successful, and to do so requires knowledge to target consumers on an individualized basis, which includes social and attitudinal factors alongside accurate health risk assessment and effective engagement approaches.

Throughout the event, healthcare executives discussed strategies to achieve consumer engagement, such as how to define and track engagement, what is the role of the pharmacist, how can connected devices impact chronic conditions, what is the best environment to approach consumers about health and wellness solutions, and the impact of apps on consumer behavior.

Parks Associates research shows the adoption of connected healthcare devices has increased 40% since 2Q 2014 but only 13-14% of U.S. broadband households show interest in new health management services. The industry needs to focus on metrics such as Net Promoter Scores (NPS) for healthcare solutions, which are key measurements of consumer satisfaction with a solution. As part of the ongoing shift to a consumer-focused market, it is essential for companies to be attentive to consumer needs and maintain strong consumer connections. They can take lessons from outside the industry, from successes such as Pokémon Go, in designing healthcare apps and solutions.

In the next few weeks, Parks Associates will release the Connected Health Summit Event Summary, which provides a high-level overview of the themes and panel conversations discussed throughout the event.

For more information about the Connected Health Summit or Parks Associates health research, visit

Harry Wang

Harry Wang

Senior Director of Research

Harry Wang oversees Parks Associates’ mobility and apps research, which covers mobile/wearable devices and services, apps and APIs, and mobile commerce/marketing, payment, and connected car industries. He is also the founder and lead analyst of Parks Associates’ digital health research program since its inception in 2006. He and his team cover emerging health technologies, applications, and services in areas such as chronic/preventive care, independent living, wellness and fitness, and virtual/convenience care.

Harry has published more than 40 industry reports and white papers and presented his mobility and digital health research at numerous industry events including CES, Mobile World Congress, CTIA, Open Mobile Summit, World Health Congress, the American Telemedicine Association Annual Trade Show, and Parks Associates’ CONNECTIONS™ and Connected Health Summit conferences.

Harry earned his MS degree in marketing research from the University of Texas at Arlington. He also holds an MBA degree in finance from Texas Christian University and a BA degree in international business from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, P.R. China.

Industry Expertise: Digital Health Products and Services, Portable and Mobile Access Platforms and Applications, Digital Imaging Products and Services

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