We are living in a time of unprecedented change, fueled by emerging technology that will impact how we live, when we work and the way we interact with each other and the world around us. It’s hard to imagine how we would make it through the day without our smart phones, but it’s even harder to believe the first iPhone was released just ten years ago.
So what will the next ten years bring? There are a number of developments already underway that could drastically alter the future of medicine: wearables, biochips, bioprinting, biometrics and genomics to name just a few. Regardless of how the advances in technology may change care delivery, the patient will continue to remain at the center of healthcare. As innovation pushes always-on connectivity and on-demand access to new levels, how will this shape patient expectations? Is the healthcare industry prepared to respond to consumers who can get everything faster, want more knowledge and have replaced human connections with digital reality?
Read below to discover six major shifts in the customer of the future as predicted by Lippincott¹– and ways you can start preparing now for tomorrow’s reality.
- A life in flow – Provide products and services that flow smoothly and don’t interrupt a connected life where purchases are made anywhere, anytime and even work is conducted from home. This consumer will replace doctor visits with telemedicine and a primary care provider with a virtual network of healthcare experts. What do you need to do to prepare? Do a full assessment of your systems to see if your data is integrated across every platform so you can deliver provider-patient interactions in whatever channel the future brings.
- Transparent existence – The customer of the future will expect full transparency and will rely on crowd-verified products and services. Is your patient experience ready for full accountability? If you’re not sure, look at your online reputation and patient reviews to get a better idea of what patients are saying and ways you can improve.
- Omnipotent individual – The future will take personalization to a whole new level with complete consumer power to unbundle, customize and make a custom product or service. Every patient is different and what they need is unique. Do you recognize an individual patient’s conditions and customize your communications around the services they need? If not, discover new ways to use your patient engagement technology to connect with your patients.
- On-demand everything – Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could eliminate waiting and unnecessary effort? That’s what tomorrow’s consumers will expect, but you can start making it a reality today. Analyze patient processes, including making appointments, delivering lab results and collecting payments. Are they patient focused and convenient? If not, use technology to make them easier and faster.
- Exponential intelligence – The Internet has given patients access to more information than at any other time in human history, but the consumer of the future will take it to new levels, looking to artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing platforms to help make decisions. Tomorrow’s patients just won’t want a second opinion, they’ll want a whole group of friends, family and experts to weigh in. Ask yourself: do your patients see you as a source of trusted and reliable information? If not, boost your outreach efforts with digital newsletters, videos and emails on topics including prevention, wellness, managing chronic conditions and medical advances. You may be surprised how better communication can strengthen your relationship with your patients.
- Synthetic reality – In the future the line between the digital world and real world will break down, driven by virtual reality, gamification, digital access and expanded forms of communication. With the rise of wearables, remote patient monitoring is quickly becoming a reality. But even for patients who haven’t adopted this technology, patient surveys can help you collect vital information about health risks, gaps in care, medication adherence and other patient metrics. With this information, you can track patient progress and intervene to avoid illness or even hospitalizations.
West is dedicated to connecting people all over the world, making companies more efficient and improving lives. Find out how technology-enabled communications can improve patient engagement and convenience by scheduling an appointment to speak to a West consultant.
¹ Lippincott, “Meet Dawn: Get to Know the Customer of the Future,” 2017.