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For decades, the healthcare and life sciences industries have wrestled with outdated technology and a fragmented ecosystem. Now, they face another challenge: meeting the growing expectations of healthcare consumers. Salesforce Research’s newly released Connected Healthcare Consumer report, based on a survey of nearly 6,000 healthcare consumers worldwide, provides insight into what today’s healthcare consumers expect from providers, insurers, and pharmaceutical and medical device companies.
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Healthcare is contending with evolving consumer expectations
On-demand and personalized experiences are the norm in industries like retail and hospitality, and 69% of consumers say one extraordinary experience raises their expectations of other companies. According to consumers, healthcare and life sciences companies often miss the mark. Forty-seven percent of healthcare consumers — including 57% of Americans — say these industries care more about their own needs than patient needs.
Social determinants of health mark challenges for care
Social determinants of health, such as literacy, family support, and transportation access, can greatly impact personal wellbeing. Sixty-four percent of healthcare consumers say paying for treatment is a challenge, and 42% have missed an appointment with a provider due to life circumstances.
Younger consumers want easier access to healthcare
Between the complexity of personal life circumstances and of the healthcare and life sciences ecosystem, consumers are interested in reducing the barriers to care. Ninety-four percent of consumers are interested in walk-in clinics, and younger generations express strong interest in technology-based methods like mobile apps, texting with a health coach, and using a voice assistant.
Consumers demand real-time communication
Sixty-eight percent of consumers now expect companies to engage with them in real time. Among healthcare consumers, millennials and Gen Zers have particularly strong demands for immediacy. These younger generations are more likely to value instant messaging, texting, and video chat — channels that provide instantaneous feedback or are commonly used on-the-go.
Consumers see potential in artificial intelligence
Providing quality care at scale while keeping costs down is a big challenge in healthcare. Could artificial intelligence (AI) help? According to our research, consumers believe AI can increase efficiency and deliver personalized recommendations, through appointment scheduling, health reminders, and cost-saving recommendations.
Data in the Connected Healthcare Consumer report is from a double-blind survey conducted from July 23–August 15, 2019, that generated responses from 5,984 individuals across North America, Latin America, Europe, and the Asia Pacific regions. All respondents are third-party panelists.