By now, it’s somewhat cliché to talk about the "empowered consumer" with a world of health and medical information at her fingertips. There’s truth to it, sure – for the newly-diagnosed, a primer on MS or PAH and the available treatment options is no more than a few clicks away – but it misses the complexity and adversity faced by today’s healthcare consumer.
As the US healthcare system transitions from a fee-for-service system to one designed to incent better outcomes for lower cost, consumers are paying more of the cost of their care, which pushes them to shop around and weigh tradeoffs of cost and quality. They’re being hit with a double-whammy of financial pain and bewildering decisions, with big consequences for their health and quality of life in the balance. They’re looking to the internet, and to peers and influencers online, to help them make those decisions.
They’re also looking to pharmas, for whom customer experience is becoming a key differentiator. As noted in a new report from DRG Digital Innovation, A New Era of Customer Engagement for Life Sciences, three in five online consumers expects the healthcare system to offer the same level of customer service they get from service-oriented enterprises like Amazon.com, and one in five says that when it comes to pharmaceuticals, a quality patient experience is as important to them as an effective medication.
The bad news for pharmas: only 8% of online consumers say pharma companies are providing a better customer experience than they were two years ago, suggesting that while there’s strong consumer interest in help from pharma, the industry has work to do before brands can begin to meet these needs and capitalize on the opportunity they present.
Take a look at the report, which includes case studies on apps, resource allocation and patient support opportunities, along with some meaty data on consumer and professional attitudes, here.