Gintare Greenfield Digital Healthcare Analyst Decision Resources GroupHere in the U.S., we might assume that all Europeans enjoy national healthcare. While this is largely true, private insurance does play a substantial role in Western Europe. According to DRG’s Cybercitizen Health® Europe 2015 study, two-in-five consumers in the EU5 markets are, to some extent, privately insured. Most of these privately-insured consumers – nearly three quarters, in fact – use private insurance to supplement public care (and their numbers have increased substantially since 2014), while the rest rely solely on private insurance. Here are some noteworthy findings regarding this growing market segment:

  • Italy has the most supplemental insurance holders, while the UK has the least;
  • Those consumers, who use a mix of public and privately-paid care, are slightly more likely to be diagnosed with various chronic health conditions, even though their average age and gender are similar to the total population;
  • Consumers who pay for some health services are much more digitally engaged across a range of metrics when compared to all EU5 consumers, including mobile/tablet health adoption, social health usage, health video consumption and remote care/digital communication with healthcare professionals;
  • Those paying for some health services  are also more likely to use digital resources from pharmaceutical companies, as 40% do (vs. 29% of all EU5 consumers). They are highly interested in receiving solutions and support from pharma such as health tracking tools, condition or treatment info, patient support programs and help with adherence.

Given this heightened engagement and demand from supplemental insurance holders, pharma should leverage the opportunity to increase traffic to their digital resources. These consumers are not only more engaged in their health management, but are more vocal about their choices – they are more likely to request specific brand-name drugs when compared to those who rely solely on national health systems or privately-paid insurance.

Interested in more insights into EU healthcare consumers and opportunities for pharma engagement? Contact questions@teamdrg.com.

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