The next generation of healthcare companies is leading the movement where patient experience and engagement are king. New York City’s health entrepreneurs have been at the forefront of creating products and services that put patients first. These companies offer so much of what traditional healthcare doesn’t — personalization, ease of use, transparency and seamless customer experiences.
It’s about empowering people to take control of their healthcare. Empowerment and control lead to active participation, which result in better health outcomes for people and populations. Of course, this is easier said than done; but, there is no shortage of “next gen” companies that are tackling the challenges head on, some leaders of which participated in a recent panel I hosted at RedPeak.
We had a lively discussion with business leaders from the NYC health community [Allon Bloch — K Health, Nan Forte — Everyday Health Group, Dorothy Gemmell — Capsule, Joel Wish — Simple Health] and NYC Health Business Leaders to understand what it takes to be truly “patient first.”
Solve for their problems — sounds like a no brainer, right? But companies often get too focused on finding a solution that they forget what the problem was to begin with. Open a dialogue with the patient to improve their overall healthcare experience. Take Capsule, for example, shifting expectations from what a pharmacy experience should be by alleviating the many hurdles people face in getting their medication; Or Everyday Health understanding that there is a real need to create a content platform where real time healthcare tips and advice can be captured. “Next Gen” companies are surfacing real solutions to empower patients by understanding their problems with the system and addressing them head on.
Consider the whole
Have a complete view of the person and understand their total health needs, beyond their specific interactions with you. Take a more holistic point of view, whether that’s focusing on the whole person, or connecting someone’s physical needs with their emotional needs.
Use data for good
Let people seize control of their data — at its core, data should be used as a service to help people, provide them with better care and ultimately improve the overall healthcare experience. People need to be given greater control over how their data is used, more transparency over how their data is shared and allow them to be fairly compensated for doing so.
Facilitate better decisions
Provide the tools to help people make more informed choices — more so than ever people are self-diagnosing and easily obtaining “lifestyle drugs.” They are bombarded with new ways to access care, through apps and other digital health tools. With more choices comes less understanding, in many cases, in spite of your own expertise or health literacy. Mechanisms must be introduced to drive greater transparency, to allow people to select the healthcare services that are right for them and to judge the good “next gen” companies against those that are cutting corners in order to chase revenue
Today the US healthcare system is littered with monopolistic practices, which has the potential to stifle innovation. An industry that is “patient first” encourages an environment where brands are “duking it out” to create the best possible products and services for people. And letting people make choices with their wallets.
Build a lasting connection
It’s about more than your product or technology — to meet and exceed patient’s expectations across their healthcare journeys and drive the right choices, you must have a brand that customers can trust. A brand is neither a logo nor a product, it is the relationship that you create over time by solving your patients’ problems and satisfying their needs at the moments that matter.
About the Author | John Breen
John Breen is Executive Director, Health Strategy & Analytics at RedPeak Branding, where his boundless curiosity and customer-driven mindset help clients to innovate amidst disruption. With nearly 20 years in the industry, John leads RedPeak’s thinking and practice in the complex health & wellness space and is the primary architect of the agency’s POV on brand measurement overall.