THE FUTURE OF

Why we’re focusing on health 

This report contains insights from 5,000+ consumers across 11 markets globally, based on which we present our five focus areas for digital healthcare in 2022 and beyond.
The past few years have altered the nature and speed at which individuals seek out healthcare solutions. The COVID-19 pandemic brought with it increased pressure on traditional healthcare systems, forcing us to seek out online healthcare alternatives and explore alternative methods to solve our health concerns. In order to maintain access to healthcare resources there was an accelerated shift to a more digital health landscape which brought with it a new array of healthtech solutions.

In this piece, we are examining the biggest pain points in health today and therefore, where there is potential for innovation.

Jobs to be Done: A perspective on changing consumer behaviour

At Untold Insights, we use the framework of ‘Jobs to be Done’ in our work with clients. Jobs to be Done is a theory of how consumers make buying decisions, which helps us create customer-led product and marketing strategies.

A central tenet of this thinking is the idea that customers buy products or services to help them make progress with a struggling moment. It’s this struggle, identified, that often drives people to seek out solutions.
This pandemic has resulted in shifting our collective struggling moments. The shift to digital has created a range of new Jobs to Be Done for consumers who are open to alternatives to traditional healthcare systems.

Evidence shows that there is already a firmly established pattern globally to go outside the primary healthcare system

This tendency differs drastically by market and is linked to a number of factors such as quality of and reliance on the primary healthcare system in each market. For example, UK and France are least likely to have done this already, in contrast with countries such as Mexico and Brazil where this is a common practice.
TAKING CARE

47%

have already taken their health into their own hands via alternative therapies or other private care.
Breakdown by country
Interestingly, the countries in which there is a pre-existing pattern to go outside of the primary healthcare system, are more likely to be open to new digital health solutions. However even in countries with lower observed numbers such as UK and France, there is still an increasing willingness to consider seeking alternative health solutions, with at least two thirds of people open to the idea. This could be driven by the pandemic overrunning healthcare systems which resulted in shortages and delays.  

78%

77%

64%

57%

46%

36%

36%

32%

32%

29%

27%

JOB ONE

Get timely support for my specific health condition 

One of the biggest overall struggles in health today is the long length of time it takes to resolve concerns.
In moments of illness consumers are highly motivated to seek treatment and find resolutions to their health concerns as quickly as possible. 

When asked about the biggest struggles faced with the their healthcare system, consumers often cited the time it takes to get seen and get their issues resolved.
Respondents biggest struggles with the healthcare system:

49%

Long waiting times

41%

Difficult to get an appointment/ be seen

37%

Long time to resolve issues
This heightened motivation to resolve issues can create higher demand for alternative solutions.

Globally, customers have a high interest in services related to accelerating the speed of resolution.
ENCOURAGING SIGN UP TO AN ONLINE SERVICE

36%

say getting my issues resolved faster than in the current health system.

Which of the following are most likely to encourage you to sign up to a new online health service?

TOP 3 ANSWERS FOR EACH COUNTRY
Click the flags to reveal their top 3 answers
JOB TWO

Find ways to monitor my health and alleviate health anxiety

Consumers are increasingly relying on fitness,nutrition tracking, and other digitised solutions for wellness concerns (see post about wellness here).
While the increased accessibility to your own health information as well as resources on the internet can be very beneficial, it can also lead to increased health anxiety.
When faced with long wait times to resolve health issues, people are more driven to seek alternative information and solutions that will alleviate their concerns more quickly.

This has lead to more proactive health habits and a heightened demand for more health tracking and routine health tests even when there are no causes for concern.

1 in 3

UK consumers will search Google for health advice.
ROUTINE HEALTH 
CHECKS

48%

would prefer to do routine health checks at least twice a year despite having no symptoms of ill health.

Country breakdown for routine health checks

% PREFERRING TO DO THESE TWICE A YEAR
JOB THREE

Specialised support  to manage personal health

In recent years there have been an increasing number of online communities arising to offer support and guidance for typically underserved and misunderstood health conditions such as chronic pain, hormonal issues and gut health.
These communities give a platform and voice to an increasing cohort of people that feel the traditional healthcare system has failed them.
As a result, there is demand to gain access to specialist services suited to individualised needs whether that’s subscriptions for women’s or men's key health concerns, fertility or specialised platforms to aid treatment and recovery for elderly or cancer patients 

29%

Being incorrectly diagnosed

29%

Lack of appropriate consideration and care from healthcare providers

28%

Feeling as if my health issues are not important

Trust is a key challenge faced by healthtech 

A key challenge for new healthtech entrants is the ability to win consumers’ trust - in this sector there is still a lack of self trust and consent in seeking out health solutions for oneself rather than being guided by a health professional

TOP 3 SOURCES PEOPLE GO TO FOR HEALTH RECOMMENDATIONS

1
59%

My Regular Doctor

2
41%

Any health specialist

3
37%

Friend or family recommendation

RECOMMENDATION 1

Solve for niche problem spaces and offer personalised solutions that speak to the needs of  these audiences

Better resonate with your target audiences by understanding their Jobs to Be Done. By doing so you can create tailored solutions to problem spaces where customers have indicated a high motivation to seek alternative solutions. For example; resolving long waiting times, lack of proper diagnosis, health anxiety. In fledgling markets, it’s crucial to target high motivation areas where people are willing to trial new solutions or risk product failure due to launching a product customers are not yet ready for.

RECOMMENDATION 2

Partner with trusted practitioners or offer consultations to help customers overcome the barrier of knowing which solution is right for them

Trust and guidance are key considerations when looking for new health services. This creates the opportunity for healthtech brands to make partnerships or seek clinical approval to win over customers. Being directed towards an alternative solution by a healthcare professional is likely to result in a stronger take up of new solutions in the early stages of healthtech’s growth Support from trusted professionals can also help customers navigate their options more efficiently than in current traditional health services.

RECOMMENDATION 3

Prioritise growth markets where national health is less likely to be a ‘default’ option, and consumers are ready to seek alternative solutions

Countries such as Mexico, Brazil, and Italy have indicated higher likelihood of going outside the primary healthcare system to seek resolutions for health issues. This suggests that these markets could be key growth areas and worth further investigation. Globally, there is also openness to ‘out of country’ specialists, so there’s potentially scope to reach international markets through online channels.

RECOMMENDATION 4

Offer premium experiences and a strong feeling of personal care that counteract the negative experiences your customers are likely to have been affected by previously

Whatever problem area your solution addresses, it could be worth directly demonstrating how it solves for some of the top pain points customers have today about the overall healthcare experience. For example; allowing customers to access health reports online, giving them control over records and checkups, offering video call options with professionals. Innovative solutions can leverage these types of features to capture and sustain happier customers, creating a more productive and seamless experience.

RECOMMENDATION 5

Offer support via communities that can give customers a safe space to air their anxieties and have meaningful conversations with others struggling with similar concerns

The internet is awash with online forums and communities related to health conditions such as chronic pain, hormonal issues and gut health. Data shows that when asked about their biggest struggles faced in the healthcare system, over 25% of participants mentioned being incorrectly diagnosed, lack of appropriate consideration and care from healthcare providers, or feeling as if their health issues are not important. Healthtech brands engaging with customers via online communities can give their audiences a platform and voice that provides a sense of comfort and belonging for many who feel the traditional healthcare system has failed them.

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