A consumer-centered future of health

Deloitte’s 2019 global health care consumer survey finds evidence that the future is now

Our survey finds people are exhibiting traditional “consumer behaviors” when it comes to health care. The idea that increased consumerism will help change the health care system is not new, nor is it an idea unique to any one region. From North America to Asia to Europe, digital tools and other technologies are helping consumers take more control of their health, according to results of Deloitte’s recent global health care consumer survey.

Twenty years from now, we expect health care to be more consumer-centric. Consumers will likely have access to their own health data in an easy-to-use format and will use it to make decisions that help them improve or maintain their health.

According to Deloitte 2019 global survey of health care consumers, combined with relevant findings from our 2018 US survey of health care consumers, we have made some key findings:

  • Many consumers around the world use technology and otherwise take charge of their health. Even those who are not using technology for health say that they are interested, suggesting that the right tools haven’t been built yet.
  • Consumers are most willing to share their tracked health information (in apps and medical devices) with doctors, in emergencies, and with family members.
  • Consumers are most willing to share deidentified information from their medical record for personal analysis and for the development of therapies to treat patients who have the same condition.
  • More consumers are using virtual visits/consultations.
  • Consumers are no longer passive participants in the health system. They demand transparency, convenience, and access. They are also willing to disagree with their doctors and are more likely to engage in preventive behaviors than in the past.
  • Consumers have access to (and use) tools to compare quality and pricing for health care and services.
  • Apps and at-home self-diagnostic and genetic tests are becoming popular among consumers.
  • Consumers are open to using emerging technologies.

By 2040, we expect the consumer to be at the center of the health model. According to our survey results, a meaningful share of consumers is engaging in what we call “consumeristic behavior.”

Stakeholders should prepare now for an increasingly demanding and sophisticated consumer. Engaging the consumer holds profound potential benefits for health care and the future of health. New digital tools can play an important role in the future of care—from monitoring a person’s health to helping individuals get access to more convenient care, to giving caregivers peace of mind and helping older adults remain in their homes rather than move to institutional care. These tools also have the potential to increase consumer satisfaction, improve medication adherence, and help consumers track and monitor their health (including signs and symptoms that may alert them to the need for care).

To meet consumer needs, organizations should provide easy-to-use platforms, high-quality care through these newer channels, and security and privacy of health and personal information.

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