Is digital healthcare being strong-armed by myths? According to a new study done by McKinsey & Company, the desire for digital healthcare is growing steadily, despite the fact that there are many myths about the future of this digital era.

People don’t want to use digital services for healthcare

The field of healthcare is host to a sea of confidential information. Because of this, many believe that patients lack a desire to use digital services in an effort to protect themselves and their health information.

The research, conducted across multiple countries, found this to be entirely inaccurate.

In fact, 75% of all the patients who participated in the study fully expect to be using digital services in the near future.

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Only young people want to use digital services 

Another primary concern about the use of digital services in the healthcare setting is that digital services may not be able to reach the appropriate users. People are convinced that older populations are brimming with technological laggards who will be unable to access these resources. McKinsey found that people over 50 years of age want digital services for their own personal healthcare nearly as much as the younger populations. 

 “More than 70 percent of all older patients in the United Kingdom and Germany want to use digital healthcare services; in Singapore, that number is even higher.”

We start to see a disconnect when we take a look at the types of channels that these different populations are willing to access and use for their own healthcare. The younger populations are often more open to the idea of using new-age resources, such as social media, while the older population is more likely to stick with websites and e-mail.

Mobile health is the game changer

Virtually every large brand that has anything to do with health and wellness has launched some sort of fitness tracker. Mobile health, without a doubt, is a game changer. But that does not necessarily make it the be all and end all for healthcare. The strength of interest in mobile healthcare is not universal and users utilize their mobile health tools in very different ways. Mobile health and tracking is favorable amongst younger populations but is not being quickly adopted by the older populations.

Patients want innovative features and apps

Innovation has become a household word in the field of mobile applications and across the board in our technology-focused world. Tech companies believe they must create break-through features and applications with social media capabilities in order to engage users. However, for most patients, better apps with social media capabilities do not necessarily mean higher adoption rates or stronger engagement.

A comprehensive platform of service offerings is a prerequisite for creating value

The name of the game for creating value within a platform is utility. The healthcare system is a complex structure with numerous moving parts and people need applications they can use in their day-to-day lives now more than ever.

Picking out a healthcare specialist and knowing when and where to pick up prescriptions may sound like mundane tasks, but are often exactly what the patient needs the most help with.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for shaping the company’s perspective on the next era of healthcare marketing. Through thought leadership, strategic innovation workshops and new products and capabilities, Leigh focuses on identifying marketing approaches that will fuel that new era and generate significant growth for clients. Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for over 17 years. She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she had several leadership roles at one of our agencies, GSW. There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business. Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes. A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice, Leigh also was recognized as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.