That healthcare is somehow its own thing, separate and distinct from a customer’s bigger world and cultural context, was for a long time taken for granted. Its lab-borne products are complex, often life-saving creations. They’re the stuff of doctor’s offices and hospitals. They come to life in a delimiting environment of regulation. Why should healthcare look like its consumers’ other experiences? Consumers may even take comfort in thinking of healthcare as separate from the rest of their lives—so they can worry less and just go on living.
But with evolving expectations, stark unmet needs, and unrelenting innovation, what’s coming into focus is a healthcare landscape more zealous than ever about lifting up its customers. Perhaps the best way to describe what’s happening is this: We are witnessing the rise of the healthcare personal ecosystem. Outside of healthcare, personal ecosystems are already huge.
For example, take Nike. With a sleek, Apple Pay–enabled website and app, it’s almost too easy to buy their shoes and apparel, but that doesn’t even begin to capture the experience they create toward a bigger purpose. In addition to brick-and-mortar stores, which include flagship locations that double as spectacular tourist destinations, they also build physical workout spaces in major cities, organize local school athletic programs, and host family-friendly events like their annual 3ON3 basketball tournament. Anyone can use their Nike Run Club app, which syncs with the rest of your phone’s health data to help you live as healthily as possible. In so many key facets of a consumer’s life—public, private, and spaces in between—Nike is there, making fitness easier.