In a report published this month, McKinsey & Company provides key insights based on interviews conducted with thousands of patients on their perception of digital healthcare services. The interviewees formed a varied cross-section of different age groups and incomes, as well as varying levels of experience with the technology services that are increasingly an integral part of healthcare delivery.

Results of the survey (available at the link below) revealed some surprises in terms of how patients view the technology. The report also provides information about how hospitals and other healthcare providers can approach the implementation of digital services for patients. Key findings include:

(1) Over 75% of all patients would like to use digital healthcare services in the future if those services meet their needs.

(2) Patients in all age groups (not just young patients) expect to increase their use of digital services.

(3) The adoption of digital services by patients is primarily driven by patient awareness of the services and the quality of how the services are implemented.

(4) The demand for mobile healthcare apps is strongest among young people, especially apps geared toward younger demographics, for example, apps focused on prenatal health or “healthy lifestyle” choices.

(5) When introducing digital healthcare services, it’s important to understand: a) what patients really want, b) the best way to provide the digital services, and c) the value of starting small.

(6) When planning for digital services, segment your initiatives according to criteria such as: a) the amount of investment required, b) the estimated demand by patients, and c) the value created by the services.

The report makes a conclusion that the time is now ripe to take advantage of digital services in terms of capturing the attention of patients and building long-term value—however, the keys are to understand what patients really want and avoid the pitfalls of five prevalent myths, which are listed in the report.

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Author: Jim Wiederhold

Jim believes his 39 years of experience--particularly his more than 26 years in healthcare--has prepared him well for what he does. His wealth of experience spans key areas, including finance, operations, management, leadership, sales and sales management, corporate, contingency, contractual and retained recruiting, outplacement and transition work and executive coaching.