During the pandemic, switching to virtual care became necessary and convenient, but this shift may be transforming again in some countries around the world. And it’s essential for providers to stay on trend and aligned with consumer needs. Let’s see how that looks!
Understanding how consumers feel about virtual healthcare is crucial to providers’ strategic planning as we wrap up 2022. And we’ll start with an overview of consumers’ love/hate with virtual care, followed by an unexpected business shift, and wrap up with the potential for virtual care in the future.
Consumers Have a Love/Hate with Virtual Care
We know intuitively that virtual care has value and is convenient. And this concept has been battle-tested to be true over the past few years. But how are consumers feeling about the option, overall?
We’re seeing a conflicted populace that at once appreciates its convenience while also questioning the quality of the care they are receiving.
Their issues aren’t new nor surprising to anyone following these conversations. Consumers still feel that the healthcare system is rigged to serve the rich:
And others feel that we would do well to improve in real life (IRL) options ahead of focusing on virtual improvements:
Though the majority of people talking online are certainly in support of continuing virtual options, there’s a potential groundswell of support for more in-person availability. At least that’s how one provider in Singapore is reading the room!
The Business of Virtual Healthcare in Singapore
One would assume with the business of virtual healthcare booming, that providers would be doing everything they can to streamline and expand those services. And many wisely are doing just that.
But some providers are rethinking the approach and wondering if it has legs to stand on its own long-term. And these providers are taking steps toward reimagining and resuming focus on in-person operations as a necessary option for those in need of care. The logic makes sense.
As The Drum recently reported, “Singaporean insurer Income is taking a stand against virtual care and spotlighting how real care is tangible. . . . The new campaign, crafted by BBH Singapore, reminds people of what real care looks like. The 60-second TV spot begins with a voiceover artist narrating how care in today’s world has been reduced to virtual ‘likes,’ ‘hugs’ and ‘hearts’ on social media posts.”
Income has picked up on some important needs that have been somewhat steamrolled in the race to offer the best online options. Because although consumers crave ease of use, there are other equally important areas to keep top of mind, like personal touch.
This is particularly true for marginalized populations that may not have the same access to care as others who are more vocal and in support of virtual options to align with busy (and comparatively, privileged) lives.
As Forbes neatly summarizes, there are five areas for healthcare providers to watch closely – five key indicators that will likely figure prominently in the success (or failure) of these providers in the coming years, and they include convenience, transparency, a good bedside manner, access to information––and, the kicker––options for care.
So, what does all of this mean for the future of healthcare?
The Future of Healthcare
Global health innovation increased $44 billion in 2021 alone, twice as much as it did in 2020, and 50% more health and health tech businesses were acquired by virtual health. Health care is big business.
And over the next five years, up to 80% of providers worldwide intend to invest in technology like digital health, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, as well as equipment to help clinical staff and caregivers.
That’s a significant number of potential avenues to pursue in this industry. And it’s also a distraction from in-person options.
Is our society ready for this full-on transition to virtual care? And should providers be allocating more resources toward understanding a need that Income has identified? It all really depends on the audience each is addressing, and it will require in-depth understanding of who these patients are before sorting out ways to best serve them.
Beyond that, providers will need to stay on top of the response to virtual efforts and be prepared to adopt newer technologies as they become available and viable for their audiences. This means that there are many audiences to accommodate here and only so much time to assess those needs. Data analysis is a must – and one that offers best in class accuracy is essential.
Creating specific audiences to track, aggregating all of your insight from a variety of data sources in one place, and having one source of truth that allows you to make category-capturing decisions with confidence is a tall order for providers (and their data analysis vendors) to fill. And it’s one that we’re helping industry leaders wrap their arms around every day.
Reach out for a demo today, and we’ll help you capture and analyze the intel you need to drive your organization forward and uncover big ideas to power your next outreach, resulting in places writing about your revolutionary approach––like Income!