Consumer Engagement Trends in Health Care: The Three C’s – Care, Community, Convergence

Posted on October 24, 2018

Recently GuideWell Connect’s Sr. Product Strategist, Jason Fey had the opportunity to attend Health 2.0’s fall conference. Health 2.0 is an annual conference that showcases cutting-edge innovation that is transforming all aspects of the health care industry.

While onsite, Jason met with companies and industry leaders that are advancing the health care conversation across the payer and provider space, notably pushing the envelope in the areas of communication, community, and care. This event was an integral opportunity to share how GuideWell Connect is redefining consumer engagement as a whole.

Trend One: Communication

Health plans are discovering how to communicate more frequently and in more personalized ways than ever before. According to a new market research report [1], the health care chatbot market is going to be worth over 300 million dollars by 2023, a 65% increase from where it stands today.

Chatbots are a computer program or artificial intelligence (AI) platform that administers a conversation via text or through hearing. In short, it’s a technology that imitates human interaction to solve various problems and tasks and is increasingly in demand. According to a Gartner report, by 2020, over 50% of medium to large enterprises will have deployed chatbots.

Chatbots, AI and machine learning is one way that plans and providers are filling in this gap. Health care is identifying high-value use cases to improve patient care and deliver better member experience by learning from other industries that have successfully deployed machine-learning technologies. Chatbots and chat functionality also allows consumers to self-select their channel of choice, getting information and communicating through the preferred channel they’re comfortable with, thus increasing overall satisfaction and experience from the health care brand.

Chatbots and functionality can make other sales and marketing channels more effective. For example, blending chatbots with traditional telephonic outreach and sales can filter inquiries and improve the call queues and agent efficiencies. In doing all this, the industry is able to further translate data into actionable insights and segmentation schemas that will inform the use of chatbots and other technologies to deliver hyper-personalized experiences.

Trend Two: Community   

Another trend mentioned during Health2.0 was the surge in the increase of building up the something called the care community with regards to engagement platforms that connect members by improving the their experience, both offline and online and advancing the quality of service and health outcomes.

A care community is where the provider, family members, and care manager all have access to a person’s health data so as a community they can come together and make more informed decisions about treatment for the individual. Digital health solutions like chatbots as mentioned above, in addition to other technologies, will only help facilitate and strengthen the concept of the care community.

Digital will play a critical role in this care community and will be vital to meeting the challenges of health care now and in the future. Digital health solutions can dramatically improve the lives of many people with chronic conditions. An example of how digital can assist with the person-community relationship can be described with someone suffering from diabetes where the diabetic individual, in theory, will be able to log and monitor their blood glucose levels, gauge their carbohydrate and caloric intakes, track their weight and physical activity. This information would then be shared with their primary care physician and their care community for ongoing monitoring, coaching, and preventive care.

The continuation of sharing data within the care communities will help the primary care physician and health plan create customized preventative health plans which would yield better health outcome for member and long-term cost-savings for a health plan.

Trend Three: Convergence

The last trend noticed was how companies need to have seamless integration with the digital and the physical world. For so long our focus has been creating an improved digital experience, which still relevant, yet the experience in the physical realm has taken a back seat. Well, this is about to change. The balance of care, technology, and the human touch is only going to improve. In today’s tech-savvy world, we have apps to schedule appointments, chatbots to ask for help, social and telemedicine to speak with a doctor, yet one thing we should never dismiss, no matter how advanced our technology becomes, is the real value of the human touch.

This can never be replaced, nor should it, but it can be enhanced through a high-touch, high-tech approach to consumer engagement.

Social determinants also play a part in the ways health care companies are improving the physical-digital connection.  Conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, and age affect a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks. One of the speakers on the panel shared how a health care concierge platform that mixes technology with a personalized high-touch approach helped her manage an immune disorder, by providing ways to better connect to health care experts within the privacy of her home when it’s convenient to her.

Integrated engagement solutions utilize high-tech components to deliver better care through high-touch personalized engagement.

Disrupting Health Insurance Member Engagement

Jason Fey had the opportunity to speak with Jessica DaMassa, Host and Executive Producer of What’s The Future Health, a video interview series that gives people a glimpse into the future of health care. Fey spoke about how GuideWell Connect is leveraging its close relationship with various health plans to address its most significant consumer experience (CX) challenges facing that industry today, from helping members select the right plan to understanding their benefits, and keeping them engaged, ultimately leading the member to remain loyal to the health plan.



[1] Healthcare Chatbots Market by Component (Software, Service), Deployment Model (Cloud, On-Premise), Application (Symptom Check, Medical Assistance, Appointment Booking), End User (Patient, Healthcare Providers, Insurance Companies) - Global Forecast to 2023.