3 Musts To Engage Health Consumers

Tim Perry

Tim Perry,
Chief Information Officer (CIO), Healthcare Too.

Healthcare is changing. Not only for physicians and hospitals but also for yoga studios, financial advisers, massage therapists, food service, acupuncture practices, hospitality, and so many more industries. The modern health consumer demands an on-going health experience, whether from their hotel stay or their hospital stay. Those organizations / providers / businesses that do not adapt will lose to those who do adapt.

The US spent $3.3 trillion on medical care in 2016, about 18% of its Gross Domestic Product. Costs to consumers tend to be unpredictable but usually way more than they want to pay or can afford to pay. Insurance seems to cost more and more but covers less and less. This is where market disruptions happen and such disruptions are already underway.

Consumers are looking more and more at their Lifestyle decisions. Instead of waiting for chronic illnesses like heart disease or diabetes to wreck their health and finances, modern health consumers are thinking holistically. They avoid fast food for clean eating. They practice yoga or tai chi. They no longer focus on biometrics but on mindfulness and energy. They are open to new health therapies, from Acupuncture to Zen. In essence, consumers are working to prevent the preventable and they are using new products and services to do so. This is an investment in health to avoid the costs (and suffering) from avoidable medical conditions.

The Global Wellness Institute estimates that consumers worldwide spent $3.7 trillion to stay healthy in 2015. When we look beyond the escalating costs of hospitals, physicians, pharmaceuticals and other conventional medicine costs there are broad new vistas that are getting not just consumer attention but their cash. This is a new ecosystem where the consumer is at the center and in charge.

Modern Musts

Health is holistic and no longer something done just in a physician's office or hospital. In this modern era health is diet, social interactions, mindfulness, housing, financials, and so much more. Health is every day, not by appointment. Your patients / clients / customers want your help for better health whether you work in a hospital, mental health facility, dentist's office, home health, food service, yoga studio, tourism, beauty products, real estate, financial services, and so much more!

The musts for modern health and well-being are as easy as ABC to define: Awareness, Balance, and Costs. Conventional medical organizations have embraced the need for change at a snail's pace. However, many non-medical industries have seized this evolving health and well-being ecosystem. More restaurants have moved to "clean eating" menus. Financial institutions and advisers are spreading the word about Health Savings Accounts. It seems every tech company has some way to monitor some aspect of health. Health is business and tomorrow's successful companies come from today's plans. Here are three areas your plan must address for the modern health consumer.


Awareness is the foundation for modern health and well-being.

• According to a recent Gallup-Sharecare survey, Americans see a decline in well-being.

• The US and other nations face an epidemic of chronic illnesses like heart disease and diabetes. Research shows that 80% of many chronic illnesses can be avoided through better Lifestyle decisions.

Consumers are looking for new answers and they know that conventional products and services will not provide those answers. How do your products / services fit in building awareness for new approaches to health and well-being?


Health is holistic and happens every day. Consumers are looking daily for products and services that benefit not just body but also mind and spirit. Successful medical programs like Ornish Lifestyle Medicine address all aspects of the person and transform behavior, more than pills and procedures for the body. Companies like Delos are redesigning homes, offices, and schools to provide holistic health environments. Consumers will choose those products and services that offer balance and a coordinated whole person approach for healthcare and well-being. Healthcare is no longer about a 7-15 minute interval with a physician and a script for meds. The modern health consumer wants a balanced, whole-person approach. Do you have an ecosystem of complementary partners who can bring additional value for mind, body, spirit to your patients / clients / customers?


We know that the US spends trillions of dollars every year on medical care. When we consider what consumers spend for health and well-being outside the clinical setting (and usually from their own wallets), that is hundreds of billions of more dollars in the US and trillions of dollars worldwide. Products and services for health are no longer just costs; they are investments. Consumers are paying more and expecting more. How are you helping guide those investment decisions and deliver greater value to your patients / clients / customers?


There is simply too much underway in consumer holistic health for one article to cover it all. A business plan that addresses consumer Awareness, Balance, and Costs is a great first step. However, any plan must have execution or it just sits on a the "what might have been" shelf. For those who want to plan and act, HealthCare Too is happy to partner with you. We have an existing Partnering Program and are open to new ideas as well. It is time consumers have real choice and real health!

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