Innovative Changes of 2014 & Drivers of Consumer Health in 2015

ConsumerHealth2015_600x397What are the drivers of consumer health in 2015? As the new year begins, it is worth looking at the dynamics that we just went through to see what is impacting the healthcare ecosystem today.  I was recently asked to comment on what I have learned about consumers of healthcare, the innovative changes of 2014, and the drivers of consumer health in 2015. Here is how I responded:
The consumer is a major part of healthcare today. It is because of several factors:
  • The Affordable Care Act (Obama Care) has provisions for incentives to people doing things to improve their health or live healthy lives.
  • Hospitals are under pressure to keep costs manageable, keep people from returning for the same type of procedures, and decrease the size of their physical footprint.
  • The demographics of the population in the U.S. has changed.  The size of the baby boom is the largest group to enter the elderly stage of life.  And they are not going without keeping the personal independence that they fought so hard to gain.
  • Tracking health was once the forte of fitness buffs.  The millennial generation was educated using technology and connecting virtually.  The digital generation follows them, but were born innocent to a time without connecting electronically to anything.  The baby boomers are the eager accepters and learners of technology and interested in healthy living.
  • Corporate America is paying attention to providing healthy living incentives because it lowers their costs in multiple ways from direct costs (lower insurance premiums), indirect costs (loss of productivity), and cultural improvement (communications about health rather than complaining about hard work).
  • The technology sector of the economy is very interested in having their best and brightest working on something this socially valuable and financially rewarding.
  • Source:

    IPOs in health care reached a historic level in 2014.  Investment journals are focusing on its rapid growth highlighting growth opportunities in articles such as “Health Care IPO Market On Pace To Double Last Year” by Brian Deagon of Investors Business Daily in

  • People now have a right to their healthcare data. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability act (HIPA) that Congress enacted in 1996 is finally filtering through the system.
  • Patients are becoming consumers and are being addressed as consumers in healthcare planning. Now they are responding to being treated as customers.

What does 2015 bring?  A lot of the above has been developing and will continue to affect healthcare for the next several years.  Typical areas focusing on technology and consumer products are paying particular attention and providing venues for development, research, and marketing opportunities.

I don’t see another area that will drive technology advancement other than entertainment, technology security (also involved in HealthIT) or scientific exploration.

by Dan Charobee, MBA

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