The U.S. healthcare industry is completely different than it was 10 years ago. Thanks to things like social media sites, blogs, mobile and wearable technologies, as well as artificial intelligence and big data, Americans are demanding, assessing and sharing information and taking a proactive approach to their care as they never have in the past. For market researchers, the shift is a vast one, forcing them to stay attuned to a healthcare market that is more dynamic, less predictable and extremely dependent on patient input. Take a look at how technology is changing market research in the healthcare industry:
According to Pew Researchers, 89% of Americans use the Internet with 80% of them looking for health-related material while online. It seems the majority of people are looking for information via the worldwide web in order to research treatment options, find doctors and get support for their medical needs. With this in mind, healthcare market researchers are changing the way they cater to consumer demand. They are monitoring social media sites and blogs (called “social listening”) for relevant data, creating research designs that are easily accessed, viewed and navigated on screens and tracking online movements. All of these techniques engender larger amounts of data in shorter amounts of time, an asset for researchers wanting a realistic portrait of the American healthcare landscape.
The Internet of Things (IoT)
The Internet of Things is basically the Internet connected to the physical world. The connection allows effortless flow of data from one source to the other. It encompasses everything from Apple’s Alexa to Nest’s Smart Home products and an almost infinite number of possible things in between. Wearable medical monitoring devices (like activity trackers, Bluetooth-connected glucometers and other instruments designed to assess and relay information about a patient), especially, are giving market researchers access to information in ways that were previously impossible. By connecting these types of devices to patients, healthcare providers, as well as market researchers, can observe, record and evaluate timely patient data, thus producing valuable insights about their daily habits. Doctors can improve their level of care and healthcare market researchers can improve the ways they reach consumers because they have unequivocal, objective patient data.
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence
The potential power of both the Internet and the Internet of Things is possible through the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI). AI is the simulation of human intelligence without human interaction or input. With complex sets of rules, machines can be programmed to learn specific tasks, making decisions using logic they organically obtain with each data encounter. It’s a process that affords big data, and with it, market researchers have even more facts with which to work. It makes catering to and addressing consumer concerns more effective and efficient than ever.
Need More Info?
Healthcare market research is a complex process that can be facilitated with greater accuracy through a wide variety of new and exciting technologies. If you need assistance with a healthcare market research project, contact our team at Communications for Research (CFR). We can help you design a research plan that gets you the information you need for increased productivity and profitability.