2012 has been a year of innovation in mhealth, wellness and prevention start-ups, a focus on EMR and patient/doctor communications, and much discussion about big data.
I'm sure it has something to do with whatever propelled me to delete my Facebook account recently, but I can't help but envision two distinct futures we're headed toward: one where shared health outcomes data are used to change the behavior of the masses for empowerment against disease progression; and another where massive amounts of social white noise is packaged for the handy glow of an iPhone to stupefy the masses with cat videos. They're both shared data systems, yet one utilizes shared intelligence to empower, and the other? Well, it has a similar effect to opium (I'm guessing).
For more than a year, we have been conducing observational research with active digital health consumers (or e-patients) in their natural online habitat. We've been passively observing their Web and social media activities to understand how they actually find and consume health content on a range of subjects, including cancer, heart disease and sexually transmitted illnesses.
As a popular boogieman in the last election cycle, healthcare got beat up pretty good. In marketing circles, healthcare has always been the ugly stepchild to the alluring worlds of fast food, beer and fabric softeners.
The healthcare and wellness industry has had quite a busy and interesting past year, certainly highlighted by the Supreme Court's upholding of the Affordable Care Act this past June. The changes this law will spur, coupled with advances in technology and a renewed focused on consumer empowerment, will continue to drastically reshape our healthcare and wellness landscape. Marketers need to keep a laser focus on key trends that will play vital roles for consumers and the industry. Here are my top 10 trends for 2013.