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Posts from the ‘Healthcare’ Category


Digital Personas, UX and Customer Journey Mapping

Who are we designing for? What are we designing?  What outcomes are we targeting? What are the end-to-end user journeys as boundaries blur  between consumers, stores and consumer brands?

How do you approach the messaging and the storytelling, especially given the challenges of channel proliferation? How do you break through the clutter? The first step in every digital strategy is to develop personas that segment the audience and serve as the foundation for customer UX and journey mapping

The best practice firms start with the user. Working from the perspective of the client who consumes a product or service, they focus on personas or “one idealized digital user.”

The goal is to think about the prospect, consumer, user as a human being. What matters in his or her life. Why?  Because users do not wake up in the morning and think, “I need a new app today,” for example. People wake up in the morning and worry about getting to work, getting kids to school, where to meet friends for dinner, paying your bills and saving for the future.

Understanding the persona and the daily journey is critical in modern experience design.  If marketing is going to interrupt you with something that they think is important to you, they have to find a way to tell the user about it so that it resonates with the user. There has to be a benefit to user. There has to be substance. Hence the need for real-world story-telling and context.

What is a digital persona?

Personas are fictional characters used to represent specific segments that interact with the brand across a variety of touchpoints. Personas characterize attitudes, values and behaviors of customer segments, and draw from various inputs to accurately depict the customer. They are helpful in distilling key information into more succinct stories that can be quickly understood. Personas are developed using qualitative research interviews, ethnographic studies – talking to real people about their real needs, motivations and behaviors.

Why is digital persona development important? The new battlefield is the customer journey and its various touchpoints across the lifecycle: AWARENESS → CONSIDERATION → PURCHASE → LOYALTY → ADVOCACY.

Across every industry, consumerization is changing how People they interact with businesses. Traditionally, most businesses have followed the same marketing and sales playbook to generate leads, close sales and provide support to their customers as they did 10-15 years ago. Businesses need a more effective way to humanize the target audience in order attract, engage and delight customers who have access to an abundance of information and an ability to block traditional marketing and sales tactics. To do this, businesses need to deliver an customized experience, which enables them to be more helpful, more relevant and less interruptive to their customers.

I believe an effective way to illustrate how people have transformed the way they consume information, research products and services, make purchasing decisions and share their views.  You get a sense of this by reviewing these general personas – Digital Susan, Social Ashley, Introvert Dave,  Modern Meghan and Traditional Ted.  Read more »


Health Exchanges, Consumerism and Payers – Digital Transformation Underway

DigitalHealthcareEvolutionEmployee Benefits and HR are going digital. New firms like Workday and Zenefits are transforming HR into the multi-tenant Cloud.  New firms like BenefitFocus, Liazon (acquired by TowersWatson), and others are moving employee benefits to the cloud.

Employee benefits and health insurance in the U.S. is at the cusp of a major transition from an employer-driven payer model to a employee driven digital model.

Private and public health insurance exchanges with a defined contribution approach represent a significant step in this journey. There are also clever risk shifting strategies emerging where employers are moving part-time workers onto public exchanges.

The spend on employee benefits in the U.S is staggering. In 2011, employers spent on $1.64 trillion on employee benefits alone.  Healthcare benefits are the 2nd costliest line item for companies in the U.S. So, companies are taking aggressive steps to reduce this spend.  Employers are digitizing HR and moving employees to private exchanges at faster than anticipated rate. Consider this:

  • IBM moved to a private health exchange…Extend Health private exchange will be handling plan options for 110,000 IBM retirees
  • Walgreens moved employees to a Corporate Health Exchange.  Of the 180,000 Walgreen employees eligible for healthcare insurance, 120,000 opted for coverage for themselves and 40,000 family members. Another 60,000 employees, many of them working part-time, were not eligible for health insurance.
  • Trader Joe’s  — decided to send some employees to the new public exchanges. Trader Joe’s has left coverage for three-quarters of its work force untouched but is giving part-time workers a contribution of $500 to buy policies. Because of the employees’ low incomes, the company says it believes many will be eligible for federal subsidies to help them afford coverage.
  • Time Warner will direct retirees to an exchange to get health coverage

The move to patient-centered, consumer-driven, and value-based models is real. The market size is enormous.  Healthcare spending is forecasted to be ~$3.1 trillion in 2014, with $620 Bln of this paid by U.S. employers.  In 2013, employers contributed 32% more in health care expenses than 2008.  More recent data about the changing insurance and delivery landscape.


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Digital Health and Wellness – New forms of customer engagement

PreventionDigital health and personalized wellness is about to reach escape velocity and transform the way millions of people  achieve their health and fitness goals. Self-tracking, quantified self,  connected fitness and personalized notifications (customer engagement) is the new frontier.  What was considered visionary a few years is now possible.

Consumer Health and Wellness management is a huge market opportunity in the U.S:

  • $2.6T – $2.8T annual spend on healthcare in USA, 18% of GDP in 2010, up from 5% in 1960, and 2x OECD average;
  • 100MM Americans (30%) of Americans considered obese in 2012, up from 15% in 1990.
  • $147Bln estimated medical costs associated with obesity in 2008, up from $79Bln in 1998
  • Diseases like diabetes currently affects more than 8 percent of the U.S. population, at a cost of $245 billion annually, and is projected to rise sharply over the coming decades due to obesity and an aging population.

In 2014,  the Affordable Care Act and readmission penalties, we saw the transformation of healthcare in the US market to a value based reimbursement model impacting payers, providers, pharmacies, technology vendors and more. The next phase of evolution of healthcare delivery is around getting customers more interested in managing their own health by changing lifestyles and healthier living.

(Source: American Heart Association, Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2012, OECD)

Trends Driving the Connected Health and Consumerization

Preventative healthcare is really about the getting the participant to be active in their own healthcare management and change behavior.  The change around consumer driven healthcare spend are staggering:

  • IDC expects the market for wearable devices will reach 114.0 million units shipped in 2018, representing a $33.7 billion worldwide revenue opportunity.  Compare this to   2014, shipments of wearable devices more than tripled compared to the prior year, reaching a total of 21.0 million units shipped.
  • Consumers spent over $200 billion in 2014 on health and fitness services  (industry sources – Fitbit S1)

Virtual wellness coaches, loyalty incentives, social gamification and personalized goals are all elements of this growing digital ecosystem.  Technology is a key enabler of this ecosystem with advances in wearable (e.g., Apple Watch) and sensor computing (e.g., clip-on activity trackers).

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