The snowball that will start and avalanche in healthcare

Small changes can start big snow avalanches

It is in the nature of things that sometimes small changes can start up momentous changes. In the physical world there is, perhaps, no better analogue than snow avalanches. In the healthcare world of today the smartphone will generate the same effect. In fact, we are already passed the snowball stage.

A good example for this is what the The annual Society for Healthcare Strategy & Market Development conference (SHSMD Connections) chose to be as the closing discussion: the future of digital marketing and social media. Moderated by Kate Eidam, director of marketing solutions for Breaking Media (MedCity News’ parent company) and hosting Chris Seper, Amanda Bury and Ben Dillon, the discussion reinforces (among other things) one of the idea resonated especially strong for us: that healthcare reform cannot progress without user-friendly, user-focused services.

Remember our post about Google’s decision to beef up Google healthcare knowledge graph? We have summarized then the top reasons why this became more than simply an option big players may or may not pursue:

  • One in every 20 searches on Google is about health information, says Google.
  • At least three-quarters (75%!) of all health inquiries begin at a search engine.
  • More than half of all health searches are now done on mobile devices, another Pew finding.
  • 26% of online health seekers say they have been asked to pay for access to something they wanted to see online (just 2% say they did so).
  • 31% of cell phone owners, and 52% of smartphone owners, have used their phone to look up health or medical information.

And this is just the entrance to whole process of user-centered healthcare approach. In fact, the whole building needs to be remodeled to suit the user: from friendlier search tools to better and more public rating of healthcare services.

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