Health payers should look to the retail industry to improve their consumer health engagement strategies, a new paper from IDC Health Insights argues.
"It is important to differentiate between consumer engagement and marketing," IDC's analyst Deanne Kasim writes. "The overall objective of engagement is to drive behavior change and personal accountability. By contrast, marketing is generally intended to persuade individuals toward a single purchase decision or action, not necessarily sustained behavior. In essence, marketing when combined with enabling information technology (IT) applications and consumer behavior–related processes can lead to a meaningful consumer engagement effort. The shift to a more consumer-centric model has been a difficult transition for many payers that have long-standing traditions of the business-to-business model of insurance."
Kasim suggests that payers leverage a diversity of engagement tools and channels, including an all-inclusive consumer messaging platform with a mix of web-based and mobile apps.
The report also cited an IDC survey from late 2012 that polled 60 executives at health payer groups: IDC Health Insights found that 60 percent of the executives ranked creating a health app for consumer engagement as a "top three" investment for consumer engagement in 2013 -- the year ahead. Apps ranked third on the list of responses following a "consumer engagement portal" and "connected health".
IDC Health Insights also suggested that future payer mobile apps "should tie into CRM applications and analytics to know more about how consumers are using these tools, and what information they are finding to be most beneficial."
More on the paper from IDC Health Insights here.