There area number of reasons why healthcare has a long way to go before there’s a total digital disruption.
But to track how far along it’s come, the Adobe Digital Insights team compiled a report based on anonymized data from health insurer and health information websites, along with billions of site visits, and a 1,000-person survey. This is the first report from Adobe Digital Insights on digital healthcare.
They found that one of the biggest problems was that people didn’t know certain apps were even available. For example, they said, more than one third of people aged 18-24 didn’t know if their insurance company had a mobile app.
That’s troubling, Becky Tasker, Digital Index manager, told Business Insider, because it could make things harder once that group becomes insured on their own. “If they don’t know about it, they might not take that step into being digitally savvy.”
The report also noticed a wariness about letting companies access your health information. Even with insurance providers, only 36% of survey respondents were very/extremely comfortable sharing that information digitally. Fewer were very/extremely comfortable with letting a health app or website have access to their information.
All in all, the researchers concluded, healthcare still has a long way to go before it can catch up to other industries.
Matt Roberts, a senior analyst on the report hypothesized that it’s in part because of healthcare’s business models. The travel industry, as with many others, were forced into the digital age in order to survive. Healthcare, on the other hand has been a bit more sticky and established, in part because of all the regulation and privacy that’s integral to the industry.
For comparison, here’s how healthcare fits into other areas trying to use the digital space. The farthest along were health information sites that provided information about their symptoms.
Tasker said it would be hard to predict how this report would look in a year, but that ideally it would be great to see more efforts to bring people online, especially via mobile devices. However, there is hope: Of those surveyed that have used healthcare tools on their phones, there was a generally positive experience and an interest in wanting more. The industry will just have to catch up.
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