The world of healthcare is a much different place now than it was five years ago. Speed tracking that process of evolution was the COVID-19 pandemic bringing with it financial downturns, increased digitization, and adoption of new technologies resulting in new trends.
At a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17.44%, the global consumer healthcare market is projected to reach USD 424.63 billion by 2022. The growth spurt comes as organizations pick up business pace after the COVID-19 hiatus that saw lots of remote working, containment measures, social distancing, and even full closure of commercial activities.
In spite of that silver lining, companies still need to work harder when assessing the consumer healthcare markets and discovering feasible ways to respond to the challenges brought on by the global pandemic. Such challenges include the ever-changing consumer expectations for healthcare organizations (HCOs), newer regulations in force, and greater access to these data points as they continue to evolve.
For instance, the EIU estimates a 4.9% increase in private and public healthcare spending in 2023. Other challenges we’re predicting include digitalization as stricter healthcare data regulations come into play in China, the US, and Europe; supply chain disruptions and patent cliffs that increase costs and control pharmaceutical pricing in countries like India, and the US.
To prioritize investments more strategically healthcare organizations need a clear idea of what’s next. Here’s what our in-house research analysts predict will call the shots in the 2023 consumer healthcare realm.
1. Increased demand for OTC and personalized wellness products
The OTC market was valued at USD 202.26B in 2020 and is forecasted to grow at a CAGR of 8.23% over the next five years. There are two reasons for this growth: first – the demand for over-the-counter drugs increased during the pandemic for the treatment of coughs and colds. Next – patients might not need prescriptions for them. A PwC study reveals that 52% of US consumers who take medication regularly were concerned about obtaining prescriptions when they needed them, while 17% experienced delays. Other popular OTC options include dietary supplements that are expanding in developing countries among the aging population.
In light of consumer healthcare trends reigning in 2023, one study reflected that categories of vitamins, minerals, supplements, and hydration drinks have been identified as key drivers within category purchases. In the survey, 60% of respondents expressed interest in vitamins, minerals, and supplements, and 1 in 3 expressed interest in hydration drinks. A substantial 58% showed that they were “very interested” in personalized supplements, with 71% of Gen Z expressing the most interest in such products. Over two-thirds of these consumers (66%) seek wellness products to help them in seven or more areas.
On the more technical side, a telehealthcare platform provided by Estonian startup Viveo Health bridges insurance with healthcare. The startup provides a platform for online doctor consultations for clinics, doctors, and patients. Through video calls, users can communicate with healthcare providers and make appointments. Through the app, users can also receive medical advice, e-prescriptions, and e-referrals directly from doctors.
2. Personalized experiences
The consumer healthcare sector continues to be driven by personalized experiences as a sustained trend, with patients requesting seamless, holistic, and easy-to-integrate healthcare. Providers are expected to be available through virtual visits, care teams to coordinate among themselves, and texts and ‘just-in-time’ reminders should be available.
According to Accenture, half of the healthcare consumers surveyed say a poor digital experience can ruin their entire experience with a provider, and one in four would switch providers for high-quality digital services. Personalized healthcare experiences are no longer an option that healthcare organizations can live without in 2023. It is indispensable in improving consumer satisfaction.
In the US, there are about 80 million adults who do not have adequate health literacy, and 65% of them are from underrepresented communities, according to the US Department of Education’s Health Literacy Report.
The issue of inequality of health literacy cannot be resolved simply by providing health education to patients. It is imperative that educational materials – whether printed or multimedia – are designed with an intentional focus on health equity, diversity, and inclusion (DE&I).
Users can utilize custom-designed tools to modify skin color, eye color, hair color, hair texture, and even nail and lip tones. This helps health practitioners to assess how a skin disease might manifest differently in people with different skin tones to enhance clinical accuracy.
The objective behind implementing such technology is to reflect a wide range of patient experiences across abilities, family structures, gender, socio-economic status, age groups, and ethnicities to acquire the following benefits:
- Information presented should be more accurate from a medical standpoint.
- Increase patient trust across a broader demographic.
- Enhance relationships between providers and payers as patient and member demographics change
3. Building a digital destination for healthcare
There were 106 billion US dollars in revenue generated by the global digital healthcare market in 2019. By 2026, the market is expected to grow by 6x at a CAGR of 28.5%. Approximately 640 billion dollars will be spent on digital health by 2026.
Organizations have launched a number of apps and solutions to accelerate their digitization footing. A single problem remains: most organizations launch an uncoordinated collection of mobile functionalities, creating a disjointed experience for users.
There are often multiple digital and mobile offerings within an organization (e.g., the mobile website, the urgent care app, the virtual visit app, etc.), each competing for consumers’ attention.
Therefore, another reigning trend in 2023 will be improving digital consumer healthcare offerings. To deliver meaningful value, organizations must ensure that their digital health platforms and mobile apps meet consumer needs and are flexible enough to change as needs evolve. Putting the end user first enables businesses to provide a premium digital experience that mirrors what consumers have come to expect from other aspects of their digital life.
4. Evolution of wellness
Yoga and healthy eating, grooming and beauty, nutrition, weight loss, meditation, spa getaways, workplace wellness, and wellness tourism are examples of wellness or the trend of self-improvement through activities that promote physical and mental well-being. It was the pandemic that pushed everyone to value mental and physical wellness equally, and now 76% of global citizens agree. In 2019, the Health and Wellness market generated 44,28,174 million dollars, and it is expected that health and wellness industry revenue will reach 60,33,196 million dollars in 2025 at a CAGR of 5.29%.
A great example in point – an employee badge displaying role-playing game-style hit points gauges was introduced by Tokyo-based logistics and media company Onken in June 2022. In addition to expressing their current condition, employees received three different colored badges to indirectly convey their capacity for extra assignments, overtime and work to their coworkers. Considering the reprioritization of health goals, brands must evaluate how to incorporate wellness into their 2023 products, services, campaigns, and marketing efforts.
Personalized wellness products are not necessarily in demand among consumers, McKinsey reports. The focus is more on mass customization. Products that are tailored to consumers and work for them are what consumers are looking for. The ability to scale customized content can make the difference between retailers growing quickly and stagnating. Finding this ‘goldilocks zone’ isn’t simple, but identifying a clear route toward it would involve semi and hyper-personalized offerings, product variation, and target demographics.
5. Increased presence in primary care clinics in retail stores
There will be a double-digit increase in primary care clinics in retail stores. Health systems with inadequate resources will fail to match retail’s excellent patient experiences in 2023, making patients choose retail health for primary care. The growth of retail health clinics from 2019 to 2020 was mainly driven by the need for local, convenient COVID-19 testing sites and sustained by their ability to provide low-cost, accessible, convenient, and convenient care without an appointment.
Approximately USD 3.49 billion was in US retail clinics by 2022 alone, with more retail companies joining CVS-Aetna, Walgreens, Walmart, Amazon, and Optum-UnitedHealth Group. Retail health is expected to double in primary care by 2025, increasing the pressure on health systems to improve the patient experience.
6. More wearables
Globally, Deloitte estimates that 320 million health and wellness wearables will be shipped by the end of 2022. As new devices are released, and healthcare providers become more comfortable with them, this number is expected to reach almost 440 million by 2024.
In addition, wearable sensors, mobile technologies, and medical wireless biosensors are suitable for use in clinical trials to obtain real-time data when subjects are at home, potentially improving patient engagement and clinical outcomes.
Using wearables, continuous biomarker monitoring is possible. This is a consumer healthcare trend gaining immense traction. Blood glucose levels can be measured non-invasively and without pricking a finger and drawing blood, which has long been a goal of providers and patients. It will be easier to achieve that goal by 2023. With next-generation wearable devices powered by advanced biomarker sensors, blood pressure can also be measured non-invasively in the coming year.
7. Consumers are focusing on healthusiasm
Consumers are more focused on self-care and solutions they can utilize on their own to facilitate better health so that they can be more productive at work and avoid falling ill as far as possible. The term ‘Healthusiasm’ is being used to describe this consumer phenomenon; where consumers are the trendsetters who are actively seeking out products, services, and solutions that are unique to their individual needs.
These consumers are turning to brands and companies to help them attain such health goals. Building on this trend, major consumer and healthcare companies are restrategizing so that they can better deliver on an experience-driven health offering. The focus point of these strategies is customer experience, bolstered by purpose-driven marketing efforts and digital health platforms.
Organizations could respond by using this trend to develop a much stronger connection with their consumers with buyer and business strategies that better address an increasingly health-conscious market.
These are the trends that we predict will be big in 2023 and beyond. Leading healthcare market players partner with us to gain a competitive advantage and plan unique positioning moves to expand their market share. To know how Netscribes can help you meet your 2023 consumer healthcare business objectives, contact us.