Tuesday, June 28, 2011

IBM: health device makers need to focus on Information Seekers

Health device makers should start paying more attention to the overlooked market segment of consumers who are relatively healthy, but could use some help managing a health-related challenge, according to new research published by IBM.  

The report - titled "The future of connected health devices" - calls this consumer segment "Information Seekers". These consumers are looking for solutions that can provide missing information to help them gain greater control over their conditions and ultimately lead healthier, more independent lives.

The authors noted that, to date, health device makers have primarilytargeted their products and services for consumers who are extremely health or fitness conscious as well as those who need to be regularly monitored.

"Between these two extremes sits a large, fragmented and often overlooked population who seek better information to effectively manage their health," the report authors Heather Fraser, YangJin Kwon and Margaret Neuer stated. "Our research suggests that successful solution providers will approach this market opportunity as an ecosystem of partners – with an integrated solution that extends beyond the device itself".

They added that thanks to recent technological advances and increased willingness to collaborate among industries, it is now feasible to deliver solutions that meet the needs of information seekers and help reduce long-term healthcare costs. 

The report noted that health device makers now have the means to target Information Seekers and should focus on the following principles:

  • Make it easy - consumers need simple, intuitive, yet feature-rich devices and online tools that are designed for their specific needs.
  • Design the solution with the end result in mind - solutions should involve integration with healthcare providers, payers and even peer support networks. 
  • Pick a position and partner well – since it is unlikely any single firm will be able to offer a full solution companies can determine, by evaluating competitive strengths and weaknesses, what they can profitably do on their own and where they will need partners. 
  • Help set the rules - device makers should get actively involved in establishing standards for connected health devices.

No comments:

Post a Comment