Drawn and quartered: digital health consumer study

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Parks Associates’ latest study of potential digital health consumers will come as a confirmation for some of us who’ve been up and down a few hype curves, and be a sobering bucket-of-cold-water for those wedded to the Revolutionary-Transformative-eHealthy-D3H Bandwagon view that digital health will change EVERYONE’s life. Market segmentation is a useful marketing tool for narrowing down your real market to spend those scarce (investor-supplied) funds: those most likely to purchase, and a broad picture of what they look like. As you’ll see in the Parks Associates/TTA graphic above, the market for digital health almost neatly breaks into quarters: the top half has the greatest potential. The report looks at lifestyle/behavior, health, residential and income factors among 2,500 broadband-equipped heads-of-household.

Where’s the surprise party? It’s no surprise that the highest potential market denizens are already health-conscious, good ‘do-bees’ in their diet and exercise and higher in income. The second quarter represents older adults facing health challenges, but already on track with their health ‘mindfulness’–perhaps they are the older, health-challenged versions of the first group. It’s the next two groups and their respective positionings which are the surprise. The Parks study ranks the ‘bad do-bees’ –the already sick with bad health habits and lower incomes–in potential above the young, tech-enthusiastic and healthy–but not health-conscious in their behaviors and also lower in income. Despite all their connectivity, only 28 percent of this group looked up health information online in the past year, contrasting with 38 percent of all responders.

Marketing implications?  I’d be spending my company’s money and time on (more…)