Health insurers need to go mobile to engage consumers, advises IDC


Health insurers need to use mobility and other technologies to engage individual policy consumers in a post-healthcare reform environment, advises a new IDC Health Insights report.

Strategy insurers, also known as payers, can use it to adapt best practices from the retail industry. For example, insurers' mobile apps should tie into customer relationship management apps and analytics in order to understand how consumers are using these tools and what information they are looking for. Using this information, better content and functionality should be built into the mobile apps.

"The shift to a more consumer-centric model has been a difficult transition for many payers who have long-standing traditions of the business-to-business model of insurance," says Deanne Kasim, research director for IDC Health Insights.

"Payers that diversify how consumers are engaged will ultimately improve the way patients experience and participate in their own care, select health insurance benefit options, and utilize the care delivery system. An effective combination of a thoughtful, all-inclusive consumer messaging platform and an effective communications campaign can be supported by a mix of traditional Web-based and newer mobile-based IT applications," Kasim adds.

Health insurers' mobile apps are one small segment of a much larger mobile healthcare, or mHealth, market, which Grand View Research predicts will top $49 billion in revenue by 2020. Monitoring services are expected to be the faster growth mHealth segment.

Frost & Sullivan expects mHealth to be a top growth area for healthcare this year, based on a survey of 1,835 healthcare execs. "It is an exciting area of opportunity for healthcare growth and will provide innovative solutions for stakeholders, both providers and patients alike, across the spectrum," explains the market research firm.

For more:
- see IDC's release
- check out the Grand View Research release
- see Frost & Sullivan's release

Related Articles:
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[An earlier version of the headline and story referred to Gartner as the source of the report. The report was in fact prepared by IDC Health Insights.]