Industry Insights: Custom Market Research Solutions for Market Expansion into the US HbA1c Market
Over the past few weeks, the US has outpaced all the other countries to become a major hotspot for the COVID-19 pandemic. Amidst the rising pressure, the US healthcare system is also faced with the harsh reality of acute material shortages including ventilators, intensive care capacity, healthcare staff, masks, and even medicines to treat the infected. These healthcare supply shortages are largely hamstringing the heroic efforts of professionals in the US healthcare system to battle the pandemic. The US healthcare providers, now more than ever before, require the right supply chain management strategies to overcome supply shortages, optimize resources, and to ensure the agile expansion of capacity.
This article from healthcare industry experts at Infiniti Research highlights some operations management and supply chain best practices for providers in the US healthcare system that are grappling with the sudden demand surges and supply shortages of healthcare resources.
Addressing supply and demand gaps in the US healthcare system
Managing healthcare delivery system
As the US healthcare systems continue to run at almost full capacity, extreme supply and demand shocks can be expected. The need of the hour for healthcare providers in the US is to proactively manage how patients enter and proceed through various nodes of the healthcare delivery system. During the COVID-19 outbreak healthcare providers are struggling with system congestion due to the increase in the inflow of patients. To manage the rapidly increasing demand due to the novel coronavirus, several hospitals are postponing non-critical surgeries and diverting patients not requiring critical care from hospital settings to home care. However, healthcare providers must complement this strategy with the right technology and infrastructure to support this such as telemedicine and mobile care units. Furthermore, having adequate visibility into short-term future demand provides hospitals and other care sites the opportunity to plan patient flows more efficiently.
Managing supply shortages and bottlenecks
Managing resources while providing adequate care to patients is not an easy task especially in the case of a highly contagious virus like the COVID-19. But failing to do so could also prove to be fatal and result in a vicious cycle that the US healthcare system has already started witnessing. During the existing crisis, healthcare providers are not just facing shortages in testing equipment and staff, but there is also a significant scarcity of protective gear for healthcare workers. This leaves them highly vulnerable to the infection as the patient inflow to healthcare facilities increase. In countries like Spain and Italy, close to 15% of the COVID-19 patients consists of healthcare workers. A similar situation could make the existing healthcare staff shortage worse for the US healthcare system. Identifying the root cause of the supply bottlenecks and timely forecasting of probable bottlenecks in supply of testing and protective equipment can help avoid such adversities to a large extent. Proactive and agile supply forecasting provides important visibility into the future state of the supply chain and enables organizations to effectively identify potential shortages well in advance. Pooling resources from other healthcare facilities in the country that have lower demand can also help stabilize the demand-supply gaps.
For detailed insights into how providers in the US healthcare system can better manage their resources and bridge supply-demand gaps with healthcare market intelligence, Request a free proposal.
With the rising competition, the healthcare sector is transforming into a developed and complex marketplace. With the changing healthcare landscape across the globe, quality improvement in healthcare is garnering increased focus. Not only for the patients, but even for the forward-thinking healthcare companies, quality in healthcare has now become paramount. Although a lot of funding is going into training staff and procuring drugs and equipment in an effort to improve quality across healthcare facilities, we still find that many known clinical interventions are not reaching patients at the time they need it. This is one of the prime reasons why more and more healthcare companies are warming up to advanced techniques such as business intelligence in order to support performance improvement in healthcare services and ensure access to quality healthcare for patients. Healthcare providers can get the insight needed to reduce costs, increase revenue, and improve patient safety while remaining compliant with regulations by integrating business intelligence solutions.
Experts at Infiniti explains why every healthcare organization that emphasizes on quality improvement in healthcare processes must leverage business intelligence.
Business intelligence for quality improvement in healthcare
Accuracy in patients’ treatment history
Business intelligence solutions help merge all claims so that physicians are able to access them via EHR. This ensures that the data gathered is delivered flawlessly. It also enables the physician to see and understand each and every test and treatment that the patient has previously received, both at that facility and elsewhere, as well as any remaining tests that needs to be performed. Eliminating repeat tests helps save money and satisfies the patient who does not have to undergo repeat tests due to missing information. Through this the physician will be able to ensure quality improvement in healthcare treatment provided to the patient.
With the help of business intelligence solutions, patient data becomes more accessible and analyzing patient data is now easier than ever before. As a result, treatment regimens are not required to follow the one-size-fits-all approach anymore. Rather, physicians provide superior quality in the healthcare treatment based on the patient’s past treatment record and current care requirements and enhance quality improvement in healthcare.
Prevention of certain diseases
Physicians can prevent diseases or at least help in reducing the impact of disease by analyzing genetic markers. By analyzing the data available through business intelligence, physicians can gain better insights into the patterns of determinants that have the ability to increase the patient’s risk of a particular disease. Such measures taken for prevention of disease can establish quality improvement in healthcare organizations.
Enhance healthcare logistics
By leveraging business intelligence tools to analyze patient throughput and enabling better decision-making on the population of the healthcare organization, hospitals can gain a comprehensive idea on the ideal discharge times. Consequently, they can make the best use of bed space without sacrificing patient outcome and promote quality improvement in healthcare. Furthermore, emergency and trauma patient cases can be more accurately prioritized and treated thus improving patient outcomes while minimizing costs by providing the right treatment at the right time.
Owing to digitization and the rising market competition, consumer-brand relationships have evolved. Top healthcare companies are trying to incorporate these developments in consumer-brand relations into their processes by building better consumer engagement in healthcare. According to Infiniti’s healthcare market research experts, the consumer engagement strategies followed by most healthcare companies today are archaic. Which means that it is high time for healthcare marketers to rethink and redesign their consumer engagement plan. While not every innovation and strategy may resonate with every consumer, there are certainly plenty of wins to be had. Below are some effective strategies to consider for better consumer engagement in healthcare.
Enhancing consumer engagement in healthcare
In order to ensure better consumer engagement, companies in this sector must invest generously into ways to understand their customers better and personalize offers to suit their needs. This does not mean bombarding them with offers, but to present relevant, time-saving options in order to help them make better healthcare choices. Organizations who provide the best empathy and support to reflect their consumer’s emotion will succeed and rise above their competitors.
Optimize web experience
Since almost all top healthcare providers are going digital, it is essential to join the bandwagon to avoid being left behind. Websites are one of the key areas that healthcare organizations must work on. Efforts should be made to not only make the company website look attractive but including features such as online booking of appointments will ensure better and hassle-free customer experience.
Enhance mobile experience
Several food chains and apparel stores are offering top-notch mobile experience to their customers. Take inspiration from these players and focus on delivering mobile experiences on par with these players in order to enhance consumer engagement. This will help simplify buying experiences and in the case of healthcare this means office visits, diagnosis and procedures. Healthcare companies can even consider implementing a loyalty program that offers discounts for parking, dining, or the gift shop, for patients and family members who frequently visit their facility.
The healthcare industry has experienced a myriad of changes ranging from public legislation to technological development over the past couple of years. With the increasing population and the rising need for enhanced healthcare services, we can expect the future of healthcare to be dominated by technological advancements to ensure the efficiency of both patient care and processes in healthcare organizations. In this blog, healthcare industry experts at Infiniti Research unveil factors that play a key role in shaping the future of healthcare.
Factors shaping the future of healthcare
There is an increased demand for healthcare services in the US. Experts predict that consumer spending on healthcare is expected to rise exponentially over the next decade. However, the healthcare costs are also expected to see a rise in the future of healthcare industry. The lack of transparency in pricing in U.S. healthcare organization will add on to this challenge.
According to recent reports, a quarter of the US population consists of baby boomers. This generation is estimated to have a greater life expectancy than any of the previous generations. This means that there will be an increasing need for continued medical care for this population in the future of healthcare. Furthermore, the rising population will spur the need for healthcare services. This means that healthcare talent management professionals will continue to battle head-to-head with their peers. Furthermore, the biggest growth areas for employment in the future of healthcare will be home health aides, geriatric nurses, physical therapists, and similar jobs.
One of the biggest trends in healthcare right now is consumerism, and this trend is expected to play a dominant role even in the future of healthcare. Patients now have gradually started to believe that proactivity on their part is critical to ensuring high quality care and better outcomes. As a result, patients are now taking active participation in their care experience and are even more empowered to choose their care plans. Furthermore, decreasing levels of direct contact with medical professionals are becoming common, and in the future of healthcare, patients will be able to order refills, schedule appointments, and consult with their primary care physicians with the use of online patient portals.
There is an increase in the prevalence of healthcare clinics across the US, and this growth is expected to continue through the future of healthcare. These establishments provide a wide range of services including treating sprains and shingles, administering pregnancy tests, doing diabetes monitoring, and much more. This will be a direct competitive threat for the healthcare organizations in the near future.
Every organization needs to have a marketing strategy to stay competitive in the marketplace. When it comes to healthcare, irrespective of whether you are a healthcare provider, health tech developer, or a medical device manufacturer, you need to have a strong healthcare marketing strategy in place in order to survive amidst the emerging trends and massive consolidations in the sector. To stay competitive and gain new business, it is vital to have an effective brand strategy and marketing innovation. In this blog, we’ve discussed some of the must-haves for a winning healthcare marketing strategy.
Essentials for a strong healthcare marketing strategy
Focus on customer experience
Today, customer experience is one of the most critical factors of success for any business. Your healthcare marketing strategy should revolve around how your products/services will meet the customer needs and ensure better customer experience. An effective healthcare marketing plan must include creating a mobile-friendly website, undertake accessibility best practices for those with disabilities where needed (such as your website or product), enhance usability for your website, service, or product design.
Another essential factor to enhance your healthcare marketing plan is to become more accessible to the customers. Undertake efforts to minimize the time taken for patients to reach a hospital facility in order to undergo treatment. This can be done by adopting more advanced technologies in healthcare such as live chat platforms, extended support hours, and telehealth services.
Be where the audience is
For your healthcare marketing strategy to be successful, it is vital to identify where your audience is most active and establish your presence there. Some key questions to be answered here include – what are the social networks that the target audience is clustered around? Is there an opportunity to develop a mobile app? What is your ranking on various search engines? An ideal healthcare marketing strategy should be able to place you where your target audience expects to find you.
Build inter-personal relationships
Healthcare is a sensitive subject, so the closer you get to your customers and the better relationships you build with them, the chances of your success becomes higher. Advanced capabilities such as big data and analytics can facilitate in formulating a good healthcare marketing strategy and build better customer relationships. Furthermore, it also helps to understand if there are any common patient or customer demographics that can be incorporated into your marketing message.
Security is one of the key issues looming in the healthcare industry right now. All your efforts put into building a good healthcare marketing strategy can go down the drain if your customers do not trust you with their data. From electronic health records to customer login details, security best practices must be followed, and all the regulatory requirements should be adhered to.
According to our healthcare industry analysis for the Asian market, the sector is expected to record positive growth this year. The rising adoption of technology, innovative healthcare access programs, and growing healthcare industry trends like care delivery outside hospital settings are some of the vital factors fueling the growth of this sector. However, players in this industry still have to identify complex and innovative solutions that can tackle key healthcare industry challenges such as access and affordability in Asian countries. Other challenges in the Asian healthcare sector that requires immediate attention includes policy innovation, support for new business models, development of patient-focused technology platforms, and the evolving role of consumers in healthcare.
Based on a comprehensive healthcare industry analysis by experts at Infiniti research, we have listed out some of the top healthcare industry trends and challenges to watch out for in 2019.
Asian Healthcare industry analysis 2019: Top trends and challenges
Rising need for private health insurance
This year, Asian countries will see an increase in the adoption of private insurance, including in countries such as Japan and Singapore that has a strong universal coverage system in place. Our healthcare industry analysis shows that the rising cost of healthcare services is driving consumers to invest in better protection against healthcare-driven-poverty. Furthermore, insurance companies are also bringing in new channels of consumer penetration and wellness-focused products that use advanced technologies to manage consumer health better.
Rise of digital platforms in clinical trials
The increasing cost pressures and a decrease in new drug pipelines have prompted pharmaceutical companies to adopt digital solutions to gain greater efficiency in their research operations. Advanced technologies such as big data, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Things (IoT) devices, mHealth platforms, wearables, and crowd-sourcing platforms will facilitate new workflows in clinical trials management and their execution across Asian countries.
The in-depth healthcare industry analysis of the Asian market conducted by experts at Infiniti Research suggests that value-based reimbursements will soon make its debut in Asian countries. The popular global trend of outcome-based payments and reimbursement models are currently missing in Asia. A closer look into the Asian healthcare industry analysis also shows that industry suppliers, including IT vendors, medical technology companies and pharmaceuticals are already partnering with public and private payers to introduce outcomes-based reimbursement models for expensive therapeutic products and services. Japan is expected to be the first country in Asia to introduce an outcomes-based reimbursement model with China potentially following suit in the near future.
Growth of Home health monitoring platforms
The rise in tech-enabled homecare platforms, which was introduced in Asia a few years ago will start generating returns as well as ecosystem level partnerships that will consequently result in better market sustainability. Based on Infiniti’s healthcare industry analysis, experts also suggest that the industry will move to the next level with the increasing adoption of home-based sensors, robotics, and AI-enabled home health monitoring platforms.
Healthcare, not only in the United States but also in most developed countries of the world is ailing and in desperate need for help. Although the industry has made some advancements in case of healthcare innovation over the past few years, the packaging and delivery of treatment are often inefficient, ineffective, and not customer-friendly. Currently, key challenges in the healthcare industry range from medical errors to the soaring healthcare costs. The US government has been spending billions of dollars annually to identify healthcare innovations that can overcome these hurdles. Despite this, several of these efforts sometimes fail, leading to heavy losses for investors.
In this blog, healthcare industry experts at Infiniti Research discuss three key barriers to healthcare innovation.
Barriers to Healthcare Innovation
Unaligned budgeting units
Hospitals are generally organized by clinical departments, care centers, and other ancillary departments each with their own budgets. As a result, it becomes difficult to align those budgets and department goals in such a manner that one innovation works for all budgets. These decentralized budgets often lead to limited investment in healthcare innovation projects which could ultimately benefit the patient throughout the entire care cycle. Experts at Infiniti suggests that a single, unified budget dedicated just to healthcare innovation could help address the problem of hospitals not taking advantage of innovative solutions.
Rigid annual operating budgets
The annual budget model that hospitals usually operate under makes it difficult to invest in recent technologies and other healthcare innovation. Furthermore, investing in healthcare innovation will likely reduce their available funds for the rest of the fiscal year. Unless the payback period from the new healthcare innovation investment is realized in the current year, hospitals tend to reject the proposal to buy new technology. To overcome this, players in the healthcare industry can consider moving toward a budget process wherein the healthcare organization allows each department to keep a certain portion of the savings it created from the ROI of the new technology for future year budgets.
Separating operating- and capital-budget timelines associated with healthcare innovation
In many healthcare systems, technology hardware and perpetual software licenses are paid for with capital budgets. Whereas, annual subscription models commonly used by software as a service (SaaS) solutions are purchased with the operating budgets. So, the source of funding (capital or operating budget) rather than the functionality and performance of alternative solutions determines the purchases made. In order to overcome such innovation barriers, organizations should purchase new technology not based on whether it fits into capital or operating budgets, but by weighing the performance and ROI of each solution that they are considering.
Healthcare Consumerism: Big Opportunities, Bigger Challenges
In the US healthcare sector, there is relentless focus being given to understanding patients and determining ways to improve patient care. For an extremely complex and sensitive industry like healthcare, market research is vital to identify the actual needs in advance and undertake evidence-based decision-making rather than being reactive to a perceived need. Healthcare market research is all about analyzing and interpreting data to obtain information that can be used to predict future events, actions, or patient behavior. Furthermore, the escalating cost, intense competition, a larger number of choices, and growing dissatisfaction among patients are some of the key factors making healthcare market research vital for survival.
Benefits of healthcare market research
If you are still not convinced why your organization must invest in healthcare market research, here are some key factors to consider:
Fill service delivery gaps
Healthcare solutions are overly complex and sophisticated in nature. Using healthcare market research services, providers can assess and identify gaps in their service delivery model and thereby generate stronger patient relationships and outcomes. For instance, with the help of healthcare market research, providers can assess if the staff is struggling to manage data capturing processes and identify ways to solve this issue to ensure that the engagement remains strong in the future.
Gain product and service development insights
With the rising competition in the healthcare sector, customer acquisition and retention cannot rest on the organization’s past success alone. It is essential to be constantly updated on the changing customer needs and identify new market innovations. Healthcare market research helps organizations in the healthcare sector to remain innovative and updated on the most practical and profitable ways to enhance their product/service offerings. This is highly useful in not only increasing the customer retention rate but also in increasing new customer acquisition.
Stay ahead of market competition
Earlier, only a few major organizations supported by numerous smaller and niche providers dominated the healthcare market. This is not the case today. Owing to the rise in disruptive technology and the influx of venture capital from investors who are keen on high-risk, high-reward models, the healthcare market is now experiencing higher convergence and competition. Although for consumers of healthcare solutions this is a positive development as it leads to more choice and better prices, for businesses in the healthcare sector it means that they are at risk of finding themselves competing with a larger number of players for the same market share. Healthcare market research is a smart, strategic and proven hedge against this risk as it helps healthcare providers stand out in the market through a clear, and actionable understanding of who they need to reach, why and how.
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