Four key trends in healthcare innovation

A Klick Health survey shows there’s opportunities for healthcare innovation and technology to play larger role in patient’s lives.

Americans are identifying the need for more healthcare innovation, according to a recent survey.

Klick Health consumer survey, conducted by Maru/Matchbox, found that only 17% of people rank health-related sectors as most innovative, but 40% think they should be.


“Even in today’s modern world, people think that healthcare innovation will help physicians better treat patients most,” said Keith Liu, Klick SVP of Products and Innovation. “This suggests that, when it comes to healthcare, people still want a human connection, empathy, and other benefits that can only be obtained through the patient-physician experience.”

The survey provides a snapshot of what the outlook and expectations are among consumers with regard to healthcare innovative technology, which can help with assessment and planning. The online omnibus survey was conducted between May 19 and May 21, 2017 through Maru/Matchbox among 1,012 randomly selected American adults who are also Springboard America Community panel members. The margin of error is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. To ensure that these results are representative of the entire adult population of America, the results have been statistically weighted according to education, age, gender, region, and ethnicity. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

According to Liu, the survey highlights three key trends:

1.   Desire for increased innovation in healthcare. While only 17% of consumers perceive health-related industries as being most innovative today, the poll found that over 40% of consumers believe that creative innovation will impact healthcare over the next five years. Almost half said it will help physicians better treat and diagnose patients, 20% say it will help patients and their loved ones better manage and care for their health, and 19% say it will help prevent disease.

2. Belief that healthcare innovation will enhance the patient-physician experience. Ninety-one percent of consumers believe that innovation will positively impact healthcare over the next five years with a large portion saying that the patient-physician experience will benefit the most from innovation.

Specifically, almost half of respondents said innovation will help physicians better treat and diagnose patients, with another 20% saying that it will help patients and their loved ones better manage and care for their health, and 19% saying that it will help prevent disease.

3. Perception that technology will help consumers manage their health. Ninety percent of people say that technology will have a positive impact on their health in the future. Specifically, 70% believe that technology will have the biggest impact in helping them personally manage their own health. 

4. Opportunity for emerging technologies to play larger role in people’s health
It’s worth noting that only half of respondents indicate that technology has had a positive impact of their personal health and/or wellness. Furthermore, only 41% claim to have ever personally used innovative technology to help manage their health. This reveals a gap between between the large percentage of consumers who feel that technology will help healthcare in the future, and the much lower percentage of consumers who have ever had a positive experience with technologies managing health in the past. More importantly, it demonstrates that there are significant growth opportunities for innovative technologies aimed at helping patients and consumers manage their health.

Other key data points include:

Consumer electronics (28%), telecommunications (13%), and media & entertainment (10%) rank highest for industries that are be the most innovative. Pharmaceutical and biotech (9%), health and wellness (5%), and hospitals (3%) rank significantly lower. The top five technologies predicted to have biggest impact on people’s health in next five years:

1.   Health and fitness wearables (21%)

2.   Robotics (15%)

3.   3D printing (10%)

4.   Smart home devices (9%)

5.   Artificial intelligence (9%)

“The key take-away is consumers believe both innovation and technology are going to make a significant positive affect on healthcare in the future,” Liu says. “Managed care executives should continue to embrace, adopt, and promote healthcare innovation and technology as they embrace the shifting dynamics of our healthcare system away from volume-based decision making to one of providing value-based care.”

In doing so, Liu adds, “managed care executives will not only address and meet the healthcare demands and needs of healthcare consumers, they will also help enhance the patient-physician experience and help bring about better health outcomes through potentially radically cost-effective measures.”