Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

Healthcare 2

The healthcare sector has become the main battleground for fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. The sector is also facing numerous challenges in treating patients with other ailments and health conditions. Today the pandemic has changed the way consumers seek healthcare. They no longer feel safe to visit a doctor due to obvious safety concerns. Findings of the Deloitte survey given below offer key insights to changing consumer demands and rising opportunities in the sector that if capitalized properly by enterprises can create new success stories.

Decrease in willingness to visit hospitals

Over 90% of the respondents said they would be afraid to visit a hospital while 70% chose to favor hospitals where Covid patients are not being treated. More then 50% of the respondents also expressed concern over healthcare management post lockdown. Elective procedures have also been pushed until absolutely necessary. 28% consumers said they could delay their elective procedures until a vaccine is available while 54% were willing to delay the procedure by 6 months.

Industry Implications:  With lower footfall in hospitals for an extended period, the sector must explore other channels or providing healthcare like telemedicine and service delivery at home. Hospitals should also prepare for a surge of elective procedures post 6 months.

Ready to receive healthcare at home

Consumer preference for telemedicine for doctor consultations surged phenomenally during lockdown with the user base increasing from 21% to 44% respondents. Over 73% respondents stated that they are now willing to opt for telemedicine across specialties. However, 68% are concerned over data privacy over switching to telemedicine. In diagnostics, sample collection from home was preferred by 74% respondents while 61% favored health care at home over hospital stay over infection concerns.

Industry Implications:

  • Hospitals should strengthen their telemedicine service capabilities and invest in digital upskilling of staff.
  • Develop adequate capabilities for sample collection and pharmaceutical delivery at home.
  • Implement proper data security to maintain client confidentiality.
  • Home healthcare will potentially open new opportunities.

Demand for healthcare at home “Subscription”

There is a growing willingness among consumers to buy subscription service for availing healthcare at home with discounted pricing. 54% respondents said they would buy subscription for telemedicine while 49% were ready to take healthcare sessions at home. Considerable number of consumers were also willing to subscribe for home sample collection and medicine delivery at doorstep.

Industry Implications: Providing subscription services can generate working capital and ensure secure customer base. Subscription models create opportunities for customized marketing and better client engagement, eventually driving up ROI on marketing. 

Higher expectation of safety measures in hospitals

Consumers expect stringent safety protocols to be implemented in hospitals. Hospital staff wearing PPE and sanitization chambers with thermal screening at points of entry and exit emerged as top 2 priorities as expressed by 82% and 76% respondents. More than 69% respondents wanted separate hospital wings for treating fever patients. The general inclination (59% respondents) is to visit reputed chains and healthcare brands in expectation of higher adherence to safety rules.

Industry Implications: To restore consumer confidence and increase footfall, hospitals must take measures to make premises “Covid-19 safe” and invest in marketing the same to consumers.

Over-all the survey proved that healthcare consumers need new service models, remote healthcare and safer environments. Larger industry players have already started acting upon the changing consumer demands. To be successful, organizations must follow suit and seize the opportunity to revamp the industry models.

To read the full report click here

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Economic Times – ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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