Healthcare is one of the largest and most rapidly growing industries in the world today. In most developing countries, health spending costs add up to approximately 10% of each nation’s gross domestic product (GDP). In 2018, the US spent $3.6 trillion, or about 17.7% of our GDP on healthcare, according to CMS.
Following industry changes is an essential function of any business. By staying on top of recent health trends, you can uncover new opportunities for your pharmacy’s revenue generation and sustainable growth.
2020 Health Trends in America
With the advance of consumer technology, rising medical costs, and a global pandemic, health spending trends have undergone some major changes in the past several years.
Here are three of the most prominent health trends emerging in America today.
1. Digital and Telehealth
Health-focused mobile apps have been on the rise, with more than 318,000 now available worldwide as of 2018. With popular choices like MyFitnessPal, Headspace, and Symple Symptom Tracker, these apps range from diet diaries to behavioral support and patient communication.
In 2017, a patient survey by telehealth company American Well found that 1 in 5 patients would switch providers if they offered video visits. Earlier this year, telehealth claims increased by over 4,300% nationally, between March 2019 and 2020 following federal deregulation. According to a recent consumer survey, 76% of respondents plan to use telehealth moving forward.
2. Holistic Wellness and Self Care
Holistic wellness has gained popularity in the midst of accessible health technology, decreased mental health stigma, and widespread acceptance of alternative health. Many consumers are focusing on preventative health, making lifestyle changes such as switching to veganism or intermittent fasting.
Other aspects of holistic wellness that have been on the rise include daily fitness and mental health. Younger generations, specifically Gen Z and Millennials, are more likely to spend money on fitness apps. They’re also more open to visiting a therapist and prioritizing their mental and emotional health.
3. Data-based Personalized Care
Thanks to technology and rising healthcare costs, consumers are increasingly taking control of their own health. Recent laws surrounding cost transparency give them the freedom to make more informed choices and create individualized health plans.
Wearable technology, like Fitbits and smartwatches, can collect and share health data, giving providers and companies access to a level of personalized information they’ve never had before. According to Accenture, 33% of US consumers were using wearables in 2018, up from 9% in 2014.
How Pharmacies Can Capitalize on Health Trends
It’s crucial for pharmacies to adapt to changes in consumer behavior. Even small changes in your services, products, business tools, and marketing can make a huge difference when it comes to attracting a larger audience.
Here are a few ways to apply some of these trends in your pharmacy, both online and off:
In Your Store
Continue to offer home-based care solutions like prescription delivery after COVID-19. Stock up on wellness products with natural ingredients and consider switching to telepharmacy services for offerings like medication therapy management (MTM).
Digital prescription refills and transfers are easy ways to begin your pharmacy’s digital transformation journey. You can also reach mobile consumers by offering new communication tools like a pharmacy mobile app or secure 2-way messaging.
In Your Business
Develop a marketing plan that encompasses recent trends and keep track of your efforts so you know what works for your patient base. Prioritize promoting holistic health and new digital tools to attract younger patients and tech-savvy seniors.
Some resources to help you stay up-to-date with the latest health and pharmacy trends:
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