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Markets fluctuate. They ebb and flow according to supply and demand issues, public policy, technological and environmental concerns and even patterns of disease (“hello, COVID-19!”). Some markets experience rapid change; but others, such as the U.S. healthcare industry, are slower to transform, with both social and governmental constraints combining to create a system that is resistant to expeditious shifts in focus or outcomes. But this doesn’t mean quality market research is any less important within the medical field. On the contrary, the healthcare industry’s seemingly apparent stagnation just makes it harder to anticipate when and where and how the tide actually will turn, thus making it even more paramount for medical companies to keep an ever-present and watchful eye on all healthcare-related influences and effects. For instance, our latest work here at Research America indicates a cultural shift is currently at play within the healthcare industry. We’ve long anticipated value-based care becoming a leading driver within the medical field; innovations in technology ensure that access to quality services will eventually make medical care more affordable and more effective. But our research indicates that changing demographics and systems of management are improving patient outcomes, as well. Here’s what we’ve learned:
The Affordable Healthcare Act has expanded healthcare to a more diverse group of people, and these people are wanting services — as well as caregivers — that represent and cater to their unique experiences. As a result, medical market researchers need to find ways to identify and connect with different demographics in order to garner insights that fully inform good medical business decisions.
Quality care is no longer based solely on the opinions of the physicians and clinicians who provide it. Nor is it only the product of traditional care services. Instead, good care is becoming increasingly patient-centric. Not only do patients have more to say about their level of care, they have more control over how they receive it. (COVID-19 has made sure of that, allowing telemedicine solutions to move from the periphery to the forefront of quality care resources.) This means that elements of the patient experience will need to be monitored and reviewed so that companies can improve upon their products and services based on patient views (not just professional ones).
COVID-19 has also delivered another likely permanent change to the healthcare market: a focus on personnel. As the pandemic has spread, renewed appreciation for essential workers of all kinds has blossomed. Healthcare is no longer restricted by specific degrees and buildings, but dependent on a host of players outside traditional scenes of care. The U.S. healthcare system has been stretched thin for a long time; now that COVID-19 has shown what is possible when alternative workers provide care, it’s probable that the medical industry as a whole will begin evaluating how to shift personnel responsibilities to best suit future healthcare demands. The result: medical market research needs to evaluate medical personnel to find opportunities that both maximize their expertise and validate their experiences so that patient outcomes continue to be deemed beneficial.
Of course, custom medical market research is an individualized endeavor and should take into account a variety of factors unique to those conducting it. If you are in the medical industry and would like to learn more about key influencers within the healthcare market so that you can make decisions that better the lives of patients, as well as providers, please contact our team at Research America.