Health Wellness This Week

Digital Wellness Forecast | Health & Wellness This Week

This article is part of ParkerWhite’s weekly series, “Health and Wellness This Week,” a roundup of the latest healthcare marketing news and what it means for your marketing strategy.

This week, we look at the impact Millennials are having on our healthcare system, how to maintain a healthy lifestyle even while traveling, and the continued emergence of Walgreens as a major contender in digital health.

This week in health and wellness:

  • Millennials are influencing a better healthcare system
  • Traveling healthy – new wellness trends
  • Walgreens introduces wearables and indoor retail-mapping

How Millennials Are Reshaping Digital Health

Communispace Health has conducted a study of Millennial healthcare values, called “Healthcare Without Borders: How Millennials are Reshaping Health and Wellness.” This study found that many Millennials are unhappy with the current healthcare system and have developed unique perspectives in regards to managing their health. In general, Millennials see the US healthcare system as dysfunctional and don’t necessarily trust the system. For example, 2/3 believe health insurers have too much power, and 37% rate the US healthcare system as “poor” or “terrible.” Additionally, Millennials are much more immersed in online communities and fitness apps, where they have access to endless information and care options from multiple sources.

All of this and more are creating a new healthcare consumer persona.
There is a valuable infographic with this article that can be viewed here.

Marketing Strategy Insights

  • Millennials will embrace companies that prioritize patient outcomes and customer experiences above everything else.
  • Companies need to increasingly create relevant connections to Millennials.
  • There’s a tremendous opportunity for companies to create content and technology that will enable Millennials to learn about and take ownership of their health & wellness.

Wellness Travel Trends for 2015

Health and wellness initiatives will continue to gain momentum into 2015, and this even applies to consumers on the go. The wellness industry is seeing consumers turn to healthier vacations, and businesses that are catering to this growing market. The article describes top trends for 2015, including:

Double Fitbit goals on vacation:
Fitness-tracking consumers will view vacation as a way to double fitness goals. Instead of sipping drinks at the beach, consumers will opt for activities such as exploring via bicycles, renting Stand up Paddleboards, or taking advantage of numerous hotel wellness offerings that are emerging.

Take a picture with your mind:
Documenting life on social media has become the norm. However, in the past few months, some wellness travelers have opted to put away their camera phones in order to engage more in an activity or make a true connection.

Spa and Wellness Resorts are creating programs aimed at business executives:
In 2015, wellness programs will be customized offerings that target high level, high-stressed business executives. These programs will integrate fitness, nutrition, and medical programs with real life outings such as learning how to shop in the grocery store. Next year we may see the use of video calls and in-office consultations to make sure executives are staying on track while traveling.

Marketing Strategy Insights

  • Businesses will begin to create custom offerings that showcase their local wellness standouts. These will become key differentiators.
  • More people will opt to put away their digital devices in 2015 in order to truly connect with people and remember their experiences.
  • Wellness initiatives will continue to surface that address the needs of busy CEOs and VPs audiences.

Walgreens Promotes Digital Health With Wearable Tech, Virtual Doctor Visits

America’s biggest drugstore chain is trying to become a one-stop shop not only for pharmaceuticals, but also for lifestyle and preventative healthcare products. Walgreens’ new fitness tracker wristband syncs with the Walgreens Balance Rewards app, and awards participants points for logging weight, tracking blood pressure, and healthy activity. The app also works with popular fitness devices such as those made by Fitbit. In addition, Walgreens has launched an indoor retail-mapping project with Google’s Project Tango 3D computer-vision technology and with aisle411, an in-store mobile marketing platform. The program provides consumers with a tablet when they enter the store, which they can carry or attach to a cart. The software uses augmented reality to “pop” out product info or promotions as consumers walk through the aisles. Lastly, Walgreens announced a new a deal with telehealth provider MDLive that enables Walgreens mobile app users to consult a board-certified physician from their computer, tablet or phone.

Marketing Strategy Insights

  • Merging health/fitness technology with customer experience programs can increase customer loyalty and change the dynamic of customer relationships from transactional to a partnership.
  • Brands can leverage augmented, game-like experiences to further immersive consumers and create a branded destination experience.
  • The digital health arena is becoming increasingly more personalized to help consumers make healthy choices around fitness and health habits.