6 types of engaged healthcare consumers

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While healthcare consumers are becoming more engaged in their care overall, the consumer population can be segmented into more granular groups, separating individuals by how much they engage with their care.

In a recent survey from the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, six unique consumer segments were identified. They are as follows.

1. Casual and cautious: 34 percent. These patients are the least engaged with their online care, but also have less need to be so involved. While conscious of healthcare costs, these consumers are the least financially prepared. They prefer working with physicians instead of being told what to do in terms of care and treatment and they have low use of and interest in health technologies.

2. Content and compliant: 22 percent. These patients are happy with their healthcare. They place high trust in their physicians and are not as likely to question physicians' decisions. Such patients have low use of online information resources and low interest in health technologies.

3. Online and onboard: 19 percent. While happy with their care, these patients want to better understand their options and work with their physicians in care decisions. They are frequent users of online resources and health technologies, and they are interested in communicating electronically with providers.

4. Sick and savvy: 11 percent. These patients consume a lot of healthcare, place high trust in their physicians and they work with physicians to make decisions. Additionally, these types of patients are the most financially prepared to handle future costs. They have
"some" use of online resources and interest in health technologies.

5. Out and about: 8 percent. These patients are generally independent and rely on themselves to make healthcare decisions. Such patients tend to prefer providers who integrate alternative medicine and treatment approaches. While they have a high rate of use for online resources, they have just "some" use of health technologies.

6. Shop and save: 7 percent. Cost and options are key for this consumer segment. They do not hesitate to raise questions with providers, and they actively seek new options and switch plans, providers or medications to ensure they are receiving the best value. Such patients tend to have high use of online resources and high interest in health technologies.

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