During the Partners’ Center for Connected Health conference, BJ Fogg, Director Persuasive Technology Lab Stanford University created quite a stir when kicking off the event. I heard many attendees continue to discuss his behavior framework throughout the conference. BJ clearly delineates between consumer behaviors that are new (green), familiar (blue) and continuous (purple). He defines the time frame for changing these behaviors as one time, spanning a time period or becoming an ongoing path.
Where Are You Asking Consumers to Go?
BJ emphasized the need to “put hot triggers in the path of motivated people”. Eric Zimmerman, CMO of RedBrick Health echoed BJ’s approach suggesting that “we figure out what people want to do and link their action path to that”. Eric also mentioned that it is easier for consumers to be healthier with others. He cited their recent research revealing that those “working alone to reach health goals were half as effective as those working as part of a team”.
During her keynote, Sheena Iyengar, Columbia Business School Professor and author of “The Art of Choosing” described the challenges that consumers have in selecting between their many options and how it becomes easier after gaining “expertise in the decision domain”. Sheena pointed to the strategy of providing guidance including social communities to generate the wisdom of the crowd around how they made their decision.
How Are You Designing Their Journey?
Several speakers warned against designing the path for them and highly recommended going through the process with them. Noam Ziv, VP Technology at Qualcomm explained that people have different approaches to their health and need options. Through research, companies can define the set of approaches and identify the profile of people that will respond to each.
How about those who have stopped along their way? Madeline Pantalone, VP of Strategy and Business Development at GreatCall (Jitterbug) described how they proactively reached out to those who stopped using their service to better understand their needs and resolve problems.
Consumers are forced to slow down when they encounter a disjointed experience. When asked about his wish list to motivate engagement, Scott Eising, Director Advance Market Product Development at Mayo Clinic described the opportunity to “bring together products and services by role into a unified experience”. Imagine the experience that can be designed for a patient with a chronic condition who is also a caregiver for her elder parent and the family custodian for health.
Where Do You Go From Here?
The “Futurists” panel was very thought provoking. Ron Zeiger, Chief Health Strategist at Google focused in on two groups of consumers. One group, “Quantified Self” measures everything and asks questions. The second group is a heavy user of search where they look for answers.
Eric Horvitz, Scientist at Microsoft Research explained that data collection is happening all around us, algorithms are being developed and interventions are being planned using “evidence based methods”.
I left the conference thinking about the situation described by the third panelist, Paul Maglio, Manager of Smarter Planet Service Systems at IBM Research. We are living longer and less healthy lives. “We need to do something beyond the data. Develop models and simulations for what may not have happened before and determine how that can play out in different scenarios.”
The future is emerging every day which makes the healthcare industry terribly exciting. I work with companies to understand their consumers’ evolving needs and conceptualize products that touch new channels, deliver new content and enable new capabilities for collaboration and community.
Together, we can define the purple path for consumer eHealth engagement.