For many years, digital consumer engagement meant getting eyeballs on things, namely ads and getting people to click through those ads to generate revenue, but taking action is the only metric that matters in health.
The core concept of consumer health is the notion that consumers take more responsibility and control of their health. For so long, healthcare has largely been paternalistic – a doctor diagnosing care, a nurse providing discharge orders, an insurance company offering a well-baby checkup. It’s only in recent years, with the cost of care shifting and the definition of health expanding beyond clinical care, that consumers have become more central players.
This has led to organizations including health plans, providers and employers to focus more on getting people “engaged” in their health before they get sick to keep costs down and improve overall population health. Furthermore, the rise of digital health – from tracking devices for sleep or activity monitoring, to mobile applications for guided meditation, nutrition and more, has compounded the idea of engaging individuals. With this massive intersection of digital and consumer health, it is no wonder that engagement materialized as a desirable and measurable goal. Yet, in reality, engagement is unsubstantiated and meaningless on its own.