WebMD, drugs.com and even traditional hospitals
have begin to help healthcare consumers become
as educated as possible about their health
conditions without having to see the doctor.
In 1990, one third of all Americans had used some form of complementary and alternative medicine. By 2002, that number had more than doubled and it continues to grow today, according to WebMD.
Grocers now have full aisles filled with organic vegetables, as well as wild-caught and hormone-free meats. Consumers have begun to believe that cleaner eating leads to fewer diseases and ailments.
Elite Fitness and Outdoor Activity
Repair medicine is on the rise, from orthopedic physical therapy to neuromuscular and podiatry. The number of gym memberships increased by nearly 20% from 2008 to 2014, showing an upswing in fitness activity.
Today patients use smart phones to look up prescriptions before leaving the consultation. Healthcare consumers easily compare the doctor's name-brand samples and search for generic alternatives.
From GPS maps to rideshare apps to fighting angry birds, smartphones changed the way we use the internet. Healthcare's no different. Fitbit, iPhone glucose meters and calorie counters represent healthcare "applified."
Healthcare pricing was previously cloaked behind big insurance companies who negotiated prices AFTER services. But consumers responsible for purchasing healthcare want to know the cost BEFORE we buy it.
Armed with social media and other internet resources, patients challenge doctors to explain more. And they're deciding to see doctors less frequently.
Traditional "patients" have begun to understand that they're actually consumers of healthcare. They've come to expect a Starbucks and Chick-fil-A world of speed and personalization.