Taking Healthcare to the Next Level.
Is Data the New Doctor?

The Newest Prosumer Report, "Taking Healthcare to the Next Level" shows that health has become a focal point of life. At the same time, people have moved on from solving every problem with pills to maintaining healthy habits. For the purpose of this study, Havas Group surveyed 9,447 men and women in 27 countries, including the Czech Republic.

The shift from treatment to prevention and from a passive to a proactive approach explains why so many people on the planet are willing to access and analyze their genetic material.

Nearly two-thirds of our survey respondents said they would want to know whether they are prone to develop a disease, even if prevention or a cure were highly unlikely. We fear being left in the dark more than we fear the incurable. As prevention becomes more of a focus than treatment, DNA testing becomes central to this progression. Sixty-eight percent of global respondents would share their DNA data with pharmaceutical companies to evaluate their potential health risks, and half would even accept DNA modification. Moreover, approximately half of us are already willing to share our DNA with insurance companies.

For better identification of current and future trends, Havas Group is working with a group of people called Prosumers. Prosumers are today’s leading influencers and market drivers. They significantly affect people’s behaviour and choice of brands. Simply put, they are consumers who are a few steps ahead of the general public.

Key findings include:

  • A focus on tomorrow. People feel a sense of control—and responsibility—over their health. Most believe that what they do today will determine how well they will live as they age. More than 6 in 10 feel they can stave off major diseases by making good nutrition and lifestyle choices now.
  • Data is the new doctor. More than 3 in 4 Prosumers believe that data mining will allow scientists to accurately predict and prevent diseases. A slight majority believe that supercomputers will ultimately cure all diseases.
  • Optimism for the future of healthcare is linked to technophilia. Citizens of countries that have fully embraced this century’s digital revolution are significantly more hopeful about the direction in which healthcare is moving. These are the markets most open to advances such as robotic doctors and DNA hacking.
  • Tech companies are taking over the health industry. Two-thirds of Prosumers think technology startups will push aside pharmaceutical companies to become the major players in healthcare. For most, this is a welcome scenario, as tech firms hold the promise of unlocking innovations that put patients over profits.
  • Pharmaceutical companies must shift from cash to care. Barely half our global respondents trust drugmakers to provide them with safe medications. And only around a third trust healthcare companies in general to do the right thing. If they are to compete with the tech giants, drugmakers will need to demonstrate that they are putting people over profits.
  • Healthcare providers need to embrace the future. The modern healthcare consumer demands accessibility, convenience, and speed. Already, three-quarters of Prosumers would like to connect with their doctors digitally. And 4 in 10 believe healthcare providers will soon be competing with in-home robotic alternatives.

“Health is becoming a major topic for people, creating a great opportunity for brands to help people live healthier, and to win customer loyalty. Healthcare and other companies can give people better control of their bodies through a variety of applications, or offer personalized healthcare and consulting,” says a specialist in health communication at Havas PR.

“The lack of trust from customers and low confidence in the safety of medical products provided may be worrying for pharmaceutical companies. These corporations will have to invest into communication and create meaningful connections with their customers,” she adds.

Data from the Czech market more or less confirm the global trends, nevertheless in most of the question they show bigger uncertainty. On the other hand, there is not a big difference between the responds of prosumers and the general public. Havas recorded the most striking difference (17%) on a question about sharing personal data with pharmaceutical companies with the aim of better health monitoring. Czech Prosumers would more likely be willing to share their data than the general public.

Half of Czechs believe that the lifestyle they are currently leading could have a negative impact in the future. The majority of the Czech population (75%) would be willing to undergo DNA tests to evaluate potential health risks and 62% would alter the DNA of their children to eliminate certain health problems. Half worry that DNA altering will be beneficial only for those who can financially afford it. Similarly, half of the respondents worry that the alterations could also result in abuse of genetical codes (53%).

More than two thirds think that health insurance companies should provide self-monitoring tools for free in order for people to have a better idea about their general health. The majority (72%) is convinced that health institutions are more concerned about earning money off of their patients rather than about helping them.

The full Prosumer Report is available for download here.

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