Creating an Engaged Consumer with Health Technology: An EDU “How To”

Jane Sarasohn-KahnJane Sarasohn-Kahn, CEO of THINK-Health is an expert in engaging consumers on their health care. As creator and contributor to her own health care blog, Health Populi, Jane has written extensively about the consumer experience and limitations of various business practices in health care consumerism. Within health technology, Jane has focused much of her work on creating and engaging “connected patients,” and joins Health 2.0 EDU this December 5th to launch “Consumerism in Health Care” an educational series dedicated to analyzing, discussing, and teaching participants about the future of health care consumerism and how you can succeed in engaging your market, patients, community, and more.
EDU: How do you define consumerism in health care? How have you seen that definition change?
JSK: I go back to Old School consumerism per the mission of Consumer Reports: to be engaged, enlightened, inspired and motivated to seek and derive value-for-money as people part with their hard-earned, post-tax dollars, time and effort. In health, that means become a smarter shopper for health services, insurance, doctors, medicines, and all aspects of “retail health” — pharmacies, so-called complementary and alternative medicine, urgent and retail health clinics, and the rest of the growing list of health opportunities available in the community.
EDU: In understanding health care consumer trends, what is your starting point and why?
As a health economist, I start with the macro-economy – that is, the national economy and how health spending fits into the gross domestic product and national spending. Then we focus in on the micro-economy of health care in the household and how that impacts individuals and their families.
EDU: Have you noticed any trends in consumer attitudes in relation to the recent technological difficulties experienced by individuals in the federal health care exchange?
JSK: What’s fascinating to me is that most people (outside of CNN, Fox News, and MSNBC news bureaus) understand that technology glitches are part of every day life. We have iPhones that shatter, software that gets infected with viruses, and cable TV outages. We don’t like being “down” or off the grid when we depend on 24×7 redundancy, but at the same time it’s part of living digital.
EDU: What are you most excited for in your upcoming Health 2.0 EDU course?
JSK: I’m most excited about sharing my perspectives on health care consumerism with everyone attending to provide some “thinkertoys” that people can use both in their professional work and also in their personal lives. We are all, at the end of the day, health consumers.

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