One of the universal truths of life is that people want to be treated like the unique individuals they are. Not only that, treating humans uniquely in a healthcare setting has shown to drive better outcomes overall without increasing costs.
Precision Medicine is a new concept that suggests unique treatments for individuals based on their individual circumstances and data. An analysis of lifestyle, environment, and even genetic data could suggest completely different care or treatment plans for different sets of people.
What’s more, evidence suggests that these custom procedures drive better outcomes without affecting costs. When we think about health from an engagement perspective, the same concept applies.
Precision health engagement considers all of the data on a single person to provide the most relevant outreach experience tailored to that individual. Precision medicine develops treatment plans as unique as the people receiving them. In the same way, precision health engagement develops individualized communication and outreach plans to maximize the likelihood of engagement. As a result of this personalized approach, people feel empowered to take action.
A one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t inspire confidence, action, or loyalty, especially when it comes to healthcare. Precision health engagement takes a more targeted approach. It considers all of the data collected on an individual to determine the best outreach method, whether it be interactive voice, email, text messaging, direct mail, or a combination of methods. Precision health engagement works because it’s personalized and based on individual data and preferences. In other words, the same set of channels won’t work equally well for every person, even within the same generation.
Although it’s true that younger generations typically respond better to digital properties and older generations favor more traditional communication methods, assuming that older generations won’t respond to text messaging is a missed opportunity. Communication preferences are constantly changing. As people grow older and continue to adopt new technologies, it’s smart not to rule out any methods strictly because of age.
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It may take a combination of the right mix of channels to inspire action, but continuously collecting data will help humanize and support this process. No matter a person’s preferred communication method, understanding and taking action on this data will help drive precision health engagement.
Outreach methods look different on an individual level, and so will messaging. Let’s say two people qualify for two different message types—cancer screening and BMI. Upon review, we find that Erica is healthy and exercises regularly, but has a family history of cancer and perhaps a BRCA2 gene mutation making her more susceptible to cancer. Becky, however, doesn’t have a family history of cancer, but lives a relatively sedentary lifestyle.
Precision health engagement means that the most important message is delivered to each person. Following our example, we would recommend leading with the cancer screening message for Erica, and sending the BMI message to Becky.
This is just one example of how precision health engagement works, but it clearly demonstrates how different types of messages can empower people to take action when their unique circumstances are factored into the engagement strategy.
A precision engagement approach is incredibly powerful, as it gives individuals personalized, relevant information to help them make good healthcare choices with the support of a health plan designed specifically for them.
This type of precision engagement is the norm in many areas of people’s lives already. People have grown accustomed to companies meeting their exact needs, through their preferred channels. Why would people expect any less when it comes to healthcare?
Precision health engagement keeps the individual at the center of care. A precise approach to engagement will inspire people to take action in the short term, and improve their health in years to come.