OREANDA-NEWS. February 09, 2016. Today, the average consumer uses a wide variety of apps on their smartphone. Whether its to find a nearby restaurant or look up a movie review, this digital consumer experience is also gaining traction in the healthcare industry, writes Will Reese. Patients are increasingly gravitating towards online tools like Yelp to find and research doctors, both for convenience and to ensure they are receiving the best possible care. Excerpts:

Consumers have rapidly elevated their expectations for their personal healthcare experiences. Compared to Amazons ease of ordering, the online service of USAA Insurance, and the speed to content of Netflixtodays healthcare experience is not typically easy, service-oriented or fast. However, as these behaviors and consumer expectations become commonplace, organizations need to focus on three key trends that are shaping the future of healthcare marketing and communications transparency, speed, and crowdsourcing.

Driven by their broader consumer experience, patients and caregivers are growing to expect transparency on healthcare costs, time, service, privacy, and outcomes. New digital tools have provided greater visibility into how much procedures and treatments cost, what health organizations have the best outcomes, and what physicians provide the best experience. Transparency also applies to the patients data, personal information, and health records. Healthcare organizations also need to proactively demystify the dark points along the patient journey, where patients are missing the context to make informed decisions.

Healthcare is entering an era of meaningful mobility. The next evolution is moving from speed to data to speed to meaning. Moving forward, organizations need to shift their focus to the little things that make a big impact, whether that is exploring how wearables and sensors can improve the care experience, identifying the small moments in a journey that cause delays in service, or crafting the bits of data and content that accelerate accurate decisions.

The social experience in healthcare has grown rapidly beyond message boards and blogs. As a result, healthcare is entering an era of democratized data, where consumers can donate and share their data to inspire others, motivate themselves, or to benefit others through research. Crowdsourced data opens up new perspectives to help solve persistent behavioral challenges.

Looking ahead, healthcare organizations should recognize and appreciate these three trends and how their impact on the patient journey allows organizations to create a more personalized and valued health experience. These trends will accelerate the earlier adoption of consumer centered technologies and spark novel partnerships between companies to address these expectations.