The difference between “willing to “and actually will” is enormous

  • Fifty-four percent of consumers are willing to try an FDA-approved app or digital tool for the treatment of a medical condition, according to a new report out of PricewaterhouseCoopers
  • A fall PwC’s survey of 1,750 US adults also found that doctors are suggesting digital tools to patients more often, with 77 percent of doctors have recommended an app or digital program to their patients.
  • As these technologies begin to become more mainstreamed, validation has also become a hot topic.

Sometimes you have to question research findings, especially free research that’s posted online. The research from PwC is such as case.

As anyone in marketing can tell you there is always a huge gap between what people say they are going to do and what they actually do. “I’m going to boycott this brand”, for example, all over social media has not led to any huge declines in sales for contested products.

What I find so questionable about PwC’s latest research is two fold. First that so many say they would be willing to use an app to treat a medical condition and second that they report so many doctors say they have recommended digital tools to patients.

As anyone in digital development knows there is a huge difference between the what people say they want, or would use, a digital app and actual usage. For example, would patients actually use the app the way it was designed even if it meant needing to input data several times a day?

Then there is the report of the number of doctors who “recommended” tools to patents. This is the direct opposite of what I have heard, firsthand, from HCP’s in qual research. They feel that there are just too many digital health apps and not enough clinical support to both ensure they work as advertised and that the data is accurate.

So what is the future of digital health interventions?

Digital health is coming, make no mistake about it but in order for it to succeed the landscape has to be cleared of all the pretenders. GSK is smart in teaming up with digital health technology to test the waters but so far too many other pharma companies have stayed on the sideline because they can’t justify the ROI of trial and error.

Now is the time to experiment and integrate learnings within the organization.