«Digital health has rapidly become a core component of the delivery of health care in the United States. Health systems have implemented new technology platforms to allow for more virtual visits. Patients are increasingly using smartphones to receive health information and communicate with care providers. Health insurers and large employers are providing incentives for using wearables and other digital health devices to better track daily health behaviors such as physical activity, weight, and medication adherence.»

«While these changes offer significant promise, digital health interventions often fail to create sustained behavior change for many patients. A key reason is that most such programs provide a single offering to thousands or even millions of people who vary in many ways. We know that each patient is different — not only in terms of their medical history but also their personality, motivations, and values — and those differences can be amplified when it comes to making decisions about their health. While a “one-size-fits-all” approach may work for some, it surely will not work for all patients.»

«Other industries that went digital long before health care have developed approaches to offer more personalized experiences to consumers. For example, Netflix uses your viewing behavior to suggest content that is tailored to your interests. Amazon can tell from your past purchases if you are more likely to buy a children’s book or a science fiction novel. Searching Google for the word “weather” produces different results if you are in Philadelphia than if you are in Los Angeles. These companies track individual attributes including behaviors, preferences, and experiences to create a “behavioral phenotype” that is then used to predict how to tailor information so it provides a better experience.»

Article written by X. Shirley Chen and Mitesh S. Patel

Photo: Getty Images



Harvard Business Review