Healthcare Market Research: 10+ Trends & Real-Life Examples in '24

what is market research in healthcare

Cem is the principal analyst at AIMultiple since 2017. AIMultiple informs hundreds of thousands of businesses (as per Similarweb) including 60% of Fortune 500 every month.

Cem's work focuses on how enterprises can leverage new technologies in AI, automation, cybersecurity(including network security, application security), data collection including web data collection and process intelligence.

what is market research in healthcare

Figure 1. Popularity of the keyword “healthcare market research” on Google search engine between 2017-2023

Research shows that there are four major areas that patients care most about but are still dissatisfied with 1 :

  • obtaining coverage
  • understanding benefits
  • finding care
  • managing care costs.

Market research is crucial for healthcare companies to address consumer dissatisfaction in these areas. By understanding consumer experiences and expectations through market research, businesses can improve these journeys, enhancing overall satisfaction and trust in healthcare services. This approach can lead to tailored solutions that effectively meet consumer needs and streamline their healthcare experiences.

This article explains the benefits of conducting healthcare market research, core market research solutions, and some real-life examples.

If you are looking for a market research software , check out our vendor guide and a list of top providers.

Why should healthcare providers conduct market research?

1- improve healthcare operations and services.

Market research gathers essential feedback from physicians, frontline clinicians, and patients, guiding healthcare providers in making changes that are seen as beneficial enhancements rather than impersonal or disruptive. This patient and employee input is vital for tailoring healthcare services to actual needs and expectations, leading to better patient outcomes and more efficient healthcare delivery.

2- Understand patient satisfaction & sentiment

Market research is crucial in healthcare to understand patient satisfaction and sentiment. The American Customer Satisfaction Index in 2023 rated hospitals 74 out of 100, highlighting the need for improvement. 2 Market research provides critical insights into patient experiences, identifying areas needing enhancement and guiding healthcare providers in implementing changes that truly resonate with patients. This research is key to elevating patient satisfaction levels and ensuring that healthcare services align more closely with patient expectations and needs.

To learn more about the applications of sentiment analysis in healthcare , check out our article.

3- Develop new products

With more than 75% of health consumers expecting more accessible, personalized care, market research is invaluable in guiding the development of new healthcare products and services. 3 This research helps in understanding patient preferences and emerging health trends, ensuring that new offerings are well-tailored to meet the specific needs of patients.

For more on personalized care , feel free to check out our comprehensive article.

4- Evaluate access to healthcare

Given that research shows one-third of adults have chronic conditions requiring regular healthcare, it’s crucial for providers to understand and improve access to medical services. 4 Medical market research practices can highlight barriers to access, such as geographic, financial, or informational challenges, and guide providers in making their services more accessible and inclusive for all patient groups.

Emerging trends in healthcare services

1- generative ai & digital transformation.

what is market research in healthcare

Source: Deloitte 5

Generative AI is significantly impacting the digital transformation in healthcare, fundamentally changing how data is processed and utilized. Its proficiency in handling unstructured medical data is leading to more efficient and accurate clinical operations. AI technology in healthcare enhances patient care and streamlines administrative tasks, marking a vital shift towards more advanced, data-driven healthcare services.

If interested, check out our article on generative AI in healthcare .

You can also check out the AI use cases in the healthcare industry .

If interested, you can also watch the video below:

2- Mergers & acquisitions (M&A)

Mergers and acquisitions (M&A) is an emerging trend in the healthcare industry and it refers to the process of healthcare organizations joining forces or one entity acquiring another. This trend in healthcare is driven by objectives such as improving service quality, expanding patient access to care, and achieving cost efficiencies. Through M&A, healthcare providers can pool resources, share expertise, and enhance their capabilities to deliver more comprehensive and integrated care to their patients.

3- Wearable medical products

Wearables are revolutionizing patient monitoring and health management. These devices, ranging from fitness trackers to advanced medical wearables, enable continuous health monitoring, personalized care, and data-driven treatment approaches.

4- Remote healthcare services & medical devices

The concept of medical devices has broadened beyond traditional large-scale machinery to include everyday items like smartwatches, capable of gathering vital medical data. This trend complements the growing preference for virtual healthcare, evidenced by 50% having attended a virtual medical appointment in the last year. 6 These developments reflect an evolving healthcare landscape where technology enables continuous health monitoring and convenient access to medical services, reshaping how healthcare is delivered and experienced.

If interested, you can also watch the video about a mobile clinic:

5- Healthcare & well-being mobile apps

Survey across 19 countries shows that 85% of individuals state that their mental health is as important as their physical health. 7 Besides, one in four individuals experience mental illness during their lifetime. 8 Well-being apps are a cheap and accessible way of helping people to deal with these issues especially for those who cannot receive proper treatment.

what is market research in healthcare

Source:Statista 9

6- Cybersecurity developments

As healthcare increasingly adopts digital technologies, cybersecurity has become paramount. Research shows that more than 50% of customers express concerns about the security vulnerabilities of their smartphones and smart home devices, and 40% worry about data security on smartwatches and fitness trackers. 10 This trend underscores the need for robust cybersecurity measures to protect sensitive health data collected and transmitted by these devices, ensuring patient privacy and trust in digital healthcare solutions.

For a more comprehensive view on cybersecurity in healthcare , check out our article.

Essential methods for conducting healthcare market research

Online surveys.

Online surveys in healthcare market research are a versatile and efficient way to gather large amounts of data. They can be designed to capture both qualitative and quantitative information, allowing researchers to understand diverse aspects such as patient satisfaction, treatment effectiveness, and public health trends.

a) Qualitative research

Qualitative research in healthcare delves into the depth and complexity of patients’ experiences, beliefs, and motivations. This approach often provides rich, detailed data that help understand the ‘why’ behind patient behaviors and preferences.

b) Quantitative research

Quantitative research in healthcare focuses on numerical data to quantify behaviors, opinions, and other variables related to health and medicine. This method is crucial for statistical analysis, providing clear, objective data that can inform policy decisions and clinical practices.

If interested, here is our data-driven list of survey participant recruitment services and survey tools .

Focus groups

They involve small, diverse groups of people discussing specific health-related topics, guided by a skilled moderator. This setting is particularly effective in understanding the varied perspectives of patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals on new treatments, health policies, or service delivery.

In depth interviews

Conducted one-on-one, these interviews allow for a comprehensive exploration of sensitive or complex topics, such as patient experiences with chronic illness, decision-making processes in treatment, or perceptions of healthcare quality.

5 real-life examples of market research in healthcare industry


AI4HealthCro, a collaborative initiative in Croatia, stands as a testament to the transformative power of AI in healthcare. 11 This consortium is pioneering AI solutions with ambitious goals: dramatically reducing healthcare costs by an estimated €212.4 billion, saving a substantial number of lives, up to 403,000, and significantly increasing operational efficiency by freeing thousands of man hours annually.

Apple collaboration with Zimmet Biomet

Zimmer Biomet’s collaboration with Apple, resulting in the mymobility™ app and accompanying clinical study, exemplifies how market research in healthcare can drive product development. 12 This initiative leverages Apple Watch and iPhone technology to enhance patient care for knee and hip replacements, demonstrating a response to market demands for more integrated and personalized healthcare solutions. The mymobility app aims to improve patient outcomes and reduce healthcare costs, illustrating the potential of market research in identifying patient needs and fostering innovative healthcare solutions.

Advanced – NHS Cyber Attack

The ransomware attack on Advanced, an NHS IT provider, highlights the critical need for robust cybersecurity measures and market research in healthcare. 13 Hackers took control of systems, posing potential data theft risks. The attack disrupted services like patient check-in and NHS 111, with recovery expected to take weeks. Healthcare companies need to ensure and understand evolving cyber threats and develop effective strategies to protect sensitive patient data and healthcare services. Market research can guide healthcare providers in implementing the latest cybersecurity solutions, ensuring resilience against such attacks.

Roni Jamesmeyer, senior healthcare manager at Five9, focuses on AI solutions like ChatGPT for ambulance services and highlights the importance of understanding customer needs through market research. 14 The findings from their FOI request to NHS Ambulance Trusts reveal a low usage of AI, despite its potential to manage high call volumes and improve patient routing. This underscores the need for comprehensive market research to educate and inform healthcare leaders about AI’s benefits, ensuring technology adoption aligns with actual service requirements and patient care needs.

Apple Health

what is market research in healthcare

Source: Apple 15

Apple’s collaboration with the medical community, as part of its health ecosystem, highlights the importance of market research in healthcare innovation. 16 Through ResearchKit and the Research app, Apple enables large-scale participant recruitment for studies, advancing scientific discovery. Tools like Health Records on iPhone strengthen the physician-patient relationship by providing meaningful health data. Apple’s partnerships in various health studies, such as those focusing on women’s health, heart health, and hearing, demonstrate how market research can drive significant advancements in public health and personalized care.

If interested, check out our data-driven list of market research tools .

You can reach out if you need help in market research:

External Links

  • 1. “ Driving growth through consumer centricity in healthcare “. McKinsey. March 14, 2023. Retrieved December 13,2023.
  • 2. “ Gold-standard benchmarks for quality care “. American Customer Satisfaction Index. Retrieved December 13,2023.
  • 3. “ 2023 Global Health Care Outlook “. Deloitte. Retrieved December 13,2023.
  • 4. “ 2023 Global Health Care Outlook “. Deloitte. Retrieved December 13,2023.
  • 5. “ Trends in healthcare tech investments “. Deloitte. Retrieved December 13,2023.
  • 6. “ 2022 Connectivity and Mobile Trends Survey “. Deloitte. Retrieved December 13,2023.
  • 7. “ In sickness and in health: How health is perceived around the world ” McKinsey . July 21, 2022. Retrieved December 13, 2023.
  • 8. “ 2023 Global Health Care Outlook “. Deloitte. Retrieved December 13,2023.
  • 9. “ Leading health and meditation apps worldwide in May 2023, by downloads “. Statista. Retrieved December 13,2023.
  • 10. “ 2022 Connectivity and Mobile Trends Survey “. Deloitte. Retrieved December 13,2023.
  • 11. AI4HealthCro . Retrieved December 13,2023.
  • 12. “ Zimmer Biomet and Apple Collaborate to Launch Major Clinical Study Detailing Patient Experience and Improving Joint Replacement Journey “ . Zimmer Biomet. October 15, 2018. Retrieved December 13,2023.
  • 13. “ NHS IT supplier held to ransom by hackers “ . BBC. August 11, 2022. Retrieved December 13,2023.
  • 14. “ Unlocking the power of AI for improved ambulance services “ . Healthcare. November 19, 2023. Retrieved December 13,2023.
  • 15. “ How Apple is empowering people with their health information “ . Apple. July 20, 2022. Retrieved December 13,2023.
  • 16. “ How Apple is empowering people with their health information “ . Apple. July 20, 2022. Retrieved December 13,2023.

what is market research in healthcare

Cem's work has been cited by leading global publications including Business Insider, Forbes, Washington Post, global firms like Deloitte, HPE, NGOs like World Economic Forum and supranational organizations like European Commission. You can see more reputable companies and media that referenced AIMultiple.

Cem's hands-on enterprise software experience contributes to the insights that he generates. He oversees AIMultiple benchmarks in dynamic application security testing (DAST), data loss prevention (DLP), email marketing and web data collection. Other AIMultiple industry analysts and tech team support Cem in designing, running and evaluating benchmarks.

Throughout his career, Cem served as a tech consultant, tech buyer and tech entrepreneur. He advised enterprises on their technology decisions at McKinsey & Company and Altman Solon for more than a decade. He also published a McKinsey report on digitalization.

He led technology strategy and procurement of a telco while reporting to the CEO. He has also led commercial growth of deep tech company Hypatos that reached a 7 digit annual recurring revenue and a 9 digit valuation from 0 within 2 years. Cem's work in Hypatos was covered by leading technology publications like TechCrunch and Business Insider.

Cem regularly speaks at international technology conferences. He graduated from Bogazici University as a computer engineer and holds an MBA from Columbia Business School. Traffic Analytics, Ranking & Audience , Similarweb. Why Microsoft, IBM, and Google Are Ramping up Efforts on AI Ethics , Business Insider. Microsoft invests $1 billion in OpenAI to pursue artificial intelligence that’s smarter than we are , Washington Post. Data management barriers to AI success , Deloitte. Empowering AI Leadership: AI C-Suite Toolkit , World Economic Forum. Science, Research and Innovation Performance of the EU , European Commission. Public-sector digitization: The trillion-dollar challenge , McKinsey & Company. Hypatos gets $11.8M for a deep learning approach to document processing , TechCrunch. We got an exclusive look at the pitch deck AI startup Hypatos used to raise $11 million , Business Insider.

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How to Conduct Healthcare Market Research Like a Pro

what is market research in healthcare

Healthcare market research is essential to providing optimal patient care, which is much needed in an industry hailed as people-centric , especially in a world rife with a pandemic. 

Market research allows healthcare industry professionals to gain a deep understanding of the needs and behaviors of their patients — the kind they otherwise wouldn’t have. Additionally, it allows practice providers to expand their patient network, and increase their patient retention rates by helping them provide products and services tailor-made to the needs of their patients.

This article expounds on how to conduct healthcare market research for healthcare market researchers.

Defining Healthcare Market Research

Market research is the process of researching the viability of a new product or service through both primary and secondary sources. Primary sources use techniques like in-depth interviews, focus groups, and ethnographic studies to understand how products are used, how they can be improved, and how they can be streamlined. 

Secondary sources involve a wide variety of research that has already been conducted such as statistics publications, scientific journal articles, and market research articles. 

Healthcare market research applies the concept of market research to the healthcare industry. Instead of gauging how products are used, healthcare industry professionals use market research to learn about how their services can better benefit patients (and how they can reach and retain more patients).

The Importance of  Conducting Healthcare Market Research

While the healthcare industry relies on services and products to keep patients healthy, market research specific to this industry is seldom conducted. 

Healthcare market research needs to be prioritized because it creates a path to better care, and this is what the healthcare industry is fundamentally all about. The best way for healthcare providers to succeed in the industry is to form a clear understanding of this target market through market research methodologies. 

Gaining access to the proper research can be a gateway to building a strong reputation, attracting more patients, garnering good reviews, and being a community go-to. As you learn more about your patients’ wants and needs, your quality of care will increase and you’ll build patient trust. 

The Makeup of Healthcare Market Research

When conducting healthcare market research, you’ll need to conduct both primary and secondary research for a holistic market research campaign. Combining these methods yields powerful insights with the potential to transform patient care.

what is market research in healthcare

Primary Healthcare Market Research

Primary market research in the healthcare industry involves communicating directly to existing or potential patients. You do this to learn about your target market, which gives you the ability to perform market segmentation. Dividing your patient base into narrow market segments allows you to address a specific sector of your target audience. 

You can conduct primary research using these methods: 

  • Surveys include questionnaires and screeners that you can deploy to your target market via an online survey tool.
  • A 3-minute survey will yield more responses than a 5-minute survey, so try to get the information you need in as few questions as possible.
  • With online surveys, you can reach a specific segment of your target audience while saving time and maximizing responses. 
  • In-depth interviews are one-on-one interviews that can happen over the phone or in person. 
  • Time estimates range from 20 minutes to over an hour. 
  • This intimacy and time-frame allow the researcher to get detailed feedback, as healthcare can be a sensitive topic. 
  • Personal interviews make it easy to gather information without privacy concerns. An average study might interview 10-50 participants. 
  • Ethnographies are field studies that use observation and interviews to study how people use products, interact with technology, and find/use services.
  • Ethnographic research allows the researcher to record behavior in addition to participant feedback.
  • It can be performed in-person or by software.
  • While recall methods rely on participant’s memories, this real-time observational method is more reliable.
  • Customer journey mapping can be integrated into this technique to see how patients interact with a healthcare provider’s website and how they locate services from providers through phone referrals or word of mouth.
  • Focus groups are a great technique for healthcare market research, especially when a product or service is new. 
  • The group-brainstorming format stimulates ideas and feedback that you might not be able to get out of an individual.
  • A great healthcare marketing research method is a hybrid of focus groups and ethnography studies.
  • This lets you observe your consumers in their natural setting before bringing them together for a brainstorming session.

Secondary market research is the process of gathering already published data. You can speed up this process by purchasing high-quality market research reports. They provide in-depth data, statistics, and results that reveal areas and topics that need to be explored through primary research. 

Here are some secondary market research sources for the healthcare industry:

  • Published market research reports are a great source of information. The healthcare market research section of is a great place to get started.
  • Consumer reports and industry reports are a perfect starting point for researching target markets and trends. Visit Statista for reliable reports relevant to the healthcare industry.
  • Healthcare provider websites , i.e., those of your competitors are often a natural starting point for market research. You can find relevant annual reports, presentations made for investors, and other information that shows you where you’re positioned in your field and what areas you need to focus on with your primary market research.
  • NCBI is full of secondary research information pertaining to patient care. 
  • UpToDate is a medical resource providing clinical decision support that’s been proven to improve patient care . 
  • BMC Health Services Research offers a collection of journal articles on topics relating to healthcare practices like policy, the health workforce, health services research methodology, protocol, and more. 
  • Census data can also be helpful in exploring demographic information.

Tips for Healthcare Market Research Surveys 

Healthcare market research surveys are nothing without responses. Follow these tips to boost your response rates:

what is market research in healthcare

  • Target Your Population: Choose a target population relevant to your survey goals. If this population is hard to reach, consider using software to find survey takers who meet your criteria.
  • Prioritize Question Clarity: Keep your questions simple with the least number of steps possible. The easier your survey, the more responses you’ll get.
  • Shoot for between 5 and 15 minutes. You can make it even more manageable by using skip logic to let respondents only answer the questions most relevant to them. 
  • Offer Incentives: you can boost your survey response rate by offering extrinsic survey incentives like discounts, coupons, gift cards, or even cash rewards. 

Healthcare Market Research Use Cases 

The above techniques are only helpful if you know how to use them, so let’s dive into use cases. Here are some ways you can use healthcare market research to expand the reach and improve the overall patient experience:

  • Evaluate healthcare access: you can investigate benefits and barriers to healthcare among groups with limited access (for example, low-income and senior citizens). You can target populations in rural areas and inner cities for the best results.
  • Improve business operations: this gauges the effectiveness of your business processes. It allows you to discover where you need more support and where systems could use some tweaking.
  • Healthcare feedback questionnaire: this survey helps you find out if your patients are satisfied with their care if they were taken care of in a timely manner and if their needs were met. 
  • Women’s health research: This allows you to monitor the healthcare female patients received, which includes their opinions, concerns and fears. This is especially important for gynecologists and those who provide health services targeted at women.
  • Healthy lifestyle programs: This divulges whether patients are interested in secondary health programs such as health and wellness classes, smoking addiction aid, stress relief, weight management, mental health support, pain management, etc. 
  • Teen health survey: this gives teens a confidential place to provide info on teen health habits, tobacco, drug, and alcohol abuse, bullying, and family issues. You can use this info to tailor-make special programs to aid your teen patients.

Upgrade your Patient Care with Healthcare Market Research

Healthcare market research can help you understand your patients and what they need to feel healthy and happy with their patient care. Staying on top of your healthcare practice isn’t limited to the day-to-day — it also involves the need to monitor patient satisfaction to keep your practice’s online perception in check. Surveys can come to your rescue on this matter.

Healthcare market research is important, but it shouldn’t take time away from patient care. That’s why you need a robust online survey platform to aid your in healthcare market research efforts . With an online survey platform, you can collect the data you need to better your practice . Plus, online surveys are one of the only kinds of primary market research where you don’t have to meet with someone in person (making them pandemic-proof). They’re the best way to listen to your patients’ needs and improve your practice accordingly.

Frequently asked questions

What is healthcare market research.

Healthcare market research is research that helps healthcare industry professionals understand the needs of their patients, expand their patient network, and increase their patient retention rates.

Why should you conduct healthcare market research?

Healthcare market research is important because using it to guide your practice improves patient care, strengthens your practice’s reputation, attracts patients, garners good reviews and establishes your practice as a trusted one in your community.

What are some primary healthcare market research methods?

For primary healthcare research, use surveys via an online survey tool, focus groups, phone calls and ethnographic (field) research.

What are some secondary healthcare market research resources?

For secondary healthcare market research, look for resources like published market research reports, consumer reports and industry reports, healthcare provider websites (like your competitors), NCBI for patient care research, UpToDate for clinical decision support, BMC Health Services Research for healthcare best practices and census data for exploring your demographic information.

What are some tips for healthcare market research surveys?

For the best healthcare market research surveys, target your population well, prioritize question clarity, keep your survey length to a minimum and offer incentives to up your survey participation.

Do you want to distribute your survey? Pollfish offers you access to millions of targeted consumers to get survey responses from $0.95 per complete. Launch your survey today.

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How to Conduct Market Research in Healthcare | IntelliSurvey

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Healthcare is a fast-growing and changing industry. Legislative changes, regulatory changes, technological developments, and consumer behavior impact how healthcare develops and evolves.

Market research is a crucial strategy component in any field, including healthcare. However, in the medical industry, the stakes are much higher. When it comes to healthcare, generating sales and earning a profit is a smaller piece of the pie. In many cases, healthcare can impact a person’s standard of living or save their lives.

Companies in the healthcare sector have to take great care to conduct their market research accurately and ethically. Accurate data is imperative when creating new ways to care for patients, regardless of the product. Learn more about what market research in the healthcare industry looks like and why it is important below.

What Is Healthcare Market Research?

Healthcare market research determines the viability of new medical products or services through primary and secondary sources. Primary sources consist of interviews, focus groups, and ethnographic studies that strive to understand how consumers use products. Interviews and focus groups will likely include both patients and medical professionals. For example, a company creating a new medical device might want to know what would make a primary care provider’s life easier or make a patient more comfortable during their visit.

Secondary resources refer to a wide variety of research that is generally available. It includes any data collected by another credible party, such as a university, as well as scientific journals, statistics publications, and market research articles.

Healthcare market research helps organizations gain a better understanding of patient needs, perceptions, and motivations. It also helps researchers understand the needs of healthcare workers and other professionals in the medical field. Healthcare market research aims to understand all the different areas of healthcare. To gain a thorough understanding of all the moving parts of the medical market, researchers analyze everything from participants, audiences, methodologies, tools, and challenges in the field.

Why Is Market Research Important to Healthcare?

In any industry, market research is critical for creating innovative products and standing out among the competition. For companies in the healthcare industry, market research goes beyond driving sales and trying to turn a profit; it strives to close gaps in service delivery methods and improve patient care across the board.

Standing Out Among the Competition

The healthcare sector has become increasingly competitive thanks to disruptive technologies and venture capital investors looking into high-risk and high-reward business models. However, several major enterprises continue to dominate the healthcare and medical industries at large.

Patients and healthcare professionals may see this as a positive change because it leads to competitive pricing and more choices when it comes to care and treatment methods; however, it also makes it challenging for startups in healthcare to find their footing. 

Market research helps offset significant risks for new startups because it gives them the information and tools they need to stand out and create an actionable plan. For healthcare startups, that plan includes the audience they need to engage, why they need to reach them, and how they will accomplish that.

Development Insights for Innovative Products and Services

Even the most successful healthcare companies cannot afford to rest on their laurels when it comes to product development and customer acquisition. Since healthcare providers and other customers have more suppliers to choose from, even well-established organizations have to stay on their toes to stay ahead of the market. If patients and healthcare professionals can’t find what they need with your company, they will look elsewhere and likely find a solution.

Healthcare market research helps companies in the medical industry stay innovative and identify new ways to help patients and practitioners alike. When healthcare companies remain innovative, everyone wins. New products and services engage new customers and ensure that patients are receiving the care they deserve while making sure that the business stays profitable.

Close Gaps in Service Delivery Methods

Healthcare solutions are often sophisticated and require a service delivery model instead of a basic transactional approach. For example, companies that provide medical testing equipment to labs might rely on firms to help them track patient care satisfaction. Healthcare market research helps these firms identify if there are any gaps in service delivery models and find new opportunities to improve satisfaction among all parties.

What are the Primary Audiences for Healthcare Market Research?

Healthcare market research focuses on care delivery in hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities, as well as medical procedures, patient satisfaction, and medical equipment acquisition and use within healthcare facilities. The healthcare industry’s market research audiences include:

  • Primary care practitioners (Medical Specialists - Physicians)
  • Secondary care practitioners (Allied Health Professionals - Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, etc.)
  • Healthcare administrators - (Hospital/Lab Personnel - Pharmacy Directors, Medical Directors, Administrators)
  • Patients and other healthcare consumers

Healthcare Market Research Methods and Tools

Healthcare companies must determine the methods and tools they want to use to gather accurate data. Depending on what information an organization needs, it can employ different techniques to collect quantitative or qualitative data. Researchers should ensure that the methods and tools they use align with their client’s or organizations’ resources and goals. Below are a few healthcare market research methods and tools that researchers may employ.

Online Surveys

Online surveys leverage questionnaires and screeners for an organization’s target market. For example, healthcare surveys are simple 10 to 30-minute surveys that help researchers get responses quickly. Online satisfaction surveys can reach a specific segment while saving time and encouraging more responses.

In-depth Interviews (IDIs)

In-depth interviews, or IDIs, can be time-consuming but often give researchers more information than other techniques. IDIs are typically held in person or over the phone between one respondent and a trained moderator. Since healthcare is a sensitive topic, 1-on-1 interviews make it easier to get detailed feedback if the interviewee feels comfortable.

Focus Groups

Focus groups are extremely effective during healthcare market research for developing new products and services. Focus groups are a group-brainstorming format that stimulates ideas and feedback that researchers might not be able to receive from a survey or 1-on-1 interview. Group-brainstorming sessions are commonly conducted in person or through a web call.

Ethnographic Research

Ethnographic research refers to field studies that leverage observation, interviews, and more to study how people use products and services and interact with different technologies.

Challenges in Healthcare Market Research

Since the healthcare industry is strictly regulated, researchers face additional challenges when conducting market research. Companies in the healthcare industry must ensure that their practices are within any regulations and laws. Researchers must ensure that patient information remains private and protected when collecting data. Healthcare market research’s primary challenges include:

  • Limited availability of research respondents
  • Difficulty recruiting respondents (since healthcare is a sensitive topic)
  • Ensuring strict adherence to healthcare data protection laws and compliance with ethical guidelines.

Examples of Market Research in Healthcare

Patient chart survey: how do dermatologists treat psoriatic arthritis, niche audience research: how do you reach engineers responsible for consumer safety protocols in the pharmaceutical manufacturing industry .

Going beyond generic online panels is necessary to find validated sources and ensure quality response data for this niche audience. Using a blended panel approach , we sourced panelists from multiple vetted vendors to optimize the number of responses, field speed, and budget requirements. To meet the parameters, we delivered 61.2% of respondents recruited and interviewed by phone from our CATI partner and 38.8% from an expert network that provided responses via an online survey. 

How IntelliSurvey Can Help

IntelliSurvey has a variety of market research , survey programming , and field management services to help companies in the healthcare industry create an effective market research plan with performance trackers and advanced analytics. With help from IntelliSurvey, your organization can better understand what factors are impairing or improving your brand’s overall customer experience, what new healthcare solutions you should bring to market, or other healthcare-related research activities.

IntelliSurvey’s in-house research team can help your organization review and help draft materials for your market research plan. Our research team features world-class programmers to help ensure that your surveys and other materials are user-friendly and compliant with all ethical guidelines and regulations. IntelliSurvey’s experienced project consultants will ensure that fieldwork runs as smoothly as possible, so you can focus on things like data analysis and other projects.

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How to conduct market research for healthcare

Find out how to conduct market research for healthcare so that you can provide better care and improved services for your patients.

Understanding healthcare market research

  • Why is healthcare marketing research

Examples of healthcare market research

  • How to make health market research

How to do healthcare and medical market research in 8 steps

  • Tips for an effective healthcare market research

Market research shouldn’t only be done by what you’d consider typical commercial business. As it’s largely about people and what they want and need, other organizations—from governments to the healthcare industry—would definitely benefit from it.

Your local family doctor or nearest hospital will most likely not give you a survey with your prescription on your way out, but there are certainly ways in which the healthcare industry can gather valuable information about its ‘target audience’. 

In this guide we’ll highlight why market research is so important for the healthcare sector, how you can use it to improve your health systems and how to conduct your research in a way that’ll give you actionable insights.

Healthcare market research is done to learn how to improve health services for people, and how to get patients to pick your health care facility, service or product. In that sense, it’s less about selling, but more about providing the right information through the right channels, and having a really beneficial solution available to patients.

Why is healthcare marketing research so important? 

If you hear the words healthcare marketing research together, you might think that feels odd: healthcare isn’t typically something that needs to be marketed, it should be something people simply get when they need it. 

And that’s precisely why market research is so important for forward-thinking professionals in the healthcare industry. By finding out what people need and want from the healthcare industry, providers and brands will be able to give them services and products that are truly great. 

Below, we’ve listed some reasons why healthcare companies and patients benefit from market research.

A healthcare business owner placing a band-aid on a patient.

Help people find the help they need

Even as patients, or especially as patients, people won’t simply ‘buy’ anything healthcare providers sell.

In other industries, it’s all about creating a demand or convincing people to choose your product or service. In healthcare, it should be about making sure that the people who need a certain service can easily find it. 

Think of it as inbound marketing, but with a shorter ‘sales funnel’. The healthcare industry is confusing enough as it is, and people want to see and know their options as quickly as possible. With healthcare marketing research, you can learn how to do that for them.

Patient satisfaction is crucial for improvements

For many patients, the barrier to go to see any healthcare professional, use a healthcare product or have some treatment can be very high. And this is totally understandable: they don’t know what to expect, and they’ve probably heard some horrific stories of others. 

Patient satisfaction should be taken very seriously by all healthcare companies. It’s not all about the treatment and whether that’s successful or not—even though that’s obviously the main objective. 

How easy was it for a patient to get help? How did they find the information they needed, and how clear was this? How were they treated?

By improving these ‘secondary’ factors, you won’t just improve the experience of patients, but also of the ones treating them. 

An old woman sitting in a healthcare clinic and smiling.

Improve business operations and services

What’s good for your patients and market, is also good for business. If you want to make informed decisions for your healthcare practice, don’t just perform internal investigations.

You can often give that knowledge a lot more context by talking to patients, suppliers and any other partners you work with. 

Improve healthcare—for everyone

A market analysis can also be used to simply start understanding your patients better. From specific research into women, minorities, teenagers, and senior citizens, for instance, will help you make your communications and the care you provide more inclusive, and therefore better. You can take away any possible barriers and start taking care of everyone equally well.

There are countless research topics worth diving into for medical professionals. Which healthcare practices need improvement according to patients, what’s possible in the world of medical devices, and how can a medical organization improve from a marketing perspective?

We’ll give you some examples of types of market research and key markets you can look into.

A nurse wheeling a new-born baby through a hospital corridor.

Market research aimed at patients

What’s the most obvious part of the market for the healthcare industry? The patients of course! You can learn so much more from them than just satisfaction stats.

  • Test your branding and messaging on a specific market segmentation. How are senior citizens reacting to your brand, in comparison to young families, for instance?
  • When developing a new product or service, find out what patients think about it with a new product development survey. Test your ideas with the people who will be using it. 
  • Build strong consumer profiles to better cater to your patients’ needs. With qualitative interviews, focus groups and surveys, you can learn what every customer needs.
  • Improve patient experience: what people experience asides from their treatment has a significant impact on how they perceive your organization and if they’d recommend it to others.
  • ‘Buying’ journey research: how do people find you? What are important touchpoints and where could you improve the way you give people information?

How to make health market research data actionable?

If you want your research efforts to be worthwhile, you need to start every piece of research by defining what you want to do with it. Because this goes beyond nice-to-know or looks-great-in-a-powerpoint: you conduct market research to learn what you can do better, and how. 

We’ll dive into the steps to conduct healthcare market research below, but before you get started you need to have two things: 

  • A clear objective
  • Influential decision-makers involved

By having a historically-proven market research goal that’s connected to a practical reaction, it’ll be easier to select high-quality respondents and get actionable insights. 

And by having someone on board who is influential enough to take the newfound insights to the boardroom and make actual changes, you’ll know that your research and investments will be put to great use.

A person wearing grey and orange sneakers climbing up cement steps.

There’s no framework set in stone that dictates how you should exactly conduct healthcare market research, but there are some milestones that you shouldn’t miss, some boxes you should tick. 

We’ve put these in chronological order for you, although we do advise you to do your due diligence and see if you are still meeting previous standards when going through these steps. Here’s what you should do for successful market research in the healthcare sector.

Step 0: Have a goal

You know this one’s important because it’s step zero – it’s a no-brainer. 

We’ll repeat it because it’s such an important one. Make sure you don’t start your research based on a whim. Define your goal—what are you hoping to achieve with your market research? Include what you will be looking into, why, and think ahead on what might need changing based on the results you’ll find.  

Step 1: Bring decision-makers on board

Make sure everyone knows what the research is about, what the goal is, and have them prepare for making it all come true. There are a lot of stakeholders in any healthcare market research , so it’s important to have them all involved. Don’t just show up with the results at the end of the ride—make sure they tag along from day one.

A healthcare marketer in a meeting placing post-it notes on a wall.

Step 2: Select the audience

Now, this, of course, depends on the goal of your research. But we would like to remind you of the value you could bring on board by including extra related, target groups.

For instance, if you are investigating waiting times and patient satisfaction, it can help to not just survey patients—ask nurses who know what’s happening on the floor, so you can give more context to your data. 

Here are some examples of important audiences for health care market research.

  • Patients and other people using health services. These could also be healthy people, like patients’ families, or people using health services that aren’t related to disease.
  • Primary care practitioners, such as general practitioners, specialists, nurses, and pharmacists.
  • Secondary care practitioners like consultants, caregivers, psychiatrists, clinical psychologists, and more
  • Healthcare administrators, from board members to purchases and government officials.

Step 3: Take care of privacy

The way you handle data and take care of the privacy of your respondents is always important, but in this type of research, it’s all the more crucial. 

Make sure that any market research tools you use are compliant with the regulations that matter to you, and that everyone using them knows how to keep data and privacy in check. Also, communicate clearly to your respondents how you will be handling data.

Step 4: Choose the right research methods

If you conduct healthcare market research, you have several sources to choose from. Of course, primary sources will be more relevant than secondary ones (because you’ll end up with the data you originally needed, not second-hand data that was gathered for someone else’s use). But it doesn’t hurt to get your foundation right—especially in the early stages of your healthcare market research. 

If you talk directly to patients or providers, you’re doing primary market research. This can range from qualitative research like focus groups to more quantitative research like online surveys, to in-depth interviews. If you dive into existing reports and studies, you’re doing secondary market research. It’s always best to combine those, to give more context to the data you’re gathering. 

Step 5: Pick a platform

You’ll want to pick a platform and tool that has it all. That will make it easier to work with, and ensures that you have a grip on where all your data is being stored.

Using a platform like Attest gives you all that, and then some: we help you set up an airtight survey and make sure you can use the platform in the best way possible. As for privacy concerns, you can give the right people exclusive access so all data is safe—perfect for research, especially in healthcare settings. 

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Step 6: Review the results

Time to look at the results! It’s key that you interpret these the right way—which all starts with asking the right questions. Get all stakeholders on board when reviewing the data, so you don’t miss any important angles. 

Step 7: Start implementing, stat!

This is the stage in which the magic happens. Translate your qualitative and quantitative market research services to action points. Make them SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely.

Step 8: Measure more than once

If you have your SMART goals in place and start implementing, it’s crucial that you also follow up. For instance, if you’re looking to improve patient satisfaction, make sure to measure again after a while to see if you’re on the right track.

Tips for an effective healthcare market research survey

Like with any other survey, a healthcare market survey shouldn’t be too difficult of a task for respondents, and there are some rules to keep in mind to make it a success. As healthcare is a specific category however, we’ve included some last top tips to make sure you make the most of it.

Use the right platform 

The platform you use for your market research is where it all comes together: privacy, survey results, patients, and researchers. It’s where you’ll read the results from, so it needs to be crystal clear. Take your time to choose one that’s right for you.

Keep your questions simple

Your respondents should not be the ones doing the hard work. Make sure your survey is easy to understand and easy to fill in. The right platform—something like Attest—will also help you with this.

Keep it short

If you’ve established a clear objective and topic for your research, and picked an audience with care, you can skip a lot of questions that are just fluff. If you find yourself asking for a lot of details about a demographic, ask yourself if you’ve defined your audience well enough.

Recruiting respondents

Are you struggling to find respondents for your survey? Make sure you are asking in the right way, and communicate clearly why you are doing this. People love being part of the solution, they just want to know upfront why they are sharing their experiences. 

Be clear about privacy

We can’t stress it enough: healthcare market research requires strict adherence to data protection standards. Check and then double check if the systems you’re looking to use live up to your standards. Also make sure that you can communicate clearly to respondents how their data is being used and stored.

what is market research in healthcare

The Experts’ Guide to Brand Tracking

How to look at the impact of things like audience reach, panel diversity, and survey design to help you decide whether your current brand tracker is up to scratch.

what is market research in healthcare

Customer Research Lead 

Nick joined Attest in 2021, with more than 10 years' experience in market research and consumer insights on both agency and brand sides. As part of the Customer Research Team team, Nick takes a hands-on role supporting customers uncover insights and opportunities for growth.

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How To Conduct Healthcare Market Research


Have you ever wondered how health institutions decide which services to offer, or how pharmaceutical companies determine which drugs to develop? Behind these decisions lies the healthcare market research. 

It guides the health sector towards more informed choices, effective strategies, and ultimately, better patient care. But, what exactly is healthcare market research, and why is it so vital to the health industry?

Understanding Healthcare Market Research

Unlike consumer packaged goods or financial services, the purchase of most healthcare products and services are generally not optional.   But that does not mean that someone absolutely must buy what you sell!   Thus there are many questions that need to be answered in order to maintain a “healthy” (pun intended) business.

The healthcare market primarily consists of…

  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Medical device, supplies and equipment businesses
  • Primary and Secondary Care Facilities (e.g. hospitals, nursing homes)
  • Healthcare providers (e.g. doctors, nurses, pharmacists)
  • Patients who need products and services provided by any of the above

Why Is It Important?

Healthcare market research is the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data related to the healthcare industry. It includes a vast range of areas, from studying patient preferences and behaviors to analyzing market trends for medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and health services.

Therefore, it plays a pivotal role in ensuring the industry remains patient-centric and competitive. Some of the most important benefits for business are as follows: 

• Patient-Centric Decision-Making: By understanding patient preferences, needs, and challenges, businesses can develop products and services that are genuinely tailored to their target audience. So, healthcare market research aids in understanding these nuances, ensuring that the patient’s voice is at the forefront of decision-making.

• Navigating Regulatory Compliance: The healthcare industry is heavily regulated, and these regulations can vary by region and country. Comprehensive healthcare market research helps companies understand these regulatory landscapes, ensuring they remain compliant and avoid costly penalties.

• Understanding Market Dynamics: From emerging health trends to shifts in patient demographics, market research keeps businesses informed. This knowledge enables them to pivot their strategies in real-time, ensuring they remain competitive and relevant.

• Risk Mitigation: Before launching a new product, service, or treatment approach, it’s essential to gauge its potential reception in the market. For this reason, healthcare market research helps in forecasting these scenarios, allowing businesses to make informed decisions, and mitigating risks of significant losses.

• Enhancing Stakeholder Trust: Regular market research showcases a company’s commitment to staying informed and prioritizing patient needs. This transparency and dedication can enhance trust among stakeholders, from patients and healthcare providers to investors and partners.

Main Benefits of Healthcare Market Research

When diving into the realm of healthcare, it’s essential to underscore the myriad benefits healthcare market research brings to businesses, healthcare professionals, and patients. Here’s a breakdown of some of these benefits:

• Spotting Market Opportunities: Through market research, companies can identify gaps in the market – be it an unmet medical need, a demographic that’s underserved, or a new therapy that can be developed. Capitalizing on these gaps can lead to innovation and new revenue streams.

• Optimizing Product Launches: The success of a new drug or medical device isn’t just about its efficacy. Healthcare market research aids in determining the right pricing, positioning, and promotional strategy to ensure its success in the market.

• Improved Patient Outcomes: By understanding patient needs, experiences, and feedback, healthcare market research helps in refining treatment approaches and healthcare services. This invariably translates to better patient outcomes and improved overall healthcare delivery.

• Cost Efficiency: Inefficient practices can bleed resources in the healthcare industry. Thus, market research can identify these inefficiencies, whether in the supply chain, service delivery, or patient management, allowing organizations to address them proactively.

• Tailored Marketing Efforts: With insights from healthcare market research, marketing campaigns can be designed to speak directly to the concerns, needs, and desires of specific patient groups, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates.

• Monitoring Competitor Activities: This research also includes competitor analysis, giving businesses an edge by understanding their competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, and upcoming moves.

Emerging Trends in Healthcare Market Research

The healthcare industry, influenced by advancements in technology, shifts in patient behavior, and a rapidly changing regulatory environment, is in a perpetual state of evolution. Consequently, healthcare market research has been instrumental in keeping pace with these changes, and in the process, has identified several emerging trends:

• Patient Empowerment and Consumerism: Patients are behaving more like consumers, seeking information, comparing providers, and making informed decisions about their care. Healthcare market research is shedding light on this paradigm shift, helping providers tailor their services to meet these evolving expectations.

• Digital Health and Telemedicine: The ongoing digital transformation in healthcare is a focal point in healthcare market research. From wearable tech gathering real-time patient data to virtual consultations, understanding the implications and possibilities of digital health has become paramount.

• Personalized Medicine: The drive towards tailored medical treatments based on an individual’s genetics and lifestyle is gaining momentum. Healthcare market research is vital in understanding patient attitudes, gauging the potential market size, and determining best practices for this bespoke approach to medicine.

• Data Privacy and Security Concerns: With healthcare becoming more digitized, concerns about data privacy and cyber threats have come to the forefront. Market research is investigating patient trust levels and expectations concerning their personal health information.

• Incorporation of AI and Machine Learning: AI’s role in diagnosing diseases, predicting patient needs, and even drug discovery is growing. Healthcare market research is instrumental in gauging healthcare professionals’ receptivity, potential barriers, and the broader implications of AI in healthcare.

• Mental Health Focus: Mental health, once sidelined, is receiving the attention it deserves – and market research is diving deep into understanding the societal, cultural, and economic nuances surrounding mental health to shape policies and practices.

Key Opportunities for Businesses

The dynamic world of healthcare offers multiple opportunities for businesses. Healthcare market research highlights these opportunities while mitigating potential risks. Here are some of the prime opportunities uncovered by market research:

• Precision Medicine and Genomics: Tailoring medical treatments to individual patients based on their genetic makeup presents a goldmine of opportunities. Businesses venturing into genomic data analysis, genetic testing kits, and personalized therapy can find immense potential.

• Wearable and IoT Devices: Wearable devices are revolutionizing patient care and data collection. Healthcare market research highlights the market’s growth potential, areas of innovation, and the type of data consumers are comfortable sharing.

• Telemedicine Platforms: There’s a growing market for platforms that offer secure, user-friendly, and comprehensive telehealth solutions. Market research identifies demographic groups most open to telemedicine and the key features they seek.

• AI-Driven Innovations: Whether it’s for diagnostics, administrative tasks, or patient management, AI has immense potential in healthcare. Market research provides clarity on areas ripe for AI integration and the barriers to its adoption.

• Collaborative Platforms: As cross-sector collaborations increase, platforms that facilitate cooperation between tech companies, pharma, and healthcare providers are in demand. Healthcare market research aids in identifying the needs of these sectors and creating solutions that bridge the gap.

Challenges of Healthcare Market Research

While healthcare market research is an indispensable tool for businesses, it does come with its own set of challenges – and the healthcare industry demands a nuanced approach to market research. Let’s explore some of the challenges businesses may encounter:

• Regulatory and Compliance Issues: The healthcare industry is highly regulated worldwide. Healthcare market research must ensure that data collection, analysis, and dissemination comply with local, national, and international standards and laws. Navigating these regulations can often be complex.

• Patient Data Privacy: Protecting patient data is paramount. Researchers often deal with sensitive health information, making it crucial for businesses to ensure the utmost security and confidentiality.

• Diverse Patient Populations: With diversity in genetics, culture, and socioeconomic backgrounds, a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work. Healthcare market research must account for this diversity, which can be a challenging endeavor.

• Subjectivity in Patient Feedback: Patients’ perceptions of care, treatment outcomes, and overall experience can be highly subjective. As a result, this research must employ rigorous methodologies to ensure that the insights derived are reliable and actionable.

• Complex Decision-Making Structures: Unlike many other sectors, healthcare decisions aren’t made by one person or entity. Decisions involve doctors, administrators, patients, and payers. Understanding this complex web is crucial for effective research.

• Stakeholder Engagement: Engaging busy healthcare professionals can be challenging. Ensuring their buy-in and getting their valuable insights requires tact and a clear value proposition.

Here are 3 steps that may help you with your need for market research

1. If you are planning to conduct research on this market, start by addressing the following basic questions.

What are your objectives? 

  • Do you want to study the whole market or just a part of it? (e.g. global, national, or regional)
  • Do you want to gather opinions from consumers (patients) and/or from providers of products or services to them?
  • Are you concerned about reactions to a new product or service?
  • Do you want to know what your competition is planning to do?

What is the overall landscape of your market(s)?

  • What is its size?   Key segments?   Trends?
  • Who are the major competitors?   Where are they located?
  • How are distribution and the supply chain organized?

Who precisely are your target customers, and what are the characteristics of respondents you wish to hear from?

  • Are end users both the decision-makers as well as the buyers?   Or do others (such as doctors, spouses, and parents) play a role in influencing the purchase?
  • What kinds of purchases are influenced by others? (e.g. prescription or non-prescription drugs, nutritional supplements, vitamins)
  • Do patients have any unique demographics of interest (children, senior citizens, gender, specific diseases or medications)?
  • Is there a list of potential subjects available to study, or do you need to recruit a representative sample?

Healthcare Market Research Consulting 2020

2. Next, you can move into addressing other key questions, such as

  • What are substitutes for your product or service?
  • What is the likelihood and frequency of repeat purchases?
  • Where and how often are your messages seen or heard?   (e.g. in a doctor’s office, on desktops, smartphones, cable TV, or magazines)

3. Finally, you should decide whether to use qualitative, quantitative, or both types of research to ask questions and collect data.

  • Personal interviews (either face to face or on the phone) and focus groups as well as diary studies or surveys often deal with very sensitive health issues. It may be easier to interview a doctor in person or on the phone, and patients in a focus group or via an online survey. Often, a combination of methods and respondent groups will provide an optimal set of findings to answer your questions.
  • When formulating questions, you may wish to measure how people react to the relative importance of certain product features, or feelings about price points.   A technique known as conjoint analysis can help to predict the acceptance and probability of purchase based on which of several different options are presented.  
  • Or you might want to know how your brand compares to those of your competitors and what factors most influence those perceptions. Here, use brand equity research , where each feature of a brand can be ranked or rated to identify what matters most in its overall preference.
  • Another approach involves a person’s actual usage of a product, followed by their attitudes and feelings. In some attitude and usage studies, answers to a “pre” versus “post” set of questions can highlight any changes in perception.

Hospital Market Research Healthcare

  • Have a solid plan, with well-defined objectives.
  • Pick the right methods to ask the right questions of the right people.
  • Select a qualified research firm to assist with your project and to help inform your decisions.

About SIS International

SIS International offers Quantitative, Qualitative, and Strategy Research. We provide data, tools, strategies, reports and insights for decision-making. We conduct interviews, surveys, focus groups and many other Market Research methods and approaches. Contact us for your next Market Research project.

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A brief guide: Healthcare market research tactics

Healthtech startups offer unique challenges when it comes to scoping out their markets. The healthcare industry is notoriously complex, and most ventures will run into regulatory and reimbursement barriers when bringing their products to market. However, a little market research know-how will do wonders for easing your growing pains.

What is healthcare market research?

Unlike traditional market research , healthcare market research uses epidemiology and medical data to size your market. Healthcare market research focuses on the latest health trends and examines factors like patient comfort and education to identify market opportunities and penetration. It also accounts for healthcare’s unique customer landscape, where patient pools drive the overall market size, and where healthcare providers (HCPs) can influence product sales more than consumers. Healthcare market research provides an understanding of the number of potential patients that could be treated with your product, which products HCPs prefer to treat them with, and the accessibility of the market.

Primary vs. secondary research approach

is a great way to gather information on how potential customers perceive your brand. The incentive costs can add up quickly when your ideal persona has an MD and a clinic to run. methodologies use already published reports, studies, and analyses to construct a comprehensive view of the market or perform a market opportunity analysis.

What questions can secondary healthcare market research answer?

This guide will highlight several reputable free resources and tips to help you conduct secondary healthcare market research. The public resources identified in this guide can be used to:

  • Estimate your patient pool
  • Define potential reimbursement
  • Map the competitive landscape
  • Identify technological trends

Key secondary resources for healthcare market research

Epidemiology by indication, demographics, population behavioural trends, and regulations by country
Population by geography or demographics, population growth rates
Patient demographics, epidemiology, medical procedure volumes, healthcare cost, healthcare facility size, type, and ownership (U.S. only)
Patient demographics, drug and healthcare spending, epidemiology, medical procedure volumes, health systems performance and characteristics (Canada only)
Medical procedure volumes, drug and healthcare spending, healthcare resources, epidemiology by indication

While there are many general market research resources available for the U.S . and Canada , these public resources can help you to understand the potential market for your therapy by providing in-depth, healthcare-specific data on epidemiology, patient demographics, healthcare spending, and more.

Calculating your market size/penetration

Using epidemiological data and patient demographics provided by resources like WHO and expenditure data from CIHI, HCUP or OECD, you will be able to directly size your market or estimate market penetration. However, if you cannot locate the information you are looking for, you can estimate your patient pool by crossing population data with prevalence or incidence data sourced from academic journals, or expand your research into other free databases .

what is market research in healthcare

Mapping the competitive landscape

If you want to understand where your therapeutic market is headed, it is important to research your competitors. A public competitor’s annual report can offer a wealth of information beyond their revenue. Many corporations break their financial statements into geography, brand or therapeutic levels and accompany their data with commentary and analyses. This information can illustrate useful market trends, such as which geographies are experiencing the fastest growth or which technological trends are expected to transform the market. Of course, even the most spartan annual reports can be used to puzzle out market growth through year-over-year calculations , or estimate market size simply by adding up the annual revenue of the other players.

Emerging startups should keep an eye on their competitors’ annual reports and press releases, especially since mergers and acquisitions can signal landscape upheavals or major technological trends. Due to the technological and regulatory barriers inherent to healthcare, fragmented markets are rare and any change in the landscape can have a far-reaching impact.

International resources

For ventures that are interested in marketing their products outside of the U.S. or Canada, market research can be more difficult. Resources like OECD and WHO provide important high-level health data, but other websites can help you understand international healthcare systems . If you are interested in the European market, many countries host extensive government healthcare databases. The National Health Service (NHS) and Destatis offer rich data sources on procedural volumes, epidemiology, and healthcare policies in England and the European Union, which you can use to build your market model.

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Conducting market research for the healthcare industry

2023-06-12 Market Research

In today’s ever-changing healthcare landscape, it’s more vital than ever for healthcare providers and organizations to stay up-to-date on the latest innovations and patient needs. Market research helps healthcare providers gain valuable insights. Gathering and analyzing data on patient preferences, behaviors and experiences can help improve patient outcomes, boost patient satisfaction and grow their business.

In this blog, we’ll explore the importance of market research in the healthcare industry and some of the key methods and techniques that can help gather and analyze data. We’ll also discuss specific ways healthcare providers can use market research to improve operations, expand their reach and enhance the overall patient experience. Whether you’re a healthcare provider, administrator or business owner, this blog is for you.

What is healthcare market research and why is it important?

Healthcare market research involves collecting and analyzing information on the healthcare industry and its consumers to better understand the market’s needs, behaviors and preferences. This information can then inform business decisions and develop strategies that will ultimately improve patient care, increase revenue and enhance overall satisfaction levels.

Market research in healthcare can take various forms, including surveys, focus groups and data analysis, which can identify consumer preferences, measure patient satisfaction and track changes in the industry. This information can then guide product development, marketing campaigns and healthcare policies.

Market research can result in more effective healthcare treatment plans, in addition to other benefits. Insights from research allow healthcare providers and organizations to make informed decisions based on data rather than relying solely on intuition or assumptions. This can lead to more effective and efficient use of resources, improved patient outcomes and increased profitability for healthcare businesses.

Additionally, healthcare marketing research can help identify new opportunities for growth and innovation within the industry. By understanding the needs and desires of patients and consumers, healthcare providers can develop new products and services that better meet their needs, ultimately leading to a more satisfied and loyal customer base.

Primary and secondary research

Primary research involves gathering new and original data directly from the source through various methods, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups and observations. In healthcare, primary research can involve gathering data from patients, healthcare providers and other stakeholders in the industry to understand their needs, preferences and experiences better.

Secondary research involves analyzing existing data and information already collected and published by other sources. This can include industry reports, academic studies and government statistics.

Regarding primary research in the healthcare industry, there are a few crucial things to consider. For example, ensuring that any research is ethical and follows all relevant regulations and guidelines is essential. Additionally, it’s vital to ensure that any data collected is accurate and reliable, as this information can significantly impact patient care and outcomes.

By combining these methods, healthcare professionals can gain a comprehensive understanding of patient needs and preferences, which can help inform the development of new treatments, products and services.

Use cases for market research in healthcare

Healthcare market research is valuable for expanding the reach and improving the overall patient experience. By understanding patient needs and preferences, healthcare providers can better tailor their services and operations to meet the needs of their patients. Here are some examples of how market researchers can utilize healthcare market research to broaden their reach and improve patient experience: ]

what is market research in healthcare

Evaluate access to healthcare

Conducting healthcare market research can help evaluate access to healthcare by gathering data and insights on various factors that impact patient access to care. For example, healthcare market research can help healthcare providers identify geographic locations with limited access to healthcare services or areas with a shortage of healthcare providers.

Market research can also help identify barriers to access, such as high healthcare costs or lack of insurance coverage, which may prevent patients from seeking care. By identifying these barriers, healthcare providers can develop targeted strategies and programs to help address these issues and increase access to care for underserved populations.

Additionally, healthcare market research can help providers identify patient preferences and behaviors that may impact access to care. For example, market research can help identify patient preferences for telemedicine or other digital healthcare solutions, which can help improve access to care for patients who may have difficulty accessing care in person.

Improve operations and services

Conducting healthcare market research can help improve operations and services in the healthcare industry by identifying areas where patients may experience delays, dissatisfaction or confusion. For example, market research can help healthcare providers identify areas where patients may experience long wait times, such as in the waiting room or during appointment scheduling.

By identifying these areas of dissatisfaction, healthcare providers can develop strategies to streamline processes and reduce wait times, such as implementing online appointment scheduling or redesigning waiting rooms to be more comfortable and welcoming.

Market research can also help healthcare providers better understand patient preferences and needs. For example, market research can help identify patient preferences for communication with healthcare providers, which can help providers tailor their communication strategies to meet patient needs and preferences better.

Get patient feedback

Conducting healthcare market research is an effective way to get patient feedback and better understand patient satisfaction and preferences. By gathering patient feedback through surveys, focus groups or other research methods, healthcare providers can gain valuable insights into patient experiences, opinions and needs.

Market research can help healthcare providers identify areas of patient satisfaction and areas for improvement. For example, market research can help providers understand what patients like and dislike about their facilities, staff and services and can help providers identify opportunities for improvement.

Patient feedback can also help providers better understand patient needs and preferences. For example, market research can help identify patient preferences for communication methods or appointment scheduling, which can help providers tailor their services to meet patient needs and preferences better.

Determine interest in programs

Conducting healthcare market research can help determine interest in programs by gathering insights into patient preferences and behaviors. For example, market research can help identify patient interest in new programs or services, such as wellness programs, disease management programs or patient education programs.

Market research can also help identify barriers to program participation, such as cost, transportation or time constraints. By identifying these barriers, healthcare providers can develop strategies to address these issues and increase program participation.

Additionally, market research can help healthcare providers better understand patient needs and preferences for program design and delivery. For example, market research can help identify patient preferences for program format, such as group sessions, individual sessions or online sessions and preferences for program content and frequency.

what is market research in healthcare

Simple and effective market research with Cint

By understanding patient needs, preferences and behaviors, healthcare providers can develop more effective strategies and services that meet the needs of their patients. From evaluating access to healthcare to getting patient feedback and determining interest in programs, there are many ways that healthcare providers can use market research to drive positive change.

When it comes to using the power of survey data, you need access to an extensive market of survey respondents.  Cint’s global market research solution offers unrivaled flexibility and access to survey audiences — connecting you to a large pool of respondents and allowing you to collect relevant data for informed decision-making.

Contact us online today to discover how we can help you. Unlock your decision-making with Cint, and let’s get knowing.

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what is market research in healthcare

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The impact of marketing strategies in healthcare systems

The dynamic evolution of life has inevitably affected the healthcare systems generating significant changes and imposing healthcare marketing as an indispensable element of health brands. Healthcare is a field in a permanent evolution, the plethora of opportunities stimulating creativity, enthusiasm, and will exploit the specialists in the field.

As the philosophy and marketing techniques in other fields cannot find applicability in the healthcare services, healthcare need their own approach and present certain features that are not found in other industries (Thomas RK. Health Services Marketing, A Practitioner’s Guide, 2008, Ed. Springer).

Through its specificity, healthcare marketing is an interdisciplinary field because it uses certain concepts, methods, and techniques specific both to classical and social marketing. The specificity of healthcare marketing is that there are services and markets but no money equivalent. This means the effectiveness of its application can be found in the image of a healthy population, the detection of a chronically ill category of people, ensuring the treatment of ill people by going through the whole rehabilitation process, professional reintegration, social reintegration of ill people, etc. The application of marketing in the field of healthcare was imposed by the problems in the health of the society.

An effective marketing approach involves in-depth investigation of the patients’ needs, identifying latent needs and offering new health services that patients have not explicitly requested (Purcarea VL. Marketingul Ingrijirilor de Sanatate - curs Universitar, 2017, Ed. Universitara “Carol Davila”).

Patients’ involvement in the achievement of the medical act has become a necessity of present life with wide and complex meanings, not only beyond changing the mentality of the providers but also with significant changes like lifestyle, consumption habits and medication of beneficiaries. As the daily process evolves, change will be fundamental to the fundamental purpose of our existence: life. In addition, this will undoubtedly bear the hindrance of how the relationship will harmonize the need for health. Structural changes forces health systems to accelerate towards the future, considering the current needs, and the future strategy cannot be viable without performing management and marketing abilities (Popa F, Purcarea Th, Purcarea VL, Ratiu M. Marketingul serviciilor de ingrijire a sanatatii, 2007, Ed. Universitara “Carol Davila”).

The marketing of healthcare services differs primarily through the nature of demand for health services. Secondly, the beneficiary may not be the target of the marketing campaign, the physician being the one who decides what, where, when, and how much will be provided for a particular service. The decision-maker may be the doctor, the health plan representative, a family member. Healthcare services also differ where the product can be very complex and may not be easily conceptualized. Many of the procedures used in healthcare, especially those based on technology, are complicated and difficult to explain to a person who is not specialized in that particular field.

Another healthcare challenge, especially for service providers, is that not all potential clients are considered “desirable” for a particular service. While service providers are required to provide services to all applicants, regardless of their ability to pay, there are certain categories of patients whom the marketer may not encourage to request a particular service. The marketer faces the challenge of attracting customers to healthcare organizations, however, without attracting too many from the category of those who are likely to represent economic debts.

Over the past decade, healthcare has experienced many marketing trends that have fundamentally altered marketing. These trends are the follows:

  • — From a mass marketing approach to a more specific approach.
  • — From image marketing to service marketing.
  • — From “one measure for all” to personalization.
  • — From the emphasis on a health episode to a long-lasting relationship.
  • — From “ignoring” the market, to market intelligence.
  • — From low-tech to high-tech (Thomas RK. Health Services Marketing, A Practitioner’s Guide, 2008, Ed. Springer).

Marketing plays an important role in helping healthcare professionals to create, communicate, and provide value to their target market. Modern marketers start from customers rather than from products or services. They are more interested in building a sustainable relationship, than in ensuring a single transaction. Their aim is to create a high level of consumer satisfaction so that they return to the same supplier. Marketers have used many traditional methods that include marketing research, product design, distribution, pricing, advertising, promotional sales, and sales management. These methods need to be joined by new ones, related to new technology and new concepts, to attract customers through messages and offers.

Although the consumer typically receives most of the information about a product through the commercial media. The most important information comes from recommendations or from publicly available independent authorities. The two categories of sources provide complementary functions; commercial media – informs, while personal or expert sources legitimize or potentiate the evaluation process. For example, physicians often find out about new drugs from commercial sources, but they turn to other physicians for legitimate opinions.

Although much has been written about subliminal decisions, current models look at the process from a cognitive perspective, which means the consumer/patient, makes his own judgements on a rational basis (Kotler P, Shalowitz J, Stevens RJ. Strartegic Marketing for Health Care Organizations. Building a Customer Driven Health System, 2008, Ed. Jossey-Bass, A Wiley Imprint).

In an attempt to meet a need, the patient expects certain benefits from the chosen health service and provider. The patients’ attitudes, judgements, and preferences about certain brands through a procedure of evaluating the attributes of these brands, develop a set of beliefs about the attributes that correspond to each brand (Kotler P, Rackham N, Krishnaswamy S. Ending the War between Sales and Marketing, July 2006, Harvard Business Review).

The main actor who marks the process of production and delivery of healthcare services is the patient and his presence is part of the delivery system .

In the field of healthcare services, the performance occurs only in the presence of the healthcare consumer and his wiliness to the service. Thus, the consumer becomes an indispensable factor for any service; the consumer interacts with the supplier, becomes co-provider of the service, participating with time and effort in the delivery process (Popa F, Purcarea Th, Purcarea VL. Ratiu M. Marketingul serviciilor de ingrijire a sanatatii, 2007, Ed. Universitara “Carol Davila”).

Healthcare consumers are actively or passively involved in delivery, but their presence has implications for the medical organization’s activity because any specialist who meets the patient will contribute to the service production. In addition, any tangible element, which the healthcare consumer meets, is part of the health service delivery process; in fact, any changes occurring at the place of service delivery, will lead to changes in the patient’s behavior.

From a marketing perspective, the process of providing healthcare services must be conducted in full compliance with patient requirements, activities are being designed to meet these requirements. However, achieving such a goal implies the identification of all points of interference of healthcare staff with the healthcare service consumers and the assessment of the extent to which the activities carried out at these points correspond to the needs and expectations expressed by the patients. Since the behavior of the health services consumer is difficult to predict, the presence of the patient in the delivery process may be a source of major uncertainty.

Far from having a passive behavior, the consumer has multiple functions in the production of services as a “co-producer”, which determines many specialists to consider him an “ external human resource ”.

Patient satisfaction must be the main objective of any healthcare organization and this requires a thorough knowledge of their needs and expectations. Providing a high-quality healthcare service is based on meeting certain requirements so that the service attains the level desired by the patient. In order to gain the trust of healthcare consumers, the specialized staff of the organizations in the field must be more receptive to the wishes, suggestions, patient complaints and, at the same time, become more sensitive to their concerns. The effectiveness of this approach depends on how the medical organization has an effective communication with patients, presents a correct image of the health service, and delivers the promised service properly, and presents a permanent concern for the continuous improvement of the service provided to exceed the expectations of the patients (Ciurea AV, Cooper CL, Avram E. (coord). Managementul sistemelor şi organizaţiilor sănătăţii, 2010, Editura Universitară “Carol Davila”, Bucureşti).

By acting in a dynamic and unpredictable environment, (in order to survive) the health service provider must be able to detect the opportunities and threats of the market on which it operates. In this context, the formulation of a realistic, coherent, and explicit strategy by the medical unit is of crucial importance in anticipating its future and reducing uncertainty in the activity.

The marketing strategy is the way an organization acts under the influence of environmental factors. In practical terms, marketing strategies outline a path following the analysis of environmental factors. The marketing policy defines its general framework of action in order to carry out its entire activity, including several strategies.

Developing the marketing policies and strategies specific to health services providing units is a complex process. Taking into account many internal and external factors, the interdependencies and conditioning links between them, as well as the favorable or unfavorable impact they can exert on the health unit, they must be analyzed in depth, interrelated, and interpreted for making strategic and firm decisions regarding the future development of the medical institution.

The core of the marketing strategy in the field of health services is represented by the quality of services. Successful organizations in the healthcare field have a clear, competitive, strategy that empowers and forces them to adapt to environmental conditions. The marketing strategy in the healthcare services field is in fact the attitude of the medical organization in relation to the marketing environment and, at the same time, its position in relation to its components.

At present, patients have so many options regarding the choice of healthcare services and providers that the only way the healthcare practices can really be distinguished is by establishing a well-differentiated, memorable, and unique proposal alongside a marketing strategy adapted to the digital era.

A valuable proposal must have the following characteristics:

  • — It is true
  • — The value offered is superior to the one of the competition
  • — It is important to the target public
  • — It is memorable and easy to remember
  • — It is difficult to copy by the competition.

According to a Harvard Business Review, 64% of the consumers have “genuine common values” as the main influence on their relationship with the brand (Hirsch L. The 8 Most Important Marketing Strategies for a Healthcare Practice – Part 1, November 22, 2017, retrieved from: ).

Today, major healthcare organizations focus on content to win the race of digital supremacy. Content marketing strategies for the healthcare field are not just about blogging and producing tangible results. Since hospitals are linked to patients and physicians, digital marketing is the way to bring this process to a completely new level.

At present, digital content helps build positive brand impressions. The use of new digital marketing strategies is essential to maximize the efficiency of marketing expenses and generate higher return rates. By applying innovative health marketing principles to reinvigorate the medical organization’s marketing initiatives, organizations will be able to better position their service offers to consumers.

For healthcare providers, the use of informative blogs or articles published on social media can be effective ways to stay relevant to patients. Moreover, infusing targeted keywords into the content can add a marketing boost.

For organizational marketing to be effective, the digital platforms in which the organization will operate on must be identified, the target public will have to be segmented correctly, and customized marketing messages will have to resonate with the audience.

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Marketing strategies for marketing a healthcare practice in the healthcare field. Source: Hirsch Healthcare Consulting, .

To understand the impact of marketing strategies on the quality of healthcare services, it is important to understand today’s medical consumer who prefers to look for medical information online, where he also has a wealth of healthcare services, healthcare providers, reviews from patients who contacted the provider, etc.

With digital marketing, almost everything can be tracked and measured. Healthcare professionals and healthcare organizations no longer need to insight what works and what does not work. With the help of marketing performance information, healthcare professionals, and healthcare organizations can make an informed decision on how to improve their efforts, along with the ability to continually measure and evaluate them.

The healthcare industry has the potential to significantly increase its coverage and effectively engage consumers with digital marketing tactics.

As the marketing progress grows, organizations are moving towards more digital approaches to remain relevant to consumers. Digital marketing expenses have been the highest of all time, with healthcare companies spending over $ 2.5 billion on marketing, estimated at $ 4 billion by 2020 (Health Works Collective, Digital Marketing Dominates Healthcare Advertising, October 20, 2018, retrieved from: ).

In this context, 44% of the marketing costs for health-related products and services are dedicated to mobile and digital platforms. TV advertising costs have dropped to less than 33% and are expected to continue to decrease, as the cost-effectiveness of placing a product or service on TV seems to no longer justify the investment.

The way consumers use the internet to find hospital units and healthcare providers evolves in favor of smart devices. With more than 80% of the patients who frequently use smartphones, to either identify or interact with physicians, it is essential to reconfigure marketing initiatives to better fit the era we live in. In addition, as Google reconfigures its search algorithms to favor mobile-friendly websites, now it is the right time to prioritize rethinking digital ads.

At the same time, the marketing mix strategy is necessary in medical organizations to ensure their success. Thus, the strategy leads to a significant impact on the medical organization, including its performance measured by patient satisfaction, the co-ordination of planned marketing efforts to address organizational performance being essential.

Therefore, the benefits of implementing marketing strategies are

  • — to improve the competitive advantage,
  • — to increase the visibility,
  • — to create a solid reputation among patients,
  • — to understand the needs and expectations of consumers,
  • — to understand the patients’ perceptions of the quality and results of their experience within the medical organization, offering memorable experiences to patients and, of course, building a strong, effective, dominant brand on the health services market.

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what is market research in healthcare

Credence Research

Know The Importance Of Market Research In The Healthcare Industry

Medical Devices

The healthcare industry is an ever-evolving one, and market research plays a pivotal role in understanding consumer behavior, changing trends and preferences. Healthcare companies are looking to gain insights into how their products or services are perceived by consumers in the marketplace. Market research provides these organizations with the invaluable data needed to make informed decisions about their current offerings and potential new markets.

what is market research in healthcare

Moreover, market research can also be used to analyze competitor activity in order to better understand their strategies and identify new opportunities for growth. Through researching competitors’ pricing strategies and product features, healthcare organizations can leverage the information gathered to create more competitive offerings that will appeal to target audiences.

In addition, market research helps healthcare businesses develop effective marketing campaigns designed to reach their target audience. Knowing who their customers are and what drives them to choose certain products or services is essential in order for companies to tailor the right messages that will resonate with the intended audience. Research also helps identify which channels are most effective for reaching specific consumer segments and allows companies to adjust their strategies accordingly.

Finally, market research plays an important role in evaluating a healthcare organization’s overall performance. By conducting surveys and focus groups, businesses can gain valuable insights into how their offerings compare to competitors and where they stand in terms of customer satisfaction. With this information, they can make necessary changes to better meet consumer needs while ensuring they remain competitive in the marketplace.

Overall, market research provides vital information that is essential for any healthcare organization to remain competitive and successful. By leveraging data from research, companies can make well-informed decisions that will help them stay ahead of their competitors and ensure their customers are satisfied. Market research is a must for the healthcare industry!

Market Research In the Healthcare Industry

Market research in the healthcare industry is an important tool to help businesses identify and understand customer needs, trends, and behaviors. It can also be used to develop new products and services that meet those needs. Market research helps organizations make data-driven decisions about their target markets, pricing strategies, promotional activities, and more.

The healthcare industry has a wide range of customers with different needs. Healthcare providers need to understand what types of treatments are being sought by their patients, as well as the cost implications associated with each treatment option. For example, pharmaceutical companies may conduct market research to understand how much people are willing to pay for particular drugs. They can then use this information to price their drugs appropriately based on consumer demand and competition in the market.

In addition to pricing strategies, healthcare providers can use market research to understand the preferences of their target markets in terms of treatments, services, and products. For example, hospitals may conduct surveys or focus groups to determine what types of medical care people prefer when they’re sick or injured. This helps inform decisions about which services should be offered at their hospital and how much those services should cost.

Finally, market research is used in the healthcare industry to understand health trends and changes in the sector. For instance, researchers may track changes in public opinion on different health issues such as vaccination or obesity management. Additionally, they may analyze data related to new healthcare technologies that are being developed by companies to better serve customers’ needs.

Overall, market research is an essential tool for healthcare providers to gain insights into customer needs and behaviors. It can help organizations understand their target markets more accurately, develop new products and services, and make better decisions about pricing strategies. By conducting regular market research, healthcare providers can stay ahead of industry trends and remain competitive in the ever-changing landscape of the healthcare sector.

Importance of Market Research In Healthcare

Healthcare organizations rely on market research in many ways to remain competitive and viable in their field. It helps them know who their target audience is, what services and products they need, how best to reach them, and the trends that are influencing the industry.

Market research also plays an important role in developing effective strategies for pricing, promotion, positioning, and distribution of healthcare services. By understanding the current needs of customers and potential buyers alike, market research can provide valuable insights into creating successful campaigns that will drive more business.

Market research enables healthcare organizations to understand the competition so they can develop appropriate strategies to gain an edge over competitors. It provides a better understanding of customer preferences by analyzing data related to customer demographics, buying behavior, usage patterns, and attitudes. This helps healthcare organizations design services and products better suited to their target audience.

Market research also allows healthcare organizations to monitor industry trends, identify opportunities for growth, develop new products, and gauge customer satisfaction so that they can make informed decisions regarding the future of the business.

 By using market research data to inform decision-making processes in areas such as pricing strategies, product launches, branding efforts, and distribution channels, healthcare companies are able to increase revenue and remain competitive in their field.

Furthermore, it is important for healthcare providers to stay up-to-date with industry regulations so they can effectively comply with them. Market research helps providers understand changes in regulations and assess how this may affect their current operations.

Ultimately, market research is an invaluable tool in the healthcare industry. It helps organizations gain a better understanding of their customers and competition, develop more effective strategies for reaching them, and stay ahead of industry trends and regulations. By leveraging market research data, healthcare companies can make informed decisions that will help them remain competitive in the long run.

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Exploring New Research on Marketing in the Healthcare Sector

Exploring New Research on Marketing in the Healthcare Sector

Hayoung Cheon and Nah Lee

Health Care Services Marketing

As the world faces a pandemic of a magnitude not witnessed for over 100 years, we are reminded of healthcare’s fundamental role in our interconnected world. Marketing as a discipline has not lived up to its potential contributions to this important aspect of our lives. The Journal of Marketing Special Issue on “ Marketing in the Healthcare Sector ” is dedicated to promoting research on healthcare marketing. Thirteen scholars from across the marketing discipline shared their views on unanswered questions facing marketing in the healthcare sector during a special session at the 2020 AMA Summer Academic Conference. A summary and video clip of their individual presentations follows.

what is market research in healthcare

Leonard Berry | University Distinguished Professor of Marketing, M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University

Underuse of Palliative Care and Hospice Services

One of healthcare’s most important jobs is to help people with advanced illnesses live as comfortably as possible until they die. Yet, many patients do not die how they wish, which is to be as pain-free as possible and at home surrounded by family. Two services are available in the U.S. for patients with advanced illness— palliative care and hospice . Both services provide comfort care (such as pain control) and emotional support for patients and their families.

However, palliative care and hospice services are grossly underutilized in the U.S. About 60% of patients who could benefit from palliative care do not receive it and 25% of hospice patients die within three days of enrollment even though insurance covers it for six months. How can marketing help improve the utilization of these valuable services that can help people live better at the end of life?

Poverty and Health

Another important topic is the impact of social determinants on health. Factors such as quality of housing and education, income levels, physical activity, and social support are far more influential in overall health and length of life than medical care. For example, life expectancy in a low-income Chicago area drops 16 years compared to an affluent neighborhood. Poverty’s links to health may seem an impossibly big and complex topic for marketing academics to tackle, but research teams can break this big puzzle into manageable pieces and make extraordinary contributions. Consider, for example, the opportunity for marketing to reimagine housing for low-income people such as being done in designing “purpose-built communities” such as Villages of East Lake in Atlanta, GA. Think of “purpose-built communities” as a complex new product to serve the needs of its customers and other stakeholders. We in marketing have the expertise to make these “products” much better.

Punam Keller | Senior Associate Dean of Innovation and Growth, Charles Henry Jones Third Century Professor of Management, Tuck School of Business, Dartmouth University

Ecosystem goal: The Role of Business and Marketing in the BIG Picture

Multiple factors determine health outcomes. As the current pandemic shows, health outcomes are the result of interactions across global and social elements, technology, governments, and organizations. Thus, to tackle health problems, marketing should work more with the parties that it has not done so very often in the past. For example, collaborative work with global organizations such as WHO, WTO, and COP can be advantageous.

Individual Behavioral Goal: Message-Behavior Tailoring Using Technology and AI

Switching the focus from the ecosystem level to the individual level, marketing should note that technology can be readily adapted to encourage behavioral changes that promote better health outcomes. For example, smartphones can be powerful if combined with tailored messages alerting patients when to take their medications. We can study the efficacy of the types of text messages across segments of patients to understand which types of message are most successful at promoting positive behavioral changes.

what is market research in healthcare

Irina Kozlenkova | Assistant Professor of Marketing, University of Virginia

Mitigating the Effects of Physician Turnover through Relationships

Relationships have an important role in healthcare marketing. Among many players in the healthcare ecosystem (which includes payers, purchasers, suppliers/distributors, and regulators), the physician-patient relationship is central to healthcare and is also related to other entities in the ecosystem.

One problem that has not been understood well is mitigating the effects of physician turnover. In 2017, healthcare jobs experienced 21% turnover, which is second only to the hospitality sector’s turnover rate. It is costly to replace health professionals ($100,000 to replace a registered nurse, $1,000,000 to replace a physician) and doing so negatively affects patients and organizations. It has been shown that typical retention initiatives that work in other industries do not work well in healthcare.

Relational mitigation strategies may be key to mitigating the negative impact of turnovers. We conducted qualitative interviews with employees from all levels of a big healthcare organization (from high level executives, physicians, nurses, to receptionists) and a patient survey, which we later matched with turnover data and patient health data. The data revealed a big variance between various departments in terms of staff structure – some had consistent structures, while others were more ad-hoc. We learned that it is important to pay attention not only to physician turnover, but also to other parties (RNs, MAs, PAs). Continuity of care with the other parties improves patient outcomes, such as retention by 45–75%. While often the most attention is paid to the central relationship between a physician and a patient, we found that to many patients, their relationships with other members of the healthcare team (e.g., nurses, medical assistants) were as or more important as the relationship with their physician. Proactive communication with recommendations for a replacement of a leaving party has also been shown to improve outcomes (41–91%).

Off-Labeling Prescribing

Another important problem to address is off-label prescribing. It is legal in many countries to prescribe drugs for conditions for which they have not been approved. This is a very common practice (over 20% of prescriptions are off-label), yet patients are often unaware of it because doctors are not required to tell them. Since drugs are used for conditions for which they have not been tested and approved, it can be risky, and sometimes deadly. Some populations (e.g., children, pregnant women) may disproportionally receive off-label prescriptions. Research shows that over 70% of off-label uses have little to no scientific support.

Two important research questions surrounding this issue are how to regulate off-label prescribing without stifling innovation and understanding how physicians make off-label prescribing decisions. Our preliminary research findings from a field conjoint study, matched with the actual prescription data, show that physicians are more likely to prescribe an off-label drug when they are similar to the patient (in gender or experiencing the same “issue”) and when they have more experience in the specialty. Also, higher prices of the approved drug tend to diminish the use of the cheaper off-label drug.

what is market research in healthcare

Cait Lamberton | Alberto I. Duran Distinguished Presidential Professor in Marketing, Wharton School of Business, University of Pennsylvania

Micro: Biases Specific to Care Choices?

While we have done quite a lot of work to show that well-established biases exist in healthcare (as they do in any context), we also have a lot to learn about specific biases that may arise in healthcare choice making. One example is anti-community bias. Health outcomes are superior closer to home, given that closer-to-home facilities offer better accessibility and a closer relationship with doctors. With no other information, patients seem to prefer to stay close to home. However, when given a choice, patients tend to reject community hospitals in favor of more distant university-based hospitals, which do not necessarily lead to better outcomes for many standard procedures. Moreover, in rural areas (where 20% of the U.S. population resides) such biases may have long-lasting negative effects, as we see the increasing closures of community hospitals in rural areas. Given this tension between rural and community hospitals versus urban and university-based hospitals, understanding how patients make choices weighing different factors across these two types of hospitals and contemplating how and when marketing should tip the scales become crucial.

Macro: Satisfaction (with Healthcare)?

At the macro-level, marketing can focus on hospital satisfaction measurement. HCAHPS (Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems) measures patient experience including communication, pain management, and the quietness of the hospital environment. It is a widely used measure, freely available and, more importantly offers a huge opportunity to conduct interesting research. For example, an interesting area of research is the difference in the mode of delivery where more positive responses are attained through mobile devices than through computers. Researchers can also investigate the role of pain and the way it may be framed to help consumers deal with it in the most healthy manner, what types of advertising work well for healthcare facilities and providers, and how we can more accurately capture patient satisfaction as fully-conceptualized, and likely to be rooted in different, healthcare-specific experiences like empathy and respect for dignity, than might drive satisfaction with other goods and services.

what is market research in healthcare

John Lynch | University of Colorado Distinguished Professor, University of Colorado-Boulder

Health Care System Infomediaries

Healthcare expenses have experienced a six-fold increase in inflation-adjusted dollars since 1970. One major factor contributing to this increase is the absence of consumer price sensitivity. Insurers, the payers of this expense, cap the maximum out-of-pocket costs for the consumer. Even when patients are paying, they are often willing to pay all they can for a few more months of expected life. Furthermore, prices are opaque, even to doctors. This means that doctors do not know how much patients will be charged for a given procedure. They view it as impossible to know because it is dependent on insurance and not their job to know. How can marketing help incorporate price sensitivity in healthcare? Can we design pricing infomediary models to help doctors be better price shoppers for their patients?

Health Privacy & Quality of Care

Another interesting topic is health privacy and quality of care. HIPPA regulations govern the uses and disclosures of personal health information. Patients have rights over their health information and can authorize certain health records to be disclosed. How many consumers know who has what records and how does this affect the transmission of health history information that could benefit care?

Utilizing health data is analogous to the literature on customer identification in advertising, pricing, and personalized recommendations. Sharing information has benefits, but there are also risks of exploitation. Can we develop models for patient ownership and sharing of personal health information that promote better health outcomes?

what is market research in healthcare

Detelina Marinova | Sam Walton Distinguished Professor of Marketing, University of Missouri

Physician-Patient Digital Communications for Improved Health Outcomes

Provider-patient interactions are crucial in healthcare and we see a shift of the mode of communication from in-person to digital platforms, especially during the pandemic. However, research has just started to address digital communication in healthcare. Digital communication can be beneficial because it reduces office visits, which can improve efficiency. However, it can also increase physician workload in other ways and digital communication bears a risk of miscommunication. Thus, it is important to understand why and under what conditions digital communication between patients and providers contributes to patient compliance, engagement, and improved health outcomes.

Managing Frontline Interactions for Patient Well-Being and Hospital Revenue

Hospital spending constitutes 30% of national health expenditures, yet it is challenging to deliver high quality and cost-efficient health outcomes. With this tension, there are trade-off s between hospital revenue and patient well-being. One crucial aspect affecting both hospital spending and health outcomes is frontline interactions, which includes proactive actions by physicians and nurses and reactive actions by staffs. These often shape patients’ behavioral approach to medical conditions and treatments, thereby influencing the patients’ well-being. Moreover, it can be either a revenue source or a high-cost factor for hospitals. Therefore, one potential research question is how proactive and reactive actions of frontline agents contribute to or alleviate the trade-offs from the dual-emphasis on hospital revenues and patient well-being.

what is market research in healthcare

Vikas Mittal | J. Hugh Liedtke Professor of Marketing, Jones Graduate School of Business, Rice University

Health Care & Marketing

Conducting successful research in healthcare has a few issues that are uncommon in other sectors. First, problem-solving and practical relevance is critical in healthcare. Collaborators in health systems may not be interested in laborious “theory.” Hence, it is important to focus on relevant problems with basic rigor rather than thin-slicing or engaging in complicated quantitative analyses.

Second, research modesty is important for successful collaboration. A marketing perspective can contribute to solving healthcare problems, which is a much better approach than trying to solve a marketing problem with healthcare only as a “context.” For example, problem-oriented research questions may be: 1. How can a pharmacy chain manage its segmentation in different locations? and 2. How can nursing homes improve employee retention to improve healthcare outcomes?

Third, it is important to learn the differences in process as well as in incentive structures. In healthcare, grants are more critical than publications, so learning how to contribute to the grant-writing process is vital. Regarding publications, in medical journals, authorship and authorship order follow a pre-defined structure. Lastly, data privacy and data integrity issues are paramount and often university-level permissions are needed, which can be time-consuming.

Despite the unique characteristics of the field, there are many marketing research opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of medical and healthcare problems and teaching opportunities for training health professionals for rewarding careers.

what is market research in healthcare

Maura Scott | Madeline Duncan Rolland Professor of Marketing, Florida State University

Stigma and Vulnerability in Healthcare: Solutions through Technology?!

Stigmatized consumers experience a distinct healthcare journey relative to other consumers. Stigmatization can aversely influence the quality of care that patients receive from healthcare providers. Stigmatization in healthcare can limit patients’ willingness to engage in their treatment, thereby potentially further harming their health outcomes. Sources of stigma include certain patients’ characteristics such as race, ethnicity, and body type. Some diseases may be stigmatized based on the perceptions of visibility, controllability, permanence, or contagion associated with the disease. Vulnerable populations (e.g., underrepresented minority groups) may face these two sources of stigmatization at the same time, further affecting their well-being. Identifying interventions that help encourage stigmatized patients overcome the reluctance to engage in their healthcare (e.g., via online healthcare communities) is crucial. More research should identify policies that create an inclusive, equitable, and accessible healthcare system.

Technology in Healthcare: Tensions and Solutions

One potential way to tackle low engagement from stigmatized patients is to leverage relevant technology in healthcare. There are concerns and tensions to consider when developing such solutions. First, technology can reduce stigmatization because it can reduce human interaction; however, technology programmed with inherent bias could increase stigmatization. Second, technology could lower costs and increase accessibility for vulnerable patients. Yet, income level can make a difference in healthcare service quality, for example by separating ‘premium’ in-person service for the wealthy, which might lead back to the current status quo. Third, technology can influence patients’ anxiety levels, which suggests the need for healthcare interventions to help reduce anxiety triggered by technology. More research is needed to identify how to leverage technology in healthcare to increase accessibility and inclusivity of high quality, low-cost healthcare for all patients. 

what is market research in healthcare

Steven Shugan | McKethan-Matherly Eminent Scholar Chair and Professor, Warrington College of Business, University of Florida

Changes in Healthcare Markets

Marketing can address several interesting issues in changing healthcare markets. Service mix has been addressed in recent work, highlighting the fact that services offered by non-profit hospitals differ from those offered by for-profit hospitals. More research on service mix is needed. Websites hosted by hospitals and other healthcare providers can serve multiple roles—information provision (education) and selling (referrals). Research on multiple role healthcare websites would be valuable. New product launches are also an interesting problem in healthcare, with many new devices facing complications when being brought to market because of licensing issues and multiple players (including regulators, competitors with patents and courts).

Block-chain is a new encryption technology that may enable the storage of sensitive healthcare data. Marketing research can address the interaction of these databases with multiple parties also with privacy concerns. The interaction of these databases with consumers is a typical marketing communications issue. Artificial intelligence also has made its way into healthcare integration, from reading x-rays to making diagnoses, yet the AI-consumer interface is a marketing issue with many unanswered questions.

Other changes in healthcare markets that merit further research include the effect of changes in government regulation of the healthcare industry, the impact of for-profit entry in the existing market, and the implications of declining patient co-pays. Marketing communication in a heavily regulated environment with both business-to-business and business-to-consumer issues provides many research topics.

Healthcare Data Sources

There are many publicly available data sources in healthcare. Links for these data sources appear in the attached slide. Many of these datasets can be integrated based on geography (e.g., zip codes, FIPS, states, counties, etc.). My slides indicate many sources of free healthcare data. I and coauthors have also purchased data from American Hospital Directory and combined that data with data from free sources.

what is market research in healthcare

Jagdip Singh | AT&T Professor, Case Western Reserve University

Frontlines in Hyper-Markets

The pandemic has underscored the importance of getting ahead of the healthcare curve in uncertain and fast-changing healthcare markets. Research opportunities lie in the study of “outside-in” and “inside-out” frontline capabilities in healthcare organizations for demand anticipation and response agility that yield effective outcomes.  These capabilities require an integration of ground-level experience with data-based analytics at speed.  Several research contributions in Marketing can be useful to facilitate understanding of these capabilities including adaptive foresight, strategic flexibility, velocity and marketing excellence.  Some potential ways to seed research is to leverage public data such as ‘Red Dawn’ emails or data from wearable-sensor technology. 

Temporary Organizing for Public Health

The uncertain nature of healthcare markets can sometimes stem from public health and humanitarian crises such as climate change, war, disease, migration, and other conflicts. Many different organizations, such as the Red Cross, NGOs, and Doctors Without Borders, come together to address these crises. The challenges involved collaboration, coalition, and conflict in temporary meta-organizations to yield effective outcomes. Several research contributions in Marketing can be useful to facilitate understanding of these challenges including cause-driven marketing, mega-marketing and temporary marketing organizations.  Potential for funding projects and data comes from Gates Foundation grants, Business Roundtable priorities, and community data.

what is market research in healthcare

Hari Sridhar | Joe B. Foster’56 Chair in Business Leadership Professor of Marketing, Mays Business School, Texas A&M University

Marketing in the Healthcare Sector: Improving Cancer Outreach Effectiveness

Marketing research in the healthcare sector can complement and embellish medical research. It is important to recognize that not all patients are created equal. We can leverage more than 60 years of marketing research on customer needs and the latest developments in machine learning. Using predictive models, we can also demonstrate the social and financial impact of healthcare interventions. Doing so can help the field of marketing become a value-added support arm to healthcare.

In our study 1 of cancer outreach effectiveness, we use patient data and predictive models to improve returns on cancer outreach efforts. Only 4-8% of the general population undergoes regular cancer screening, despite massive spending on preventive outreach campaigns. In an National Institute of Health (NIH) supported study in partnership with UT-Southwestern, we conduct a large scale randomized field experiment to study how cancer screening visits are impacted by different types of cancer outreach efforts. Using a smorgasbord of variables concatenated from medical histories, geographical information, and the outreach program CRM data, we apply causal forests to estimate the causal effect of outreach efforts for every individual patient. We find that patient response to cancer screening varies dramatically across the population, enabling the dream of personalized outreach programs. By targeting the right people with the right intervention, we show that cancer outreach programs can save money and improve yield (over 74% in returns) in preventive cancer screening. Can marketing save lives and money? Our answer is a resounding yes.

It is also critical to understand the innards of the healthcare value chain and move beyond just the study of patient-physician and patient-facility interfaces. Other marketing scholars are now addressing issues surrounding multiple players in designing care facilities and improving quality of care, the complexities of hospital purchasing contracts, and the impact of regulatory interventions on payment disclosures. The field is ripe with other relevant questions and we are merely scratching the surface.

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what is market research in healthcare

S Sriram | Professor of Marketing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Technology has the potential to have a significant impact on the healthcare ecosystem. More importantly, the impact is likely to be felt by all stakeholders in the ecosystem. I consider two examples here.

The Internet of Health Things

In recent years, there has been a considerable increase in the use of wearable devices and apps by consumers, who use these devices for monitoring various markers of physiological and psychological well being. Broadly, these hardware devices and software applications come under the realm of Internet of Things (IoT). Do these devices, which are supposed to monitor health actually lead to better health outcomes and well being? Extant literature has documented mixed results because of several reasons. First, purchasing a device or downloading an app does not necessarily translate into repeat usage. Researchers have documented that consumers routinely lose interest after a few months. Second, even in instances where interest does not wane over time, routinely monitoring markers of health can lead to excessive obsession, which can be detrimental to overall well being. Third, even if we can establish a positive effect of these devices on health outcomes and overall well-being using observational data, one needs to be careful to control for patient self-selection – purchasers of these devices are likely to be different from those who chose not to purchase them.

The effect of these devices and apps can extend beyond patients. In this regard, how an individual’s health monitoring efforts can benefit other stakeholders in the whole ecosystem can be studied. For example, providers might see the reduced hospital readmission rate as shown in some literature and can potentially ensure adherence to medication taken outside hospitals. Drug manufacturers can increase the speed of drug development faster with regularly monitored data, as opposed to relying on self-reported measures. Of course, the downside is that such regular monitoring can be intrusive and raise concerns about loss of privacy. A careful quantification of the benefits of monitoring patient health information can help in assessing whether the benefits of sharing consumer data outweigh the risks associated with the violation of privacy.


Although the idea of telemedicine has been around for a few years, COVID-19 has made it a reality for many consumers of healthcare. The promise of telemedicine lies in its potential to relax wealth, accessibility, time, and skills constraints. This, in turn, can democratize healthcare. However, there are several important questions that need to be answered in order to assess whether and how this promise is realized. First, is the actual and perceived quality of a telemedicine service as good as in-person visits? Are there any particular risks of misdiagnosis from telemedicine? Second, the benefits delivered by telemedicine might not be evenly distributed across different stakeholders. For example, what benefits do patients and other stakeholders such as providers, payers, and telemedicine platforms derive from the new mode of healthcare delivery? How are these benefits distributed among the various stakeholders? How does the relaxation of the aforementioned constraints benefit patients? Does the benefit vary across patients’ socioeconomic status? Lastly, one can study the challenges that telemedicine might face in building a stable platform.

what is market research in healthcare

Richard Staelin | Gregory Mario and Jeremy Mario Professor of Business Administration, Fuqua School of Business, Duke University

Patient Experience Questions

Patient experience data has been collected for decades. However, until recently, most of these data came from standard surveys given to patients after they received treatment. Over the last few years free-form texts, such as reviews, have become increasing available. This new source of input from the patients may provide additional information to more traditional “rating-only” surveys. Do patient reviews of doctors differ substantially from customer reviews in other sectors? Do these reviews provide new information over the standard surveys?

There may be distinct segments of patients that vary in terms of their ability to judge the quality of service received. What is the size of the sophisticated market segment and can it influence the behavior of medical professionals? It would also be interesting to understand whether patients’ view of the quality of care differs across venues of service (e.g., emergency room, hospital, clinic). How is the perceived quality different from the objective quality measures currently used by medical practitioners?

Organizational Reaction to Patient Experience Data

Patient experience data are relevant to hospital management and insurance companies. Do they pay more attention to some databases over others depending on the source? How much should they weigh patient experience data compared to objective or clinical measures of quality? What are the profit implications for the hospital/company? The reaction of the medical staff is also a critical factor in understanding the impact of patient feedback data. Are providers receptive to such feedback by the patients and, if so, do their ability to adapt to feedback depend on the type of information? For example, patient feedback may be regarding bedside manners, receiving faulty advice, or being overcharged. Medical professionals may try to improve bedside manners and avoid billing mistakes, but it may be very difficult (or costly) to alter diagnostic practices.

Learn more about the Journal of Marketing Special Issue on “ Marketing in the Healthcare Sector ” and note that for those interested, submissions  must be made between July 1, 2021 and November 1, 2021.

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Doctoral Student at Duke University

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what is market research in healthcare

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In healthcare market research, as well as healthcare in general, grasping the terminology poses a significant challenge. Patients often face stressful life events, and the uncertainty surrounding their diagnosis or treatment can take a toll on their emotions. Similarly, healthcare providers may struggle with communication as they often feel they are “speaking a different language” than the patient population they serve. As researchers and marketers, our mission is to bridge this gap. In the ever-evolving landscape of healthcare, finding a research partner that truly understands the industry and your organization’s needs is crucial. Armed with knowledge about your industry and a diverse array of tools that deliver unparalleled insights, at C+R, we tailor our approach to suit your unique requirements.

what is market research in healthcare

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what is market research in healthcare

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Market research in healthcare: Why it’s so important

  • Post author By admin
  • Post date August 20, 2022

why market research is important in health care

Medical technology undergoes changes every second. Hence, patients expect the best care to manage their ailments. To meet patient expectations, the healthcare industry must give importance to healthcare market research . A people-centric industry like the healthcare industry requires a deep understanding of the patients. Only then the professionals in the healthcare industry can provide customized solutions to meet the demands and challenges. With customized solutions, it becomes possible to retain patients and expand the network. How is it possible? Market research can help the healthcare industry provide products and services to patients. The tailor-made solutions can satisfy the needs of the patients.

About Healthcare Market Research

Market research refers to the process of determining the viability of a healthcare product or service via various sources. It can use primary sources such as in-depth interviews, ethnographic studies, and focus groups to understand in-depth the use of the products, the steps to improve it, and the streamlining of the processes involved. Secondary sources include already available research published in scientific journal articles, statistics publications, and market research articles.

Benefits Of Market Research In The Healthcare Industry

Applying market research in the healthcare industry can determine how patients use the products. It also helps professionals to assess how their services can benefit the patients. It has the following benefits:

Gain Insight Regarding Product/Service Development

With the increasing demand in the healthcare industry, any organization can lose its footing if they fail to deliver solutions meeting market expectations. Healthcare companies can use medical market research to stay inventive. It can uncover practical ways to improve the product and services to reap profits. Using market research , your company can serve patients and retain the existing market share. To keep up with the ever-changing market dynamics, your company must provide medical technology solutions. Only market research can help your company keep pace.

Close Any Gaps In Delivery Of Service

Healthcare solutions have a complicated and sophisticated nature. The healthcare industry follows a service delivery model instead of a transactional approach. Using medical market research, it becomes possible to identify any gaps in an organization’s service delivery model. It can also uncover new opportunities for development resulting in improved outcomes and strong partnerships.

Stay Ahead Of Competition

As time has passed, many players have shown interest in the healthcare industry. Instead of a few numbers of large corporations playing the field, the marketplace has attracted small and large corporations. The healthcare industry has become competitive due to the disruptive technology and the increased interest of investors. Stakeholders providing healthcare solutions must offer patients the best service at affordable prices to stay one step ahead. Market research can ensure this as it gives your organization a clear understanding of the patient’s needs and the methods to achieve the target.

If you want to establish your company as a leading healthcare solution provider, get market research results from a trusted platform. SMRC has gained a reputation as the Global Market Research Company providing a wide variety of research and consulting services to its clients. A proficient team conducts in-depth and customized research to provide you with results. The expert team can explore the market trends in the healthcare industry to draw insights and provide valid assessments. The team uses advanced tools and techniques to get an insight into the current market trends. The team compiles market reports that can help your business make the best decisions. Using the research-based insights, your organization can boost business growth and stay ahead in the competitive market scenario. The team with years of experience and knowledge can compile reports that will focus on resolving the queries of the clients. Get the market research report to make decisions helping your company stay on top.

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What is the meaning of healthcare market research?

Healthcare market research means the systematic gathering, analysing, and interpretation of data specifically related to the healthcare sector. This can cover many elements, including patient behaviours, market trends, healthcare spending, pharmaceutical advancements, and treatment effectiveness. Healthcare market research provides invaluable insights that empower healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, medical device manufacturers, and policymakers to improve the accuracy of their decision-making.

what is market research in healthcare

How does research benefit healthcare organisations?

The impact of healthcare market research is extensive. It informs decisions that enhance patient care, fosters innovation in product development, and supports strategic planning and policy formulation. Tapping into patient needs and preferences, healthcare market research paves the way for the development and delivery of more personalised, efficient, and effective healthcare solutions.

What are the research methodologies for healthcare sector market research?

Healthcare market research is a diverse field that employs a range of methodologies, each with its own unique advantages. The method chosen depends on the overall research objectives. This can include a blend of the following:

  • Surveys: used to collect quantitative data from a large group of people, either online, over the phone, or face-to-face. They are useful in assessing patient satisfaction, product usage, or brand awareness.
  • Interviews: provide qualitative data, interviews can be one-to-one or in small focus groups. They allow for a deeper understanding of individual experiences, opinions, and motivations.
  • Observational studies: involve watching and recording behaviour in a natural setting without actively engaging with the subjects. This method can provide insights into real-world behaviour and usage patterns.
  • Secondary research: involves analysing existing data or studies to gather insights. This can be both cost-effective and timesaving since the data has already been collected.
  • Experimental research: often used in clinical trials, experimental research involves a control group and a test group to study the effectiveness of a treatment or procedure.
  • Big data analysis: this allows for the study of large datasets to uncover patterns, correlations, and trends. This type of analysis is used in predictive modelling and healthcare forecasting.

Each method provides a unique perspective, and when used in combination, it can provide a comprehensive understanding of the healthcare market.

Why is it important to conduct healthcare market research?

There are six key reasons why healthcare research is essential. It helps to:

  • Inform decisions and reduce risk : in the healthcare industry decisions can have life-altering consequences, so reducing uncertainty is critical. Which drugs should a pharmaceutical company develop? How should a hospital allocate resources? What are the best ways a policymaker can serve constituents? Market research helps to make these decisions less risky, increasing the likelihood of positive outcomes.
  • Understand patient needs : market research allows healthcare providers to better understand patient needs, preferences, behaviours, and attitudes. This improves patient experiences, health outcomes, patient retention, and patient satisfaction scores. It also helps identify market opportunities, which leads to the development of new services or treatments.
  • Drive innovation: in a rapidly evolving industry, technologies, treatments, and models of care are constantly emerging. If you want to remain at the forefront of these trends, research plays an essential role in informing the development and adoption of innovative solutions. Understanding what patients and healthcare providers want enables organisations to direct their innovation efforts effectively.
  • Improve healthcare delivery: how effective is your healthcare delivery? What areas need improving? Understanding this at the level of individual patient care (such as improving the hospital patient experience) or at a systemic level (such as ways to increase access to healthcare in underserved communities) can improve the overall standard of healthcare.
  • Navigate regulatory changes: in a heavily regulated, fast-moving industry, market research helps organisations anticipate and respond to changes. This means they can remain compliant, while also taking advantage of fresh opportunities.
  • Measure performance: market research allows healthcare organisations to measure performance; both in terms of business metrics, such as market share or revenue, and health outcomes. These insights are beneficial for internal benchmarking, and demonstrate value to stakeholders, such as investors or regulators.

Summary: why should organisations conduct healthcare market research?

The healthcare industry is complex and dynamic. Decisions in this field have significant consequences. Market research is an essential tool to help organisations navigate this environment. It means that critical insights can drive informed decision-making, enhance patient care, foster innovation, and improve health outcomes.

How does research benefit healthcare organisations? The impact of healthcare market research is extensive. It informs decisions that enhance patient care, fosters innovation in product development, and supports strategic planning and policy formulation. Tapping into patient needs and preferences, healthcare market research paves the way for the development and delivery of more personalised, efficient, and effective healthcare solutions.

What are the research methodologies for healthcare sector market research? Healthcare market research is a diverse field that employs a range of methodologies, each with its own unique advantages. The method chosen depends on the overall research objectives. This can include a blend of the following:

Why is it important to conduct healthcare market research? There are six key reasons why healthcare research is essential. It helps to:

Summary: why should organisations conduct healthcare market research? The healthcare industry is complex and dynamic. Decisions in this field have significant consequences. Market research is an essential tool to help organisations navigate this environment. It means that critical insights can drive informed decision-making, enhance patient care, foster innovation, and improve health outcomes.

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Healthcare’s next chapter: What’s ahead for the US healthcare industry

Uncertainty has been the norm in healthcare in 2023, and that’s not likely to change in 2024. A presidential election year looms in the context of pressure on federal government finances from large budget deficits and the impact of higher interest rates on federal debt servicing costs. In addition, the healthcare industry faces uncertainty about the financing of Medicare and Medicaid; regulation, including views about horizontal and vertical integration; and overall industry economics.

In the face of this uncertainty—some might call it opacity—discerning senior management teams can act on a few trends that are clearer. Some of the trends and possible responses germane to strategy and performance of healthcare organizations in 2024 are highlighted below.

What’s ahead for healthcare players: An overview

We outlined in 2022 how the gathering storm fueled by inflation and workforce shortages would put pressure on healthcare over the next few years. Indeed, the pressure on healthcare leaders continues unabated. In response, industry players will have to consider repositioning their businesses as well as gearing up to ensure superior business performance:

  • Hospital systems face a 200-basis point gap between reimbursement rates and cost inflation, according to McKinsey analysis. The gap could require performance transformations on the part of health systems, including more outsourcing, ramping up digital and automation efforts, and business rationalization.
  • In 2024, employers are facing rising health insurance premiums well above their comfort zone of annual increases of less than 4 percent. 1 Kathryn Mayer, “Aon report: Big increase projected for 2024 employer health care costs,” SHRM, August 29, 2023. As payers see continued increases in medical costs and accelerating prescription drug costs, this pressure will require health plans to renew focus on medical and administrative cost control.
  • These cost pressures offer many opportunities for tech-enabled services companies that can show customers near-term return on investment from their products. At the same time, many healthcare services and technology companies without demonstrable return will face severe downside to their businesses.
  • Higher interest rates and less liquidity in the financial markets have raised the hurdle rate for private equity (PE) and venture capital firms. In these circumstances, private investors must ensure their portfolio companies deliver bottom-line performance, produce organic growth backed by proven business models, and have the ability to make any inorganic growth accretive based on robust capabilities. Large, well-capitalized healthcare companies will find a favorable valuation environment for acquiring PE portfolio companies as well as for forming strategic partnerships with private investors.

What’s ahead for payers

Payer value creation continues to shift from administering health benefits and providing insurance to managing care and capturing delivery and pharmacy economics. Partnering with and enabling physicians, likely in risk-based arrangements, will continue to gain in importance relative to other models of utilization management.

As pressure from rising medical and prescription costs mount, scaling proven physician partnership models (for example, primary care–centered value-based care) as well as innovating new ones (specialty benefit management and specialty value-based care) will grow in importance. Enhancing health outcomes and members’ care experience, prompted by both the incentives in government programs but also rising demand from employers, will be important priorities.

Finally, a renewed focus on reducing administrative costs will be high on the agenda for payers to ensure sustainable margins, offer a better experience for members and clinicians, and to free up resources to invest in strategic capabilities.

What’s ahead for health systems

Healthcare delivery will continue its restructuring. The definition of at-scale systems has changed in the past few years; today, it takes more than $13 billion to be a top-20 system by revenue, and many have reached their current position through inorganic growth, according to McKinsey analysis. The recent wave of M&A, however, is distinct from its predecessors. It is characterized by cross-geography deals designed to create value by scaling investments in platform capabilities across digital, analytics, shared services, and workforce management.

Beyond scale, sites of care have shifted increasingly from the hospital to ambulatory, home, and virtual care. This trend was playing out before the COVID-19 pandemic and was certainly accelerated by it. But the pivot toward ambulatory sites has been slower than expected, given the impact such a transition has on health system revenue, among other structural issues. Disruptors are vying to meet consumers’ demand for convenient access, but patients can be stuck navigating a complex system of healthcare organizations when their needs become more acute.

In parallel, health systems have struggled to fill their clinical workforce needs. The nursing shortage has become more acute: more than 100,000 nurses left the profession from 2019 to 2022, and health systems could face a shortage of 200,000 to 450,000 nurses by 2025. 2 Gretchen Berlin, Meredith Lapointe, Mhoire Murphy, and Joanna Wexler, “ Assessing the lingering impact of COVID-19 on the nursing workforce ,” McKinsey, May 11, 2022. Anticipated physician shortages are also an issue, though health system employment of physicians has slowed. Regulation (for example, price transparency and the 340B drug pricing program) and rising costs of capital (due to macroeconomic factors as well as ratings trajectories) will continue to create uncertainty.

While health system performance has generally improved over the past year as the industry emerges from the pandemic, a subset of players is really shining. Those that appear to be breaking away are hyperfocused on resilience, taking a multilever approach to growth while continuing to identify and take actions to ensure sustainable margins.

What’s ahead for artificial intelligence in healthcare

Generative artificial intelligence (gen AI) has created considerable excitement in the industry. Gen AI could be catalytic in accelerating the application of digital and automation in healthcare, thereby offering some answers to the twin challenges of affordability and workforce availability. For example, adopting currently available technology (including but not limited to automation, AI, and gen AI) could allow payers to reduce administrative costs by 13 to 25 percent, reduce medical costs by 5 to 11 percent, and increase revenue by 3 to 12 percent.

However, healthcare has lagged behind other industries in adoption of AI. For several reasons, the industry has had a hard time adopting the technology. For example, AI requires time-consuming and often manual preparation of clean and structured data; well-planned, narrow use cases (such as predicting a specific event or outcome); modern infrastructure; and hard-to-hire talent (such as data scientists and data engineers).

Given the need for empathetic and intelligent interactions in a service industry such as healthcare, the recognition, comprehension, and content creation capabilities of gen AI represent a major opportunity. It is particularly appealing in its simplicity: gen AI thrives on unstructured data, which is plentiful in healthcare; it is pretrained; and it is broadly understood by people across the organization. The potential use cases for gen AI cross every domain and function. Gen AI use cases, in addition to existing analytics use cases, could help address real burdens, including reducing preparation time and improving quality of clinical documentation, modernizing outdated or legacy applications, and personalizing patient and member outreach at scale.

Unlocking this value will be a leadership challenge. Senior healthcare executives will need to educate their boards, leadership teams, and employees; attract talent; drive adoption; and pursue change management initiatives such as workflow shifts. Scaling pilots to production-scale solutions with concurrent process changes will be important differentiators in 2024.

What’s ahead in prescription drugs

GLP-1 drugs hold the promise of treating type 2 diabetes (in 11 percent of the US population; 38 percent of the population has prediabetes 3 National Diabetes Statistics Report , Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accessed November 20, 2023. ) and obesity (42 percent of adults 4 “Adult obesity facts,” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, accessed November 20, 2023. ), potentially helping to avoid many other ailments, such as heart and chronic kidney disease. The population of patients meeting clinical eligibility criteria for GLP-1s is one of the largest of any new drug class in the past 20 to 30 years.

Although there is much to be excited about, experience shows that taking advantage of medical advances is often elusive in healthcare. GLP-1s must be taken consistently to maintain weight loss; however, initial studies indicate persistency and adherence to therapy is poor (32 percent of members remain persistent at one year and 27 percent during the second year 5 “Real-world analysis of glucagon-like peptide-1 antagonist (GLP-1a) obesity treatment one-year cost-effectiveness and therapy adherence,” Prime Therapeutics and MagellanRx Management, July 11, 2023. ).

Nonetheless, the shift in care and financing models that accompany GLP-1 drugs are likely to be material. The growth of the GLP-1 market has amplified the conversation around preventive care and demonstrated the impact of media awareness and consumer-driven demand in treatment decisions. Its expansion has also fueled the rise of telehealth providers, broadening access points for consumers.

The growth of the GLP-1 market presents cost challenges in the near term because benefits will accrue over time. The annual wholesale acquisition cost per patient ranges from $12,000 to $16,000. The high cost of the therapy raises complex coverage decisions for payers and plan sponsors, made even harder by the potential spending waste from therapy discontinuation.

GLP-1 drugs are not the only broad population drugs emerging or in the late-stage pipeline; others include treatments for Alzheimer’s and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. New drugs have the potential to not only improve patients’ health but also heighten the need for better therapy and cost management. The resulting business model changes across the healthcare value chain are likely to be meaningful.

We hear from many healthcare leaders that this is an unnerving time given the relentless pressure and uncertain outlook they face. They also tell us that this is an exciting time that presents opportunities for innovation to improve members’ and patients’ health and lives, to reimagine current organizations, and build new capabilities and businesses. We would suggest healthcare leaders address known trends and avoid trying to predict future trends, given the considerable uncertainty ahead. Building resilient and agile organizations capable of rapidly adapting to new challenges as they emerge will be important to succeed in this environment.

Shubham Singhal is the global leader of McKinsey’s Social, Healthcare, and Public Entities (SHaPE) Practice in McKinsey’s Detroit office, and Drew Ungerman is the global leader of McKinsey’s Healthcare Practice and the McKinsey Health Institute in the Dallas office.

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2024 health systems outlook: A host of challenges ahead

Market Design in Regulated Health Insurance Markets: Risk Adjustment vs. Subsidies

Health insurance is increasingly provided through managed competition, in which subsidies for consumers and risk adjustment for insurers are key market design instruments. We illustrate that subsidies offer two advantages over risk adjustment in markets with adverse selection. They provide greater flexibility in tailoring premiums to heterogeneous buyers, and they produce equilibria with lower markups and greater enrollment. We assess these effects using demand and cost estimates from the California Affordable Care Act marketplace. Holding government spending fixed, we estimate that subsidies can increase enrollment by 16 percentage points (76%) over risk adjustment, while all consumers are weakly better off.

Einav and Finkelstein gratefully acknowledge support from the Sloan Foundation and from the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. Tebaldi acknowledges support from the Becker Friedman Institute. We thank Ben Handel, Mike Whinston, and many seminar participants for helpful comments. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.

I would like to disclose that I am an adviser to Nuna Health, a data analytics startup company, which specializes in analytics of health insurance claims. I am not being paid by them, but have received equity (nominal value is less than $1,000 the market value is hard to assess).


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  1. What is Healthcare Market Research?

    what is market research in healthcare

  2. What is Healthcare Market Research?

    what is market research in healthcare

  3. What is Healthcare Market Research? Definition, Process and Best Practices

    what is market research in healthcare

  4. Healthcare Market Research

    what is market research in healthcare

  5. How to Conduct Healthcare Market Research Like a Pro

    what is market research in healthcare

  6. Participate in Healthcare Market Research

    what is market research in healthcare


  1. Kantar Health

  2. Investing in Healthcare: A Prescription for Portfolio Growth💊

  3. Kantar Health

  4. Carmen Bracamonte

  5. Healthcare Professional Panel

  6. Healthcare Market Research #marketing #startup


  1. What is Healthcare Market Research? Definition, Process and ...

    Healthcare market research is defined as the systematic collection, analysis, and interpretation of data and information related to the healthcare industry. It involves studying various aspects of the market, including healthcare products, services, providers, consumers, and trends, to gain insights and make informed decisions.

  2. Healthcare Market Research: 10+ Trends & Real-Life Examples

    Written by. Cem Dilmegani. Figure 1. Popularity of the keyword "healthcare market research" on Google search engine between 2017-2023. Research shows that there are four major areas that patients care most about but are still dissatisfied with 1: obtaining coverage. understanding benefits. finding care. managing care costs.

  3. How to Conduct Healthcare Market Research Like a Pro

    Healthcare market research surveys are nothing without responses. Follow these tips to boost your response rates: Target Your Population: Choose a target population relevant to your survey goals. If this population is hard to reach, consider using software to find survey takers who meet your criteria.

  4. All about Healthcare Market Research: The What, Why and How

    Healthcare market research forms the base to gaining a strong reputation in the industry through a series of connected events. The data you collect in the process can help you gain a better perspective into your target market's needs. However, depending on your profession, the objective of your market research may vary. ...

  5. How to Conduct Market Research in Healthcare

    Healthcare market research determines the viability of new medical products or services through primary and secondary sources. Primary sources consist of interviews, focus groups, and ethnographic studies that strive to understand how consumers use products. Interviews and focus groups will likely include both patients and medical professionals.

  6. DIY Market Research for Healthcare: Where to Start

    Tips for an effective healthcare market research survey. Like with any other survey, a healthcare market survey shouldn't be too difficult of a task for respondents, and there are some rules to keep in mind to make it a success. As healthcare is a specific category however, we've included some last top tips to make sure you make the most of ...

  7. How To Conduct Healthcare Market Research

    Healthcare market research is the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data related to the healthcare industry. It includes a vast range of areas, from studying patient preferences and behaviors to analyzing market trends for medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and health services. Therefore, it plays a pivotal role in ensuring the ...

  8. A brief guide: Healthcare market research tactics

    Healthcare market research focuses on the latest health trends and examines factors like patient comfort and education to identify market opportunities and penetration. It also accounts for healthcare's unique customer landscape, where patient pools drive the overall market size, and where healthcare providers (HCPs) can influence product ...

  9. Conducting market research for the healthcare industry

    Conducting healthcare market research is an effective way to get patient feedback and better understand patient satisfaction and preferences. By gathering patient feedback through surveys, focus groups or other research methods, healthcare providers can gain valuable insights into patient experiences, opinions and needs.

  10. What is the meaning of healthcare market research?

    Healthcare market research means the systematic gathering, analysing, and interpretation of data specifically related to the healthcare sector. This can cover many elements, including patient behaviours, market trends, healthcare spending, pharmaceutical advancements, and treatment effectiveness.

  11. Emerging Marketing Research on Healthcare and Medical Decision Making

    The healthcare market has been changing rapidly since the new millennium, creating a need for a new, integrated perspective on consumer relevant healthcare topics through the lens of psychology, marketing, and economics (Wood 2018; Iacobucci 2019).Even though marketing and consumer researchers with both quantitative and qualitative orientations have recently joined forces to tackle these ...

  12. The impact of marketing strategies in healthcare systems

    Marketing plays an important role in helping healthcare professionals to create, communicate, and provide value to their target market. Modern marketers start from customers rather than from products or services. They are more interested in building a sustainable relationship, than in ensuring a single transaction.

  13. Medscape Market Research

    Medscape Market Research is committed to providing quick to market, custom healthcare research solutions driven by the largest network of active physicians.

  14. Know The Importance Of Market Research In The Healthcare Industry

    Market research in the healthcare industry is an important tool to help businesses identify and understand customer needs, trends, and behaviors. It can also be used to develop new products and services that meet those needs. Market research helps organizations make data-driven decisions about their target markets, pricing strategies ...

  15. Exploring New Research on Marketing in the Healthcare Sector

    Changes in Healthcare Markets. Marketing can address several interesting issues in changing healthcare markets. Service mix has been addressed in recent work, highlighting the fact that services offered by non-profit hospitals differ from those offered by for-profit hospitals. More research on service mix is needed.

  16. Market Research for the Healthcare Industry

    In healthcare market research, as well as healthcare in general, grasping the terminology poses a significant challenge. Patients often face stressful life events, and the uncertainty surrounding their diagnosis or treatment can take a toll on their emotions. Similarly, healthcare providers may struggle with communication as they often feel ...

  17. Healthcare Market Research Analysis and Insights

    Explore our comprehensive quarterly analysis of healthcare market research that helps identify new insights into industry trends for cost-effective decisions. ... Trials Access Network Discover a solution that provides evidence-based payment averages to help determine the fair market value in healthcare's most common shoppable procedures.

  18. Market research in healthcare: Why it's so important

    Market research refers to the process of determining the viability of a healthcare product or service via various sources. It can use primary sources such as in-depth interviews, ethnographic studies, and focus groups to understand in-depth the use of the products, the steps to improve it, and the streamlining of the processes involved.

  19. Where Health Care is Heading

    Market Insights: Where Health Care is Heading. Health care is being completely redefined by innovation — introducing simplicity, convenience, accessibility, and affordability. The AHA Center for Health Innovation prepares our members for the future by identifying, assessing, and analyzing health care trends that will have the most impact.

  20. Healthcare Systems & Services Insights

    Digital transformation: Health systems' investment priorities. June 7, 2024 - Health system executives globally view digital and AI transformation as crucial to overcome many challenges, a new survey reveals, yet 75 percent say their investments may be falling short.

  21. What is the meaning of healthcare market research?

    Healthcare market research means the systematic gathering, analysing, and interpretation of data specifically related to the healthcare sector. This can cover many elements, including patient behaviours, market trends, healthcare spending, pharmaceutical advancements, and treatment effectiveness. Healthcare market research provides invaluable insights that empower healthcare providers ...

  22. Top Healthcare Market Research Agencies

    The top healthcare market research agencies are leading companies that offer market research services related to the healthcare industry. They allow organizations to review and disseminate research associated with general healthcare, health issues, healthcare employee issues, healthcare providers, and other topics in the healthcare industry. ...

  23. Healthcare's next chapter: What's ahead for the US healthcare industry

    The US healthcare industry faces continued uncertainty in 2024, but healthcare leaders can seize opportunities for innovation and improvement. Building resilient and agile organizations will be crucial for success in this challenging environment. ... The growth of the GLP-1 market presents cost challenges in the near term because benefits will ...

  24. Market Design in Regulated Health Insurance Markets: Risk Adjustment vs

    Health insurance is increasingly provided through managed competition, in which subsidies for consumers and risk adjustment for insurers are key market design instruments. We illustrate that subsidies offer two advantages over risk adjustment in markets with adverse selection. They provide greater ...

  25. Cleveland Clinic Names Sarah Vogler, M.D., Florida Chief of Staff

    About Cleveland Clinic. Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation.

  26. New at-home monitoring program for patients with high ...

    To support this initiative, the health system is working with Best Buy Health 's care-at-home platform, Current Health. Patients will use connected devices including blood pressure cuffs and scales. Readings from the devices will be sent to the Current Health platform and also transferred to the patient's UC Davis Health electronic medical ...

  27. Research and Publishing Update

    Marketing. Stephanie Mangus presented "Gratitude: A New Approach to Motivating Consumer Ethics" at the Association of Consumer Research Conference 2024 Paris in Paris, France (June 2024). Co-authors/presenters include: Veronica Thomas and Jeremy Wolter.

  28. Fitch Affirms Norton Healthcare, Inc.'s (KY) Ratings at 'A+'; Outlook

    Norton's inpatient market share in the Louisville hospital market is strong and has been steady over the last four years. Competition is in the form of mid-sized providers, including Baptist Health with just under a 18% market share in Norton's primary service area, and University of Louisville essentially with approximately 27% market share.

  29. Change Healthcare to start notifying customers who had ...

    The attack triggered a disruption of payment and claims processing around the country, stressing doctor's offices and health care systems by interfering with their ability to file claims and get paid. Change says names, addresses, health insurance information and personal information like Social Security numbers may have been exposed in the ...

  30. Explainer-What Is Juneteenth and How Are People Marking the Day?

    US News is a recognized leader in college, grad school, hospital, mutual fund, and car rankings. Track elected officials, research health conditions, and find news you can use in politics ...