Healthcare Market Research Trends

5 “Must-Knows” for the Upcoming Healthcare Conference Season

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Sondra Brown

President and Founder

Since we last gathered for in-person conferences just over a year ago, the healthcare industry has experienced significant changes and challenges. The world was a much different place then, and topics that we discussed in our last conference season – such as virtual visits and telemedicine – quickly became an integral part of our lives. Together, we transformed what was once only shared in whispers and as dreams into a fully realized healthcare system.


As we prepare for the upcoming healthcare conferences, here are five topics that we expect to see in the conference agendas:

Digital Medicine/Virtual Visits/Telehealth 

The official buzzwords of 2020, skeptical consumers adopted this new technology out of necessity. While some consumers were comfortable meeting with their physicians over video calls like they would a friend, many looked forward to when they would be able to visit their physician in person again. It will be up to the healthcare industry to market telehealth to its consumers: to create meaningful consumer experiences, to empower consumer choice, and to convince consumers that there is no lack of quality. Expect to hear a lot about how to achieve these goals moving forward.

Patient Engagement 

While patients might want the convenience and ease of digital interactions, personalized care is still the touchstone of their loyalty. An "ideal” – whether in person or virtual – healthcare experience requires a human touch and personal engagement to ensure that patients stay invested n their own care. Certainly, patients have come to expect that their providers listen to and care about them. However, the “Amazon” effect in healthcare is real; patients expect tailored messaging and personalized journey maps. The pandemic has pushed us to imagine the future of personalization and engagement. Success is dependent on achievement through all touchpoints. 

Workforce Fatigue 

The last year has been a stressful one for everyone, but our first responders, doctors, and medical personnel have been pushed to their absolute limits. How can we better support our workforce? and How can we encourage wellness programs to help them take care of themselves and their families? How can we work to reduce stressors and prevent burnout? Expect this concern to drive discussion as well as policy in the near future. Our workforce is our consumers, and we can't forget that lesson.

Health Equity

Last year COVID-19 elevated the importance of access to affordable, quality healthcare for underserved populations and rural communities. It will be interesting to see how health systems approach this challenge. We have seen some progress, but there is a long way to go. It will require collaboration across partners, honest conversations about where we’ve gone astray, and a long-term commitment to fully address these inequities.


The healthcare industry, as we all know, has experienced significant disruptions due to the advent of DTC companies such as Amazon entering the marketplace. Meanwhile, pharmacies have expanded into the retail healthcare space by adding clinics into neighborhoods that will provide consumers with convenient, affordable care closer to home. Given the increasingly competitive landscape of retail healthcare, health systems may have a prime opportunity to partner with these disruptors to gain a leg us. While the competitive landscape is still shaking out, we see growth opportunities in this sector.


I look forward to attending conferences both in person and virtually this fall to learn more about innovating in these spaces. If you plan on attending any of the upcoming conferences (SHSMD & HLTH), please connect with me on LinkedIn so that we can network and exchange ideas. You can also join me and Brittany Graffagnini, Ochsner Health System as we present during the SHSMD Pre-Conference workshop entitled "Agile & Iterative: Using Real-Time Data to Drive Virtual Visits" on October 19 at 10:30 am CT. Click the link below to register for the conference: Visit here

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