Salesforce com: Buying medical devices online shouldn’t be difficult – how to make it easier


By leveraging new technologies, medical technology companies can more easily navigate and overcome barriers that previously prevented them from selling direct to consumers. [Macrovector/Adobe Stock]

The demand for medical devices, especially for remote monitoring, home care, and wearables, has never been so high. But buying medical devices online is more difficult than it should be for patients. It changes.

Healthcare companies bring life-changing medical devices to market every day, but ironically, outdated, fragmented technology and ordering processes can deter patients from taking advantage of their benefits. And patients beg for an easier experience. According to a survey, 81% of US patients say shopping for healthcare should be as easy as shopping for other popular services.

To create streamlined, compelling online ordering experiences, you need to think outside the box of legacy systems. By leveraging new technology, medical device companies can easily overcome the hurdles of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliance, infrastructure updates, and first-party data collection – barriers that once prevented them from selling directly to consumers.

Buying medical devices online is a fragmented experience

The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the digital transformation of healthcare. A new analysis by McKinsey shows that telemedicine usage was 38 times higher in July than it was before the pandemic. But what happens after your virtual appointment? If you’ve got a diagnosis that requires treatment or monitoring with a pulse oximeter or other medical device, the next few steps are nowhere near as simple as signing up for Zoom.

The process often involves navigating a tangled web of services and providers, including insurance, billing, claims, and more. Patients report spending hours on the phone, repeating the same information to multiple people, coordinating their own care, and deciphering medical jargon and insurance policy details. Sixty percent of consumers say they had to manage their care between different parties.

Almost 70% of consumers say they expect connected experiences – and when brands fall short, satisfaction drops.

Salesforce Connected Healthcare Consumer Report

This fragmentation has a very negative impact on patient satisfaction. Almost 70% of consumers say they expect connected experiences – and when brands fall short, satisfaction drops. When you consider that patients with better treatment experiences often have better health outcomes, the issue becomes even more pressing.

Help patients be healthier with a complete device-buying experience

The time has come to make it easier to get medical equipment to patients’ doorsteps with one hassle-free order. The health of the patient depends on it. On-time care, active monitoring, and patient experience are key indicators of positive health outcomes, all of which can be influenced by the length and simplicity of the ordering process.

The solution? Give patients flexibility in how they interact with your brand and create direct-to-consumer (D2C) experiences that combine backend data with order management, marketing and service while expanding interactions to include partners and communities.

The patient experience doesn’t end when their medical device arrives on their doorstep. In fact, order fulfillment only marks the beginning of the next part of their journey: device setup and use. A D2C experience enables value-based educational content that can help with this part of the process. This includes easily accessible resources for choosing a device, video content walking patients through the facility, related health items, and more. These supplements improve the patient experience – and will likely mean fewer hours on the phone with customer support.

Improve patient support with a shared vision

For patients, customer support is one of the most difficult and disjointed parts of the journey. It’s a great starting point if you want to have a positive impact on the patient experience and health outcomes. 76 percent of consumers who have used a medical device in the past five years say that good customer support is very important. Make it easy for your customers to get in touch with you by adding support channels on your website (many will bury it below) and monitoring your customer effort score.

80% of consumers say the experience a company offers is just as important as its products or services.

Salesforce status of the connected consumer report

Consumers are used to buying most things online, and patients expect the same level of service and convenience from healthcare companies. In fact, 80% of consumers say the experience a company offers is just as important as its product or service. Pro tip: Make it easy for your customers to help themselves with a self-service option.

To change the patient experience, you need a platform that securely connects all data sources from existing systems – from marketing, retail, fulfillment and service – to offer a unified experience on preferred channels. With a common view, you can proactively target customers and patients who use your devices every day. This allows you to be in direct contact with patients to coordinate onboarding, insurance review and copay programs and provide ongoing support to improve patient satisfaction – all from a single point of view.

Use artificial intelligence to personalize the patient journey

With the increasing age of digital natives, personalized experiences are no longer nice-to-have. Consumers appreciate digital channels that make care more accessible, such as instant messaging, video chat, and patient communities. 82% of consumers say it is important to offer personalized web portals.

Delivering individual experiences on a large scale with low costs and fast response times requires intelligent, powerful technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI). AI-powered chatbots can, for example, help filter calls from patients and quickly route them to relevant resources. And a process that used to have to wait and be redirected to multiple departments is now a seamless, automated experience that uncover needs and delivers relevant information quickly.

Once a patient looks at their prescribed device or wearable, AI can also recommend related products and anticipate future needs. For example, if a patient adds a glucose monitor to their shopping cart, KI can recommend test strips. Aside from product suggestions, this powerful tool can even suggest related articles and resources to answer support and service inquiries and proactively answer patient questions.

The pandemic has turned doctor visits upside down, and telemedicine visits are becoming more common. Our Recipe: Digitize the health processes that support these visits, including buying medical devices. With a digital experience, patients can feel better – both when buying medical products and their health.

Streamline operations and improve patient outcomes

Check out the retail trends that are reshaping healthcare.

Get the report

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.