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What Healthy Means to Five Types of Healthcare Consumers

Father and son eating fruits and vegetables

Being healthy is the ultimate goal of healthcare. From what we see advertised in advertising, movies, TV shows and even in our own health centers like doctor’s offices and hospitals, many of us would define being healthy as eating well, exercising regularly and being in tune with our overall health. 

But what if healthy wasn’t seen that way by all patients? What if the patients you’ve been trying to reach the most don’t see healthy as that concept at all? 

In a previous blog, we talked about what it meant to be healthy, how technology plays a role and how psychographics come into play.

What Does Healthy Mean?

The definition of healthy may seem unusual, but Merriam-Webster defines healthy as “free from disease.” That’s the most straight to the point definition, but for many healthcare consumers, healthy means more than that.

As providers, it’s up to you to determine what healthy means to each and every patient. This is important because not every patient is going to want to take the same approach to take care of themselves. While some will do diet and exercise, others may not gravitate toward that model.

Types of Healthcare Consumers

PatientBond defines healthcare consumers based on their psychographic profile. Psychographics pertain to people’s attitudes, beliefs, values and personalities and psychographic segmentation groups people according to these shared characteristics for targeting and engagement based on their motivations. PatientBond does this using a simple questionnaire that can predict a healthcare consumer’s psychographic segment with 91.1% accuracy.

PatientBond categorizes healthcare consumers as one of five segments: Self Achievers, Balance Seekers, Priority Jugglers, Direction Takers and Willful Endurers. These segments range from most proactive to least proactive when it comes to healthcare decisions and choices.

What Healthy Means to Healthcare Consumers

So, what do these healthcare consumers want when it comes to keeping themselves healthy? Here is what healthcare consumers desire based on PatientBond’s psychographic segments.

Self Achievers

Self Achievers strive to go above and beyond the textbook description of healthy. Being healthy involves more than diet and exercise. It also means achieving health goals beyond the basic guidelines and then continuing to beat one goal after another.

They’re monitoring their diet and exercise regimen, but also their chronic conditions, making sure their bodies are working as efficiently as possible. Being healthy is about enhancement and improvement.

Balance Seekers

Balance Seekers approach being healthy from a holistic perspective. Other than diet and exercise, they also look at their mental and spiritual health. They’re eager to try alternative approaches to staying healthy that aren’t related to traditional medicine. They are also willing to question what their doctor tells them and put effort into pulling information from multiple sources to know what’s best for their health.

Priority Jugglers

Priority Jugglers focus on keeping their family members healthy. Their own health is the last thing on their mind since they have a lot going on, but the health of their family is paramount. If they do work on their own health, they prioritize certain areas they know they can control, or at least have a better handle on it.

Direction Takers

Direction Takers are eager to follow their doctor’s orders, including how to be healthy and what’s healthy for them. They don’t question their doctor’s advice and insight because they trust their doctor. This segment isn’t always healthy, but they are willing to try their best to take care of themselves.

Willful Endurers

Willful Endurers want the most they can get out of life. That may mean they don’t subscribe to the traditional definition of healthy, but they do prefer it on their terms. To them, being healthy means enjoying the things you love, even if they are considered bad habits (e.g., eating, drinking, smoking). They’d rather enjoy these moments in life than restrict themselves to a diet and/or exercise regimen.

This also means they may avoid the doctor unless they absolutely have to. It’s not that they won’t listen to the doctor at all, but healthy to them is taking care of themselves under their terms.

What We Can Learn

All patients are different, so the way they view staying healthy is also different. You have to adjust the way you communicate messages like this depending on the type of healthcare consumer, because while a Self Achiever will be drawn to a message of staying well through diet and exercise, another segment like Willful Endurers could be completely turned off by that. When Willful Endurers make up 31% of all healthcare consumers, that’s nearly a third of patients you’re alienating off the bat.

Motivations are what drive us to do things like make purchases, take big steps in our careers or even choosing to visit the doctor. That’s why PatientBond uses psychographics. Patients are more eager to take action and stay engaged with their healthcare provider, leading to better health outcomes and improving providers’ market share.

Find out more about how psychographic segmentation drive behavior changes and download our whitepaper today.

Psychographic Segmentation and its Practical Application in Patient Engagement and Behavior Change


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