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Consumers Favor Digital Health, But Only Through One Platform

Analysis  |  By Eric Wicklund  
   December 29, 2022

A new survey by PYMNTS and Lynx finds that consumers are very interested in accessing and managing their healthcare and insurance services via digital health, but they don't want to use several different portals or apps to get there.

The key to consumer digital health adoption is ease of use, whether it's for clinical care or paying for that care.

That's the take-away from Healthcare In The Digital Age: Consumers See Unified Platforms as Key To Better Health, a survey of more than 2,500 consumers by PYMNTS and financial technology company Lynx. It found that roughly 80% of those surveyed want to use a digital health platform to manage both care and insurance benefits, but half have had problems accessing what they want. With that in mind, about 80% want that access to come on a single digital platform.

"The synergy of one unified platform is clear," the report states. "Better access to information about insurance coverage, medical care, and financial details — when combined with improved information about providers, prescription medications, and pharmacy benefits as well as upgraded channels to share information with providers — can ultimately help consumers manage all tasks related to their care and well-being as well as facilitate coordination among insurers, financial services providers, care providers, and pharmacies."

Consumers have been demanding more digital health options for years, based on the success they've had with these platforms in the travel, hospitality, and retail industries. And while the healthcare industry has acknowledged the need to move toward consumer-directed healthcare, the transition has been slow and often painful.

The pandemic may have helped that process along, as health systems saw the value in shifting services from in-person to online to combat the spread of the virus and help overcrowded hospitals and worn-out providers. But while many healthcare organizations place high value on a digital health strategy, few have managed to bridge the gap to a mature platform.

The PYMNTS/Lynx study finds that consumers are demanding – and encountering roadblocks with – digital health access for their financial needs as much as their clinical needs. Only about 40%, the survey indicates, are extremely familiar with their health insurance benefits, yet 82% of consumers who do use the platform say it's time-saving and convenient, and a little more than half cite digital health access as the most important feature from an insurer, provider, or health and wellness app.

But consumers want one point of access, not multiple apps or platforms.

"Although consumers know that online access to healthcare information can save them time, increase their control when dealing with providers and help them access their insurance benefits, decentralizing and scattering this information among many portals can add to their frustrations," the survey reported. "Eleven percent of consumers say it is hard to remember login credentials for all their online accounts, and 9% of consumers say they have too many websites, portals or apps to use."

Some 92% of those surveyed who had problems while paying online for healthcare services said they're interested in using a unified digital platform, and 91% of those who had problems using the platform for healthcare services and insurance benefits said the same. More than 70% said a digital health platform would also improve their knowledge and management of services and insurance.

But they're also aware of the drawbacks. More than 40% of those not interested in a unified digital health platform said they're worried about security, with 28% saying it would affect the security of their health records. Some 38%, in fact, said they don’t want all their data in one place.

As for who would manage that platform, those surveyed are mixed on their preferences. About half say they would want their insurance provider to manage that platform, while 31% would prefer that their provider manage the platform and 39% want a healthcare technology company to take that job.

Eric Wicklund is the associate content manager and senior editor for Innovation, Technology, and Pharma for HealthLeaders.


Roughly four of every five consumers surveyed want to use a unified digital platform to manage information about their healthcare and insurance benefits.

Half of those consumers have experienced problems accessing healthcare insurance or services.

Those who have used digital health platforms say the technology saves time and improves access to care and benefits, while also imprvoing their knowledge of what they can access and use.

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