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Physicians Are Failing Healthcare Decision Makers, New Kantar Health Report Says

Oct 6, 2016

NEW YORK, October 6, 2016—Health Activators, or consumers who influence and activate health choices for themselves and others, say that doctors are not spending enough time with them during visits and are not focusing enough on health and preventive care, according to a new Kantar Health report, Edge of Insight: Health Activators – Key Influencers Who Drive Healthcare Decisions. The result is that Health Activators are seeking knowledge via non-traditional channels to make confident and well-informed decisions.

The report, which explores who is making healthcare decisions, what they need to effectively make these decisions, and how decision making affects their lives, says this is especially true for Millennials. Millennials are key decision makers for themselves and an aging patient population; they view the system as "sick care" versus "healthcare" and rely on social media and word of mouth as their key sources of healthcare information.    

“Health Activators believe that doctors don’t spend enough time with them and don’t focus on overall health and preventive care,” said Kathy Annunziata, Vice President, Research Services at Kantar Health. “The result is that each younger generation of decision makers is distancing themselves from having a trusted healthcare provider. Millennials in particular trust non-traditional resources and need more credible, self-directed information and more freely given opinions on health and wellness matters than any other generation.”

Key findings of Edge of Insight: Health Activators – Key Influencers Who Drive Healthcare Decisions include:

  • Health Activators challenge common stereotypes; they cross generations, include both men and women, and make decisions for more than just their immediate family.
  • Health Activators don’t differentiate between “health” and “wellness.” Health is more than just being free of illness; it also includes being physically fit, happy, well-rested and free of stress.
  • Despite making many decisions for themselves and others, they are often not fully knowledgeable about keeping themselves and their loved ones healthy. Because of this they are not always confident in their decisions.
  • The responsibility of being a decision maker for others’ health affects their work productivity and activity levels.

“As the healthcare industry shifts toward partnering and engaging with consumers, it needs to think differently about how to reach these health and wellness decision makers and what to say to them,” Annunziata said. “Who is making decisions and the age of the decision maker influence the healthcare needs and issues being addressed.”

Edge of Insight: Health Activators – Key Influencers Who Drive Healthcare Decisions is the latest report from Kantar Health’s patient-centric research program, helping the healthcare industry improve patients’ lives. The analysis is based on a custom follow-up online survey to Kantar Health’s National Health and Wellness Survey (NHWS). The survey was fielded among 9,218 respondents in the U.S., UK, Germany, Japan and Brazil.

About Kantar Health

Kantar Health is a leading global healthcare consulting firm and trusted advisor to many pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device and diagnostic companies worldwide. It combines evidence-based research capabilities with deep scientific, therapeutic and clinical knowledge, commercial development know-how, and brand and marketing expertise to help clients evaluate opportunities, launch products and maintain brand and market leadership.

Kantar Health deeply understands the influence of patients, payers and physicians, especially as they relate to the performance and payment of medicines and the delivery of healthcare services. Its 600+ healthcare industry specialists work across the product lifecycle, from preclinical development to launch, acting as catalysts to successful decision-making in life sciences and helping clients prioritize their product development and portfolio activities, differentiate their brands and drive product success post-launch. Kantar Health is part of Kantar, the data investment management division of WPP. For more information, please visit