Roland Berger's study "Future of health 4" examines tomorrow's patients – their attitudes to innovation, trust in healthcare participants and willingness to pay.
Future of health 5 - A long and healthy life
An industry at the verge of healthy longevity – Understanding consumer perspectives
Living a long and fulfilling life has been a goal for humankind forever. As society continues to age, longevity is no longer a desire but a reality. This sheds a light on age-related health problems, an increasing challenge for societies and industries. The industry is responding by rethinking healthcare.
The future of health is no longer only about reactive treatments, but about proactive preventive approaches addressing underlying causes and improving individuals’ quality of life even in the absence of medical conditions. Healthcare players are developing novel technologies and offering consumers and patients a wealth of options. The longevity market is booming - but what are consumers’ perspectives on longevity? How do they feel about extending their healthy lifespan? And what are they willing to do to extend it? The power of healthy behaviors is well known, but are health consumers actually interested in novel products and therapies?
Spotlight on consumer perspectives: Survey focus
Our fifth annual Future of Health study puts a spotlight on longevity. To understand consumers' perspectives on it and related emerging technologies, their attitude towards individual behavioral adjustments and their willingness to use or buy innovative products we surveyed more than 2,300 people from 17 countries around the world, including the United States, China, Japan, Germany, France, Italy, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. One of our key findings revealed that consumers prioritize quality of life over length of life and that they show a strong preference for natural over novel approaches to achieve a longer healthy life.
Longevity attitude: Quality over quantity
The longevity market aims to enable a long and healthy life. Asked which option consumers prefer, 73% of respondents choose a shorter lifespan in very good health over getting significantly older but in deteriorating health. This means that although people want to live longer, the true goal is not just to live a long life, but to live a long and healthy life. Consumer age emerged as an influencing factor in several attitudinal aspects of longevity. Especially the elderly and people with health impairments prefer a healthy over a long life, while those in very good health are more interested in living longer.
Longevity treatments: Preference for natural approaches
From fitness trackers to supplements to medicines and stem cell therapy - the longevity market offers consumers a wealth of options. We found that consumers show interest in various new treatments to prolong healthy life such as gene therapy , or medication to slow down biological aging. Yet, when it comes to choosing methods, many consumers are still skeptical of innovative new methods and prefer to avoid untested waters: Given a choice, they often tend toward the well-known, natural approaches, preferring regular physical exercise (74%) to taking weight-loss pills (26%).
Longevity skepticism dominating
In order to better understand consumers and gain detailed insight into consumer attitudes toward longevity and its various characteristics, we identified consumer types based on the survey data. We defined four “groups of longevity consumers”:
- Unmotivated laid-backs
- Progressive longevity supporters
- Health-conscious middle-agers
- Healthy innovation skeptics
Especially open-minded to health innovations are Progressive longevity supporters. They are already applying longevity innovations in their day-to-day lives and are the most willing to pay, across all treatments. Progressive longevity supporters are few in numbers and predominantly in North America and the Middle East at home. The largest groups are the health-conscious middle-agers and healthy innovation skeptics. The healthy innovation skeptics have no health issues and hence are less interested in such innovations. They live predominantly in Europe and mainly German-speaking countries.
The clustered groups of longevity consumers clearly reveal that just a small group of consumers is open to innovative longevity methods. At the moment most customers are aware of their health issues, but still have reservations about innovative approaches of the longevity market.
Time to act!
The longevity market is growing steadily and is on the verge of fully breaking through to become one of the largest markets in the future, as aging affects everyone. It will have a major impact on the entire healthcare industry in the future, transforming current health and business models. Full transformation within the healthcare industry hinges on taking customers on board and addressing their reservations. Healthcare players must build trust with consumers by providing convincing evidence for the success of their longevity treatments.
We provide detailed recommendations depending on the type of industry in our study. Curious to dive deeper into the future of health for your industry? Register now and download the "Future of Health’ study to learn more about the longevity market outlook, consumer attitudes and geographic differences, and concrete recommendations for action for industry players.
Register now to download the full study including key insights from our survey, as well as our suggestions for players in the healthcare industry. Additionally, you get regular insights into Pharma & Healthcare topics.
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