In this chapter, we review key concepts, using the marketing mix framework, to identify the needs of healthcare consumers, and the tools and services that can fulfill these needs. Unlike traditional healthcare delivery, patient-centered e-health (PCEH) involves the consumer as a partner and has a number of marketing implications. A more informed understanding of PCEH will help practitioners and researchers to formulate marketing strategies that improve healthcare outcomes and are acceptable to patients.
Who Will Use Pceh?
Defining a target market is a critical component of marketing. It is estimated that almost 100 million Americans have used the Internet to search for health information (Fox, 2006b). All these individuals are potential users of PCEH delivered by their healthcare provider. However, they are not currently representative of the broader population. Internet users are more educated, younger, and have higher incomes on average. More females than males use the Internet for health-related searches, and individuals with a disability or chronic disease are much less likely to use the Internet than healthier individuals (Fox, 2006a; Fox, 2007). As computer technology becomes more affordable and access to the Internet more prevalent, Internet user demographics are likely to become increasingly inclusive.