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Published: 17 April 2017

Healthcare providers are waking up to the benefits of digital personalisation to give patients more control over their choice of care. In a data-driven world, digital personalisation addresses patient engagement head on, making it easier to book appointments, choose a consultant or even access medical records online.

What is healthcare personalisation?
Personalisation is about tailoring a healthcare offer to a person’s specific needs. In fact, the Department of Health have introduced a policy ‘Personalised health and care 2020’ that encourages people to take more responsibility for their health and play a more active role in managing their healthcare.

A key foundation of this policy states: ‘give care professionals and carers access to all the data, information and knowledge they need’. This is about providing real-time digital information on a person’s health and care. It’s an ambition that can transform a provider's relationship with their patients. Personalisation is at the heart of patient engagement. Our technology is empowering providers already to deepen patient engagement and supports that commitment by providing reliable and relevant information.

Discover the digital patient journey


If a patient is unwell, they may be passive about their diagnosis and mindful about potential costs. Technology offers them options and self-confidence to help improve their outcome. Remember, a digital user may be the patient, carer, insurer, funder or healthcare professional and are likely to follow a traditional marketing AIDA / communication pathway of Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action.

So, healthcare personalisation is about harnessing digital technology to meet patient's’ ever-changing needs with content. Providers need to be more user-focused, by empowering patients to identify treatment options earlier and navigate through the digital journey more quickly.

In a recent health awareness campaign ‘Know your score’ for Kent County Council we segmented local public health data and overlaid it with additional data to identify bespoke digital channels to create a typical user journey towards engagement. The number of online self assessment completions far exceeded the tests achieved by a previous large-scale offline PR campaign by 259%. View the healthcare campaign here

Patient, patient, patient

Already, some NHS hospitals are initiating real-time personalisation models that help patients make decisions about which A&E department to go to, triggered by live waiting times and car park space. We know that patients have high expectations of private healthcare, digital personalisation will anticipate and exceed those expectations.

For example, give them the functionality and ability to book appointments and pay bills; provide efficient feedback mechanisms and slick, streamlined services they can participate in and contribute to. This clever use of data improved the overall marketing delivery and patient experience. Many healthcare services, public and private, have a long way to go, but it’s not a mission impossible.

Patient decision aids (PDAs) are a good example of personalisation in practice - one channel to help patients identify and express their preferences for treatment choices which they can share with clinicians. With a similar philosophy, we simplified the KIMS Hospital’s user experience to best connect the patient to the right treatment or consultant, via desktop and mobile.

Use data early on

The appropriate proposition of helpful data to the patient early on in their information gathering process will deepen engagement to achieve marketing targets. This means, healthcare providers can monitor and tweak data continually to promote more relevant online healthcare services through bespoke marketing channels.

How can you improve marketing effectiveness?

  • Identify marketing channels that utilises data to meet patient information needs
  • Integrate marketing online and offline strategies to achieve deeper engagement and patient loyalty
  • Provide data that can you help patients be ‘active’ in their care and help them improve their outcomes

Standalone information is not enough. Personalised interactions help patients gain control of their pathway to care. We believe there’s a need for greater cohesion between patients, GPs, insurers and providers. This will deliver better benefits like improved continuity of care and patient loyalty.

Collaborative marketing

We’re a digital agency that works collaboratively with healthcare providers. Its often the case that providers understand their business’ digital challenges but struggle to bridge the disconnect between the offline and online patient journey. By working with Sagittarius we can help providers uncover and discover exactly the size of that challenge and develop award winning digital strategies that deliver ROI and profit. We offer a healthcare marketing toolkit with useful downloads and access to webinars and events to help you develop practical solutions to improve your digital healthcare marketing.

We’re on hand to listen to your healthcare personalisation plans for 2017, contact us for an informal chat today on 01233 467800 or email


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