In brief

In brief

  • Our 2021 Health and Life Sciences Global Experience Survey of nearly 12,000 people in 14 countries reveals what makes a great healthcare experience.
  • Depending on age, expectations as to what constitutes good healthcare delivery varies in emotional support, technology, trust and access.
  • Life sciences and healthcare organizations can’t rely on current strategies to take them into the future, especially with digital technology.
  • Our global survey revealed 4 essential factors for creating a positive health experience.

Global Health & Life Sciences Experience Survey

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Emotional support

Bedside manner has long been a watchword for patients wanting more than medical advice and treatment from their caregivers. Our study confirmed that emotional support and clear medical information delivered with empathy is a winning formula.

Traditional healthcare players are still the most relied on for medical advice, treatments and acute overall needs.

  • Medical providers (in-person—48%)
  • Pharmacies/pharmacists (45%)
  • Hospitals (34%)
  • Over-the-counter medications (29%)
  • Medical providers (virtually—12%)

The emphasis varies across generations in the countries we surveyed. A great healthcare experience for people from Gen X or older seems to be more dependent on clear explanations and advice from medical providers, versus Millennials and younger people who are more open to providers who use innovative digital technologies and information from other sources.

Digital adoption

We found, there are an increasing number of opportunities for digital technology to support great experiences by making healthcare easier, more convenient for patients and improving access when in-person healthcare is not available or wanted. Healthcare providers and biopharma companies can invest with this reality in mind and build digital services and tools that enable convenience by increasing patient choices and provider flexibility.

The top three reasons that people are more likely to use digital technologies to manage their health are:

  1. If I could receive better information and recommendations about my health
  2. If I had more confidence in data security and privacy
  3. If I knew more about what digital options were available and devices/software and apps cost less

Millennials and younger people are more likely to be influenced by quality, cost and recommendations from friends and family when it comes to digital technology use than older generations.

Without people´s trust, digital adoption is unlikely to reach its potential. The unfortunate domino effect is that without digital adoption, emotional support and convenient access are at risk.


The pandemic-driven increase in virtual care has increased people’s awareness of the value of their health data—and the need for their consent and for its secure and appropriate use.

Healthcare providers are trusted more than other organizations to keep personal digital healthcare information secure.


Healthcare providers


Local or national government


Health insurance companies


Technology companies

Once trust in data security and privacy has been earned, people would use digital technologies and therapeutics for several reasons—especially convenience, and to learn more about their health.

Top four ways pharmaceutical companies can increase trust.


Clearer communication about medications/treatments/side effects


Reduced costs


More transparency in research and drug development


More transparency into pricing

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Pharma companies increasingly leverage patient data to improve patient outcomes, giving back to the patient. They build trust by providing better, personalized, actionable information to patients, who increasingly expect disclosure of how their data is used in regulatory submissions, or to develop new treatments.


Healthcare ecosystems across the world were tested in ways we never imagined possible as a result of the pandemic. Overall, they showed resilience and the majority of people had the same as, or even better access than before the pandemic—while a third reported worse access.

Healthcare systems proved resilient in the accessibility of their care since the onset of the pandemic.

As the healthcare system moves towards greater patient centricity, biopharma can increase care access equity by transforming patient engagement processes to address patients’ needs, preferences and values holistically and sustainably. Greater access equity also means that more people benefit from preventative care measures like health check-ups. The perceived high cost of these healthcare services causes many people to skip regular health checkups and screenings, which can lead to undetected illnesses in the long run.

Four essential actions

Our survey confirmed the need for human-centric and personalized healthcare. In other words, care that takes into account the need for emotional support, ease of access, the need for patient trust and equitable care for all. In a sense, one could say that the need for good bedside manner has been extended beyond the bedside, to aspects like the use of technology in care, and the need to extend care to a range of age groups and demographics. The most important factors for a positive healthcare experience are:


A combination of empathy from their healthcare provider and well-coordinated care.


Logistics all built on the foundation of technology whose adoption is driven by increased patient trust.


Investments in digital solutions must be backed by evidence, supported by the clinician community and measured in an ongoing manner.


Recognition that positive experiences play a role in the sustainability of the business.

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Stuart Henderson

Market Unit Lead – US Northeast

Rich Birhanzel

Senior Managing Director – Consulting, Global Health Lead

Selen Karaca-Griffin

Senior Principal – Global Life Sciences Research Lead


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