Empowering Choice: Mass Product Customization

Empowering Choice: Mass Product Customization

Seeing my wife pull up her “weekend playlist” got me thinking about the transformational shift of the music industry – from a selection of albums at your local record store to built-for-you playlists customized for your individual ear and available right at your fingertips through apps like Spotify. The music subscription service has mastered consumerization. Their product is now catered to meet consumer choice by delivering weekly playlists to its listeners that have been automatically curated based on their behaviors and preferences.

This level of consumerization is also growing within the healthcare industry. We have seen it accelerate over the past year with services like telehealth and other digital health technologies exploding in response to increased demand as the market shifted. I can see the next big innovation for health plans as they work towards their own “playlist” with the “product of one” – the pinnacle of customization down to the individual level.

But, with 50 million songs currently on Spotify, how do you know where to begin? How can health plans provide a “product of one” without significantly increasing administrative costs?

Delivering on any version of individual plan design will hinge on 1) your ability to control and use your data, 2) a much higher level of process automation than used today, and 3) agility. All this comes down to a single source of truth for product data and intelligent product configuration through automation.

The path to individualized product is being paved today. We already see our health plan clients strategically investing in foundational capabilities to prepare for growth stemming from consumerization. Whether that takes the form of more pricing tiers, expanded provider networks, or a true “product of one,” those who are going to be able to adapt are those that are looking ahead today.

But it’s not about offering endless choices – it’s about finding the right choice customized for each member. And like Spotify’s algorithm, the ability to create and ultimately guide people to their best option depends on the strategic use of technology. Payers can embrace technology and adapt their products, but offering more choices means they must also guide their members through the decision-making process.

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