What you need to know

Personal health management is taking on a new role. Several factors are impacting healthcare, resulting in an increased focus on consumers being proactive about their own health. The ACA (Affordable Care Act) has changed nearly every aspect of healthcare. Meanwhile, diseases such as diabetes and obesity have become more prevalent in recent years. This comes at a time when the US population is experiencing significant growth among the older population, resulting in an increased demand for healthcare. Furthermore, innovations in technology have made it easier for people to keep track of and manage their own health, as well as interact with a professional.

This report will explore consumer attitudes and behaviors toward managing personal health as well as usage of professional healthcare services.


Consumer research for this report focuses on attitudes and behaviors toward managing one’s health. Players in the healthcare space will be able to better market offerings to consumers.

This is the first report of this title published by Mintel. Previous related reports include Mintel’s Pharmaceuticals: The Consumer – US, January 2014, and January 2013, Pharmaceuticals Consumer – US, March 2011, and the January 2010 and February 2008 reports of the same title, Attitudes to Health and Pharmaceuticals – US, January 2005 and the February 2003 report of the same title as well as Attitudes Toward Hospitals – US, January 2011.

Data sources

Consumer survey data

For the purposes of this report, Mintel commissioned exclusive consumer research through Lightspeed GMI to explore consumer behaviors and attitudes toward health management. Mintel was responsible for the survey design, data analysis, and reporting. Fieldwork was conducted in November 2014 among a sample of 2,000 adults aged 18+ with access to the internet.

Mintel selects survey respondents by gender, age, household income, and region so that they are proportionally representative of the US adult population using the internet. Mintel also slightly over-samples, relative to the population, respondents that are Hispanic or Black to ensure an adequate representation of these groups in our survey results and to allow for more precise parameter estimates from our reported findings. Please note that Mintel surveys are conducted online and in English only. Hispanics who are not online and/or do not speak English are not included in the survey results.

In addition to quantitative consumer research, Mintel also conducted an online discussion group among a demographically mixed group of adults aged 18+. This discussion group was asynchronous (ie, not run in real time), functioning like a blog or bulletin board, with questions remaining posted for a predetermined period of time. This method allows participants to respond reflectively, at their leisure, or to log off to think about any issues raised, and return later to respond. Participants were recruited from GMI’s online consumer panel with responses collected in November 2014. All quotes are included verbatim, and as such, include typos and other grammatical errors as they originally appeared.

Mintel has also analyzed data from Experian Marketing Services, using the Simmons National Consumer Study (NCS) and the Simmons National Hispanic Consumer Study (NHCS). The Experian Marketing Services, Simmons NHCS was carried out during April 2013-June 2014 and the results are based on the sample of 24,073 adults aged 18+, with results weighted to represent the US adult population.

While race and Hispanic origin are separate demographic characteristics, Mintel often compares them to each other. Please note that the responses for race (White, Black, Asian, Native American, or other race) will overlap those that also are Hispanic, because Hispanics can be of any race.

Abbreviations and terms


The following is a list of abbreviations used in this report.

AAMC Association of American Medical Colleges
ACA Affordable Care Act
ADA American Diabetes Association
AMA American Medical Association
CDC Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
ER Emergency Room
NHANES National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey
NHCS National Consumer Study National Hispanic Consumer Study (Experian Marketing Services)
: :


Telemedicine The use of telecommunication and information technologies in order to provide clinical healthcare at a distance.

Generations, if discussed within this report, are defined as:

World War II/Swing generations Members of the WWII generation were born in 1932 or before and are aged 83 or older in 2015. Members of the Swing Generation were born between 1933 and 1945 and are aged 70-82 in 2015.
Baby Boomers The generation born between 1946 and 1964. In 2015, Baby Boomers are between the ages of 51 and 69.
Generation X The generation born between 1965 and 1976. In 2015, Gen Xers are between the ages of 39 and 50.
Millennials* The generation born between 1977 and 1994. In 2015, Millennials are between the ages of 21 and 38.
iGeneration The generation born between 1995 and 2007. In 2015, iGens are between the ages of 8 and 20.
Emerging generation The newest generation began in 2008 as the annual number of births declined sharply with the recession. In 2015 members of this as-yet unnamed generation are younger than age 8.

* also known as Generation Y or Echo Boomers.

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