2022 Insight Report
We support thousands of healthcare professionals all over the US, and we’ve observed some big new trends in the last few years. These big issues affect many healthcare professionals according to your conversations with us, product purchases, and interaction with our features and resources.
Unusual viral trends are already the biggest health news of the last few years. But in 2022, the biggest health trend is probably the unusual spike in “other” viral illnesses, especially influenza.
Flu season typically begins in September or October, when students return to school, and slowly climbs to a peak in February. The flu season is earlier and worse this year than we’ve seen in over a decade.
This year’s early and meteoric rise in reported flu cases is at least somewhat related to the fact that more people are testing for the flu than during previous years. Over the past five weeks, nearly twice as many flu tests were done at clinical labs nationwide as during the same period last year (about 460,000 versus 254,000). But there are other signs that these flu numbers represent significant, real trends. For example, mid-December’s cumulative influenza hospitalization rate was 15 times higher than last year.
Regulatory issues can always be challenging, but regulatory threats to the way you practice were big topics this year. Not only did we hear that in your comments and questions, but we also saw it in your interest in the resources we created.
The most popular non-product-related resources on our website – by far – were the two pages we created that describe how the FDA regulates dietary supplements and homeopathic remedies.
The regulatory issues are complex, so our July FDA update succinctly summarizes the issues for each class of products. Then, in early December, the FDA finalized its new regulatory guidance for homeopathic remedies. News outlets, well-intentioned advocacy groups, and industry associations all contributed to the rapid spread of information – but not all of it is accurate. Our President & CEO provided his candid assessment of the news and its impact on your practice.
We’re in a rapidly changing business environment, and it’s meaningfully affecting holistic healthcare – perhaps more than other industries.
2020 radically changed the way people interact with healthcare. Today, telehealth utilization is 38 times higher than pre-pandemic, and 37% of adults have used it in the past 12 months. On top of that, online sales of supplements have averaged almost 21% growth over the last five years. It’s almost impossible to overstate the significance of your patients increasingly moving online for their healthcare.
You’re not just competing with a pharmaceutical-dominated approach. Your biggest competition today is from health-focused social media influencers, venture-backed startups wanting to replace your expertise with a take-at-home test, or even your product suppliers. So, some practices might need to match their patients’ interest in online healthcare, while others might need to set aside humility and promote their own expertise to help patients avoid the pitfalls of social media and google-based healthcare.
Patient Fulfillment was our most widely used and fastest-growing website feature this year. You can easily recommend products to your patients, monitor their compliance, and help them avoid spending money they don’t have to – all while ensuring you get credit for their purchases.