Longevity Network
  • Aug 23, 2017
  • Hilary Lefebvre, The Longevity Network

Q: How do you choose between a business model that sells direct-to-consumer versus one that sells to providers or payors?

According to Lisa Suennen in her Investor Spotlight Q&A for The Longevity Network, she is constantly telling entrepreneurs who come and pitch her that consumers are very rarely willing to pay out of pocket for healthcare products. “Consumers expect insurance to pay for healthcare products and services and they do not typically make long-term investments in their own health,” she says. “It’s unfortunate but true.”

Agree with Hilary. Patients expect their health insurance to pay for their health expenses. That being said, there are exceptions. I am thinking for instance of Lumosity. In that case, the company tapped into a deep-seated fear which in the consumers’ mind is not addressable by the health system. Fitbit is another such example. Soft health products are easier to sell to consumers. Solutions that are perceived as clearly healthcare fall into ‘my health insurance’s problem’ category and should be marketed to providers or payors. Consumers rather put up with imperfect health care services than paying out of pocket for supplemental services.