Welcome to the fourth edition of Wunderman Thompson Health’s Health Inertia report. This year marks a return to what had been an annual effort before it was suspended due to COVID-19. As we resume our study, we find our topic ever more in the headlines.

Health inertia is a condition in which people fail to take steps to improve their health outcomes, even though they have ample information telling them they should. The vaccine hesitancy and search for alternative therapies we’re seeing are all forms of health inertia. So, we decided to take a deep dive into a persistent cause of health inertia: cognitive biases. These are mental shortcuts that people take in making decisions about their health, finances and other important topics. Biases that are not based on rational considerations.

Our top-line finding was arresting but not surprising: people living with chronic conditions often exhibit a large number of biases when it comes to making decisions about their health. These biases often prevent them taking even small steps to improve their health.

The solution? The biggest takeaway for healthcare marketers is to evaluate their approach to segments and begin to leverage insights about biases. "HeadLight" is a new proprietary tool that we have created to expand traditional segmentation. It adds greater psychological dimension to traditional data, all to help marketers better inspire greater positive action in healthcare.

2021 Health Inertia Report

Previous Health Inertia Reports

2019 2020 WT Health Inertia Report GRID image

2019 Health Inertia Report: How Brands Can Inspire Doctors to More Action

WT Health Inertia Report Final 2018 GRID image

2018 Health Inertia Report: Putting the Motivation into Consumer Education

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