Healthcare Market Research: Why It’s Important

The healthcare sector includes a wide array of sub-segments, from physicians and patients to specific goods and services like pharmaceuticals and medical devices – that’s why it’s important to conduct market research.  Whether you are studying the potential market for a new drug, or how doctors are using a specific piece of technology, intuition can only get you part of the answers you need.  Market research can help your organization understand the preferences, attitudes, behaviors, and more of your target audience.

Conducting Healthcare Market Research

Conducting healthcare market research can fall into one of two methodologies, quantitative or qualitative research. The method you use depends on the specific priorities, goals, and questions you want answered. Quantitative research focuses on collecting numerical data, feedback and uncovering insights from a representative segment of the population. An example of this methodology is online surveys. Qualitative research focuses on collecting non-numerical data and feedback, usually from a smaller group of people.  Examples of this methodology are focus groups. These can be both online or in-person.

Online Quantitative Research for Healthcare Audiences

Conducting online quantitative healthcare market research can be extremely beneficial to your organization. It can help you understand changes occurring in industries, markets, the economy, as well as changes in attitudes and behaviors of patients, physicians, consumers and more, that can significantly impact an organization. Online market research can also be a quick and reliable method to answer pressing questions your organization has.

Types of Healthcare Market Research

There are a wide variety of different studies that can be conducted in the healthcare space.  Some examples of types of market research EMI can assist you with include: 

Customer Experience / Loyalty / Satisfaction

These kinds of studies can help you track satisfaction on key metrics over time, on everything from perceptions of products or services, delivery, availability of goods, service-levels, and more. 

Product Development

These kinds of studies follow the same line of thinking as those conducted by CPGs and other organizations selling products and services to consumers or businesses.  They can help you better understand attitudes and behaviors that can help you develop new or complementary solutions that can increase revenue, market share and/or loyalty.

Market Segmentation

Whether you are in healthcare or another industry, market segmentation studies can help you identify the needs of your target decision-makers, determine key customer characteristics, and help you validate your value proposition.  These types of studies will help you best utilize your time and resources.

Emerging Trends

These studies examine the environment of a specific subsegment or area within the healthcare industry to understand what customers require, want, and/or value.  Insights from these types of studies can help organizations develop their proposition for a new market segment or to help scope a potential new service.

Brand/Advertising Tracking

These studies help organizations understand how their brand or advertising is being perceived by their target audience. It can also help them adjust their messaging or media methods they currently employ.

Persona Development

Healthcare organizations who are looking to better identify additional characteristics of their customers or users utilize these types of studies.  They can help identify different customer or user typologies.

Buyer / Purchase Journey Research

This type of study can help organizations understand the actions and behaviors a customer or patient may have when they are looking for specific services. It can also help healthcare organizations with their go-to-market strategies.

Brand Health Tracking

Ongoing brand health tracking is a key tactic in assessing a healthcare brands’ metrics, like awareness, consideration, and usage over time.  It also assists in measuring the performance of brand and marketing communications.

Brand Perception Research

Healthcare organizations can use these studies to better understand how their brand is perceived in the market and by customers/potential customers. They can also be used to help understand how a brand compares to its competitors, and to identify potential new areas for the brand to go after.

Demand Feasibility Research

Healthcare organizations can use this type of market research to better gauge the demand for their services or products, and how it compares to the overall feasibility in a particular area or market.

Healthcare Market Research Audiences

Healthcare market research audiences can be separated into 3 core groups: Patients, Physicians/Specialist, and Healthcare Business.


Patients consist of consumers who have been identified and profiled to be suffering from a specific ailment, or in other cases, people who are taking specific medication or have undergone a specific medical procedure.

Beyond the consumer panels that collect ailment information on panelists, there are also specialty panels that specialize in specific “hard to reach” ailments. Both can be leveraged for this type of research.

Patient insights can be extremely valuable. 

Physicians / Specialists

Where patient research can be profiled using traditional consumer panels, physician and specialists should not. While these audiences are heavily sought-after and have little time to give, the insights they can provide can be pivotal in making million-dollar decisions.

Ensuring quality and valid respondents is critical in this type of research given the limitations on feasibility.

Healthcare B2B

Not all targets within the healthcare industry are patients or physicians.

Many that play a role in this industry have their titles fall into more traditional B2B responsibilities. This can be anything from facility managers and procurement to C-Level.

Targeting this audience follows the same practice as recruiting and targeting for other B2B audiences.

EMI’s Healthcare Sample Respondent Network

Our global network of sample partners gives you access to one of the highest quality pools of healthcare panelists, including physicians, specialists, patients, and other respondents in healthcare positions. Our network provides respondents of varying demographics, geography, organization size, area of expertise, responsibilities, and more.

We put each partner in our network through a rigorous certification process to better understand their recruiting methods, validation process, and other data quality measures they have in place. Out strict panel vetting process ensures we only allow the best sample providers into our network, and when coupled with our proprietary leading data quality measures, we maintain the highest level of data quality for our clients.

Our Healthcare Industry Targeting


Finding a needle in a haystack is much easier when you know exactly where that needle is. When conducting patient research, we use the most highly targeted panels in the industry to ensure we can deliver the correct ailment groups from the very start. Everything from specific ailments to users of certain healthcare services or pharmaceuticals.
See more about our patient market research capabilities here.

Example of Targets:

Acid Reflux





Back Problems

Chronic Pain

Crohn’s Disease

Diabetes Type 1 & 2

Eating Disorders




Heart Problems

High Blood Pressure

High Cholesterol


Mental Disabilities




Pregnancy (By Week)


Rheumatoid Arthritis


Sight/Hearing Disabilities

Sinus Problems

Sleep Disorders


Physicians / Specialists

Getting 15 minutes with your own doctor for a check-up can be a huge challenge these days, let alone getting them to take a market research survey. We have partnered with the highest quality physician partners to deliver deeply profiled and responsive healthcare professionals around the world for our clients’ medical research.
See more about our physician market research capabilities here.

Example of Targets:







General Practitioners

Primary Care Physicians



Lab Managers








Respiratory Physicians





Healthcare Business

The healthcare industry is more than patients and physicians.  It includes facility manager, procurement specialists, IT decision-makers, C-Level executives, Payors, and many more.  EMI has one of the largest pools of Healthcare B2B panelists. Our network contains sources for different business segments within the healthcare industry that give us the ability to use the ideal source for your projects.  

Our ability to target a wide variety of B2B professionals in the healthcare industry worldwide is unmatched.  To learn more about our B2B capabilities, click here.

Healthcare Audience Examples:

Target Audience: Patients who have completed or are considering full-arch fixed dental implants.

Geography: US

Time in Field: 12 Days

Length of Interview

Completes: 56

Target Audience: Psoriatic Arthritis, Ankylosing Spondylitis Patients

Geography: US, Germany

Time in Field: 22 Days

Length of Interview: 15 Minutes

Completes: 473

Target Audience: Parents of children with Myopia

Geography: US, China

Time in Field: 9 Days

Length of Interview: 30 Minutes

Completes: 791

Target Audience: Nasal Polyp Sufferers

Geography: Japan, Netherlands, Italy, Germany, France, Canada

Time in Field: 46 Days

Length of Interview: 30 Minutes

Completes: 37

Target Audience: Cancer Patients and Caregivers

Geography: United States

Time in Field: 10 Days

Length of Interview: 15 Minutes

Completes: 1,019

*Targeting will vary from country to country. Please inquire for specific capabilities