Personalized health engagement aligns with the unique preferences and characteristics of the individual we’re trying to reach. Population health focuses on a broader goal of improving community health outcomes. Although personalized health engagement and population health may seem to have different objectives, the two are actually deeply intertwined.

It’s common knowledge that people within communities often demonstrate the same health behaviors, characteristics, and needs. Personalizing health engagement based on data that is also segmented geographically or by generation can work well to improve population health, especially when engagement is focused on annual screenings and other preventive health actions.

Here are seven brilliant ways to personalize health engagement and improve population health at the same time:

1. Understand the complete healthcare consumer experience.

It’s important to know the different steps an individual must take before activation will typically occur. For example, a campaign to increase participation rates in more complex screening procedures may require sending education-based touchpoints first.

2. Use data driven techniques to uncover preferences and motivations.

We know that the best data driven strategies drive personal, humanized health engagement. Campaigns can be designed to incorporate contact and messaging preferences by individual or community, and tailor engagement based on those unique preferences.

3. Factor in AI-based techniques for predictive analysis.

Data is also being used to make predictions about the likelihood of disease within a specific population or community. Personalizing outreach campaigns to target areas where health problems are more likely to occur can drive better outcomes by addressing potential health issues before they occur.

4. Use incentives wisely.

Rewards can motivate action, but if used too frequently they can also turn into an entitlement. Groups of people with similar characteristics usually have similar responses to rewards. Protect the motivational power of incentives by using them strategically. See an example of how to best use rewards to motivate action in the rewards section of our Health Engagement Playbook.

5. Remember the power of education.

Lower health literacy is associated with lower health outcomes. Health engagement campaigns targeted to educate at-risk populations and others benefit from personalization that takes into account many different factors from location, to ethnicity, to overall literacy.

6. Consider every channel available, including text.

Personalized health engagement means delivering messages based on the individuals’ preferred channels. Text messaging can be a powerful tool within certain populations and younger generations.

7. Focus on precision health engagement.

This type of health engagement takes ALL of the data gathered about a single person or group of people into account. Precision health engagement takes personalization one step further by outlining specific customizations and dictating strong strategies to achieve better health outcomes.

Strong health engagement can benefit from blending a personalized approach with tactics that acknowledge the typical behaviors and healthcare consumer experience of a community or population. Although they may seem dissimilar, personalized engagement and population health are definitely not mutually exclusive.