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Digital Healthcare Case Study

Agile and Actionable Qualitative Insights for Startups

A startup digital, direct-to-patient healthcare company, found a way to effectively gather and use qualitative insights to inform their decision-making and meet the needs of various stakeholders.


Startups often lack the human resources and budget to produce the insights they want and need in order to keep customers happy and continue to grow the business. Insights professionals at startups are often asked to do the unthinkable – field surveys and gather insights on a very limited timeline, throw together focus groups, and find cheap but reliable ways to do so.

The ability to produce agile and actionable insights can be particularly valuable in the fast-paced world of healthcare, where quick and informed decision-making can have a significant impact. A startup digital, direct-to-patient healthcare company, found a way to effectively gather and use qualitative insights to inform their decision-making and meet the needs of various stakeholders.

The Problem

The Insights team, who lacked resources and buy-in, turned to Fuel Cycle for reliable insights.

The Insights team at the digital healthcare company recognized the importance of using customer insights to inform decision- making, but the company had not previously incorporated insights into their workflow due to limited resources and stakeholder buy-in.

They turned to Fuel Cycle in search of ways to gather reliable insights efficiently and affordably, with the goal of demonstrating their value to stakeholders and gaining their trust and support. They craved a systematic approach to gathering and using customer insights in their decision-making process.

The Solution

Using Fuel Cycle’s platform, the Insights team developed a community.

A proprietary online community of members, powered by Fuel Cycle, allowed them to access members with the drop of a hat, no matter the ask. By regularly engaging with patients through a variety of activities such as discussion boards, surveys, and video diaries, the team is able to gather ongoing, valuable insights and feedback that can inform their business strategy and help improve the patient experience.

The use of an online community proved to be particularly valuable for informing the launch of new products or services. The team was able to use the community to inform the launch of their new dermatology vertical. The team utilized its already-there community of willing participants specifically for this launch and over a 6-week period, gathered and shared insights with other departments. In exchange for participation, community members are rewarded with gift cards and sweepstakes entries.


Sr. Manager, Consumer
Insights & Strategy

“With [Fuel Cycle], we’re able to go out to members at the drop of a hat with all the asks that we might need. Each week we are talking to our patients’ and getting insights through discussion boards, surveys, video diaries, and other longitudinal studies because we want to know more about our members’ lives. We glean those insights so that we can make an impact and drive outcomes for our business.”

The Results

The insights gathered in the community powered the business decisions surrounding the new dermatology vertical and the insights team was able to establish trust to become a valuable resource for the company.

At the end of the 6 weeks, the insights team hosted a wrap-up activation session to help teams across the company understand how to use the consumer insights and data that had been gathered. During this session, the team was able to lay the groundwork for a year of business strategy – tackling things like product innovation, brand and positioning, advertising, and messaging for the new launch.

In all, using the online community allowed the company to build strong connections with their customers, reduce time and costs, and gain support from stakeholders by delivering quality insights and demonstrating the value of the community. The Insights team was finally able to access the resources needed to continuously gather and share customer insights with the organization, and to take on additional project requests from stakeholders that they may not have been able to handle before. The insights team was now part of key initiatives as they could be trusted to quickly build a strong foundation of patient insight for teams to leverage leading up to key business decisions.

Time and cost savings associated with the community also allowed the business to give its patients a voice in conversations they otherwise would be excluded from.

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The company estimates that they were able to save hundreds of thousands of dollars by using their Fuel Cycle community to gather these insights, rather than partnering with an external research firm.

Lessons Learned

Gathering high-quality qualitative research doesn’t necessarily have to be a lengthy and expensive process.

 Using an online community as a research method can allow insights teams to gather valuable insights proactively and quickly without sacrificing quality. This approach reduces time-to- insights, which can help insights teams stay ahead of stakeholder requests and allow the company to be more agile in its decision-making.

Particularly for startups, which may have limited budgets to devote to research and may not have the resources or expertise to conduct more traditional forms of market research, Fuel Cycle is a valuable tool for gathering insights and make informed decisions about products, services, and business strategy. By providing a quick and cost-effective way to gather high-quality insights, Fuel Cycle can help startups gain a better understanding of their market and customers and make more informed decisions about their business.

The Fuel Cycle Difference

Fuel Cycle’s award-winning Research Engine is the most comprehensive intelligence-gathering ecosystem that exists today. Our platform enables decision-makers to maintain constant connections with their customers, prospects, and users to uncover real-world actionable intelligence. By integrating human insight with critical business data, and through automated quantitative and qualitative research solutions, Fuel Cycle’s Research Engine powers product innovation, brand intelligence, and enhanced user experience.

Breakthroughs require action. We built Fuel Cycle to ignite it.