Insight to Innovation: Healthline Lessons


Learn how chronic condition audience insights sparked the development of Healthline Lessons, a platform for step-by-step learning where pharma brands can align with target audiences. 

People living with chronic conditions are increasingly seeking out proactive ways to self-manage their health. Pharma brands need to find and align with these engaged, solution-seeking audiences in a brand safe way. 

At Healthline Media, we recognize that effectively reaching and engaging those with chronic conditions requires data rigor and an audience-first approach. That’s why we leveraged deep user research to develop a new solution, Healthline Lessons, a step-by-step, condition-specific platform for helping people achieve successful behavior change.

Healthline Lessons was designed to drive frequent, ongoing user engagement, while serving as an ecosystem where pharma advertisers can achieve brand visibility in alignment with high-quality, condition-focused audiences. 

Identifying Audience Interest in Health Condition Support

Our research showed that people with chronic conditions are overall highly motivated to take care of all aspects of their health and wellness, from nutrition and exercise to mental health. Their primary motivators include longevity, avoiding health complications, and being there for family. They also aim to minimize symptoms while regaining a sense of control over their health and life. 

And yet, many people find that changing their health habits is not easy. They needed guidance on how to care for themselves as whole people, and those with chronic conditions are often striving to meet their wellness goals without sufficient support. To supplement this gap, we decided to offer those living with chronic conditions a personalized, motivational tool for support and guidance. 

The Healthline Lessons Development Process

Our data rigor and audience insights drove the design of the Healthline Lessons platform. We set out to develop and launch a place that would meet user needs while creating a trusted environment where pharma advertisers could reach quality audiences. 

Healthline Lessons is a learning platform that engages users through digestible, five-minute lessons. These lessons guide people through small, achievable steps that have an impact on their holistic wellness. 

Users first input their email and then receive access to the dashboard that shows their lessons and tracks their progress. The learning is self-paced and helps keep users motivated using features like email reminders, graduation flows, and milestone rewards. 

Each condition community includes a unique curriculum, currently available for diabetes nutrition (T2D), inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and heart health/high cholesterol (HH/HC), with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), psoriasis (PsO), psoriatic arthritis (PsA), and multiple sclerosis (MS) in development. 

For pharma, this poses a unique opportunity to reach engaged, loyal audiences who are focused on changing their habits and behavior. Advertisers are able to elevate brand awareness and visibility within condition-specific environments. 

Making an Impact on Healthline Lessons Users

After launch, we saw promising results from users. Notably, we noticed a 50+% completion rate for lessons, compared with 18% for a Healthline article. Of registered users, 86% viewed at least one lesson. 

Surveys of lesson takers across condition types revealed they are very satisfied with their experience. Looking at the surveys for type 2 diabetes in particular showed that: 

  • Lesson takers rate the lessons as easy to understand (93%) and feel they are the right length (96%) 

  • The majority view them as very helpful (81%) and feel that they help them learn something new (89%)

  • Lesson takers give them an NPS score of 69 on average, which is considered excellent

We also gathered qualitative feedback that highlighted why the product resonates with users. 

  • “They notify me by e-mail and I can open the lessons up when it's convenient for me. The lessons are not too long and the information they have is priceless for prediabetics like me.”

  • “This is all very informative without it being overwhelmingly informative, especially to people like me who have just been diagnosed as diabetics.”

Pharma’s Opportunity to Reach Engaged Users

Healthline Lessons was developed using in-depth insights from across health conditions. It now delivers audiences relevant, timely content that they know they can trust. We’ve already seen that users are excited to engage with the lessons and build healthier habits. 

Healthline Media officially launched the T2D category in Q4 2021 and continues to launch new communities on a rolling basis, including IBD and HH/HC, with even more categories coming your way in Q1 2023. Healthline Lessons has not only helped people living with chronic conditions, but has created a new brand safe opportunity for pharma to engage with high-quality audiences. Advertisers can reach their target consumers more effectively in the right kind of environment, built on data rigor and audience-first insights. 

Reach out to learn more about how your brand can reach chronic condition audiences through Healthline Lessons. 

SOURCES: Highly motivated: Aspen Finn Study on Chronic Conditions, July 2021, N=80 people living with chronic conditions; 50+%, 18%, 86%: Google Analytics and Sailthru, % of lesson 1 UVs / new registrations, August 2021; Type 2 diabetes stats, qualitative feedback: Qualtrics Feedback Surveys for Lessons 3, 6, 9 and 12 for T2D, June 2022, N=508, N=357, N=235, N=180 

About Healthline Media

As the #1 health media property in the US, Healthline Media reaches more than 94MM unique visitors each month (Comscore, August 2021). We provide credible health information with a compassionate approach.