Hippocrates once said, “Healing is a matter of time, but it is sometimes also a matter of opportunity.” And as smartphone and tablet technology evolves
and puts knowledge literally into the hands of consumers, Hippocrates’ concept of “opportunity” may be a whole lot closer. And this is good news for
A marketer’s playground
In 2008, the number of smartphone subscribers was 15 million. That number almost doubled in 2009, reaching 26 million, and is expected to grow to
roughly 142 million by the end of this year, according to experts.
A recent report by research2guidance, a research and consulting company that specializes in the mobile market, predicts that by 2015 an estimated 1.4
billion people will use smartphones. One out of three people with a smartphone will have a health-related app on their phone. That’s roughly 500
million people. A recent PricewaterhouseCoopers report says that 41 percent of 2,000 consumers surveyed said that they would “prefer to have more of
their care delivered via a mobile device.”
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, more than 17,000 smartphone apps have been filed under health care and fitness categories since September. This is
a clear indication that health care providers and consumers are embracing smartphone apps as a means to improving health care.
Keys to a winning app
Mobile apps present marketers with a great opportunity to develop a different kind of consumer experience that needed in the health care industry. The
key to a winning app is simple: make your app interactive and use it as a portal to push information, reminders and resources to the customer, so that
it becomes a “must-have” tool in their life.
Right now, the best kinds of apps are the most specific apps. Something to remind a person to take a pill is more helpful to more people than an app to
track the workouts that might only appeal to a fitness buff. A good example of an organization that has hit the jackpot is WebMD. The WebMD app has
been downloaded four million times since it was launched. Why is it so popular? Because WebMD gave patients exactly what they wanted: easy-to-use,
patient-centric tools that make managing their health easier. This app is loaded with helpful features like the Symptom Checker, in which users can
select a part of the body that is troubling them, choose their symptoms and learn about potential conditions or issues.
Want to learn more about coordinating content across your organization’s communication channels? Attend the only one-day summit specifically for health care communicators.
A version of this story originally appeared on Wax Custom Communications. You can read more about it