Rapid increase in the number of people who use mobiles and the intersection of healthcare and information technology has brought a shift that can be well-described as a “tech-tonic” shift in healthcare marketing. Innovating to reach out to mobile health patients is key for survival in the healthcare industry.
According to PwC’s Health Research Institute’s annual report that highlights the forces expected to have the most impact on industry in 2016, “New experiences will begin to make real the dream of care anywhere, anytime, changing consumer expectations and fueling innovation. In 2016, millions of American consumers will have their first video consults, be prescribed their first health apps and use their smartphones as diagnostic tools for the first time.”
As is evident from the conclusion of the research-based report, in 2016, the new-era digitally empowered patients will seek “anywhere and anytime” diagnosis, monitoring and treatment of their health conditions. No matter where you go, digital dominates. The mobile market is growing at an incredible rate. Mobile health apps, activity trackers, algorithm-based symptom checkers and so on — these are the new entrants in the field of healthcare.
Let’s have a look at some other stats:
- PWC’s latest report says the adoption of health-related smartphone apps has doubled in the last two years. While in 2013, about 16 percent of consumers had at least one health app on their device, the figure soared to 32 percent two years later. The study also found that mostly people who prefer health apps also prefer virtual communication for health interactions.
- About half of all Americans have smartphones. Eighty percent of the time, the average American is in range of 4G LTE, making it nearly as easy to conduct a video visit with a doctor as it is to call a cab with a smartphone.
- According to ABI Research, the market for mobile health apps is expected to quadruple to $400 million by 2016 as global sales of smartphones are expected to hit 1.5 billion units by 2016. Smartphones can also help tap a large segment of population of the age group of 18-35 years who use this device more than any other. Also, today’s popular smartphones (iPhone and Android) offer unique, innovative capabilities that aren’t available on PCs.
How can you reach out to the mobile patients?
Move to a responsive mobile-friendly website
Take the first step to protect your online reputation and request your Online Reputation Assessment.
Responsive web design is becoming more important as the amount of mobile traffic now accounts for more than half of total Internet traffic. In fact, this isn’t new to the digital world and has been recommended by Google since 2012 as the best strategy for mobile-optimized websites. Responsive web design is an approach aimed at crafting sites so as to provide an optimal viewing experience to users. These also provide an easy platform for interaction as the interface becomes easier to read and navigation can be smoothly done with a minimum of resizing, panning and scrolling — across a wide range of devices (from desktop computer monitors to mobile phones).
Digital advancements have not only impacted the practice of medicine but also the way in which people have taken charge of their health decisions. People are constantly on their mobile phones to look out for health information. Make sure that anything you post on your social media accounts can be easily downloaded and viewed across all mobile devices.
Social media has gone a step further and changed the dynamics of the physician-patient relationship. Maintaining a virtual relationship with patients on social media has become imperative for physicians and other healthcare providers. Being reluctant will only take your online reputation in a downward spiral and cause havoc to your brand entity.
Mobile is the future. Regardless of how you perceive and adopt it, your patients are extensively using it for their healthcare needs. It’s crucial to embrace this change to nurture and nudge leads. The path ahead for physicians is amply clear: They can either change or perish!