Making mHealth More Appealing to Patients
Mobile adoption by consumers is pervasive — except in healthcare. A recent survey from Deloitte concludes that healthcare providers and technology companies can and should do more to make mHealth and telehealth technology more appealing to consumers.
While a majority of consumers regularly use mobile for activities such as shopping (86% of survey respondents), banking (72%) and filing taxes (51%), the numbers are not as impressive for using mobile for healthcare-related activities, such as refilling prescriptions (58%), measuring health and fitness improvement goals (32%), paying health bills online (31%), monitoring health (24%), receiving mHealth alerts or reminders (17%) and measuring, recording or transmitting health data (15%).
Even though the use of mobile devices for health activities is considerably lower than for other types of activities, consumers are interested in mHealth. According to the survey, over half of the respondents were interested in post-op care and chronic disease management via telemedicine and almost 40% wanted telemedicine available for caregivers.
So, if consumers are interested in mHealth and telemedicine, why are they using these mobile technologies less for healthcare than for other types of activities? While 30% of survey respondents expressed no problems with mobile for healthcare, the reasons of those who did include:
- 40% believed that a virtual visit would be of lower quality than an in-person visit.
- 36% had security concerns.
- Almost 30% thought virtual visits were too impersonal.
- 15% thought the technology involved would be too difficult to learn.
Payment for telemedicine sessions was also surveyed. The vast majority—80%—of respondents thought that insurance should cover the sessions. Among those who were willing to pay out of pocket, the amount they were willing to pay varied along generational lines:
- Millennials were willing to pay $100.
- Seniors thought $67 was a fair price.
- Gen Xers were okay with $61.
- Baby Boomers were willing to pay $43.
Researchers on the survey said, “Consumers are open to technology-aided care, but providers will likely need to earn their trust on both quality of care and protection of patient information.”
What is your organization doing with mHealth and/or telemedicine?
Mobile Device Use Continues to Win Over Desktop Usage
That mobile devices are increasing in use and winning out over desktop is not particularly news. We’ve been hearing about the steady increase in mobile usage for several years now. According to the 2016 US Cross-Platform Future in Focus report from comScore, 65% of all digital media time is now spent on mobile, with desktop usage down to 35% of digital time spent.
In addition, new data from comScore finds that over half of the online time spent by people in the US is via smartphone apps.
However, another report from Marin Software – the Q3 2016 Performance Marketer’s Benchmark Report – found that device share actually flattened across some channels, including search and social. But the mobile shift continues with display advertising.
The report states, “Impressions, clicks and spend all hovered around the 50-50 split between desktop and mobile [during the last quarter]. Search spend is well on the way to reach predictions of 50 percent mobile this year, with the first half of 2016 already fluctuating around the halfway mark.”
What does all this mean for your digital strategy? According to Marin, the focus by marketers/advertisers should be campaigns that target cross-channel and cross-device strategies. It’s imperative to learn the strengths and weaknesses of various channels and devices, so that when necessary, resources can be moved based on campaign results.
In other words, all channels cannot be treated equally. Desktop maintains high importance for conversions, but search and social are increasingly done on mobile.
Has your organization evaluated its mobile strategy lately?
Patient Engagement Tools: What’s Popular?
More and more healthcare organizations are adopting patient engagement tools and methods to get their patients more involved with their care. According to the recent Second NEJM Catalyst Patient Engagement Survey, over 69% of the organizations surveyed use some form of patient engagement initiatives to improve participation in care by patients.
According to the survey, the most popular patient engagement strategies by far are:
- Patient portals (reported by 88% of survey respondents)
- Secure email (77%)
Other strategies, such as patient-generated data from EHR, online/mobile scheduling, benefit design and wireless/wearable devices were much less popular.
Additional findings from the survey included:
- Online scheduling is used by 72% of providers.
- Patient-generated data (i.e., results from blood glucose monitors) is being used as part of the patient’s total care effort (68%).
- One-third of providers say that portals achieve the most success in patient engagement.
- Secure email is considered an effective means of patient engagement (14%).
- Care coordinators are considered to be a crucial component of successful patient engagement by almost all healthcare leaders (90%).
Of course, the proof, as they say, is in the pudding. Is all this emphasis on patient engagement bringing about positive results? According to the survey, patient engagement initiatives are considered to have a major impact on outcomes by 14% of healthcare executives and a moderate impact on outcomes by 34% of healthcare leaders.
What patient engagement strategies are being used by your organization? Have you seen positive results?
Facebook and Mobile Performance Improvement
Facebook recently announced a new feature intended to improve mobile performance by shortening the load time of mobile sites.
“Prefetching” is expected to improve those load times by 8.5 seconds, or 29%. Facebook says this feature will help to improve user experience, which will help mobile advertisers.
In addition to providing the prefetching feature, Facebook has provided other features to advertisers, such as Canvas, Pages and in-app browsing capabilities to improve the mobile experience.
While these features and apps can help advertisers improve their mobile performance, Facebook encourages businesses to improve mobile on their end by:
- Decreasing use of landing page redirects, plugins and link shorteners.
- Shorten mobile rendering time by compressing files.
- Use multi-region hosting to improve server response time.
- Reach audiences more quickly with a high-quality Content Delivery Network.