Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Saturday, September 24, 2011

How Healthcare Marketers are Using Mobile Apps


There's huge potential to evolve the healthcare industry by utilizing more appropriate information and communications technology (ICT), and mobile device applications are an excellent example of that upside opportunity.

However, the market for mobile-enabled healthcare has struggled to get gain momentum.

Held back by antiquated regulation, personal privacy issues and an apparent lack of mobile standards, industry players -- healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies, insurers, governmental organizations and others -- have yet to find a clear and coordinated path towards that m-health bonanza.

“There have been experiments with mobile programs,” said Victoria Petrock, eMarketer research analyst and author of the new report entitled Mobile Healthcare Marketing: Prescriptions for Health and Wellness on the Go. But many efforts to market and deliver large-scale healthcare via mobile have, to date, been siloed and ineffectively measured.”

According to a global survey of mobile health developers and marketers by research2guidance, smartphones hold the key to mobile health business opportunities over the next several years -- followed closely by media tablets.

Adoption of both devices is rising quickly, making the applications (apps) landscape ready for m-health market development opportunities.

In yet another market study, the Pew Internet & American Life Project found that specific demographic groups were more apt to use m-health resources. More men than women used apps to track their health.

Black and Hispanic consumers -- those who lived in urban areas -- and adults ages 18 to 29 also showed higher-than-average use of the mobile web and apps for healthcare.

“Mobile is giving consumers the control to help them better manage chronic diseases,” said Petrock. “As they embrace mobile devices and platforms to find and share information and monitor bio-data, more consumers are taking charge of their personal health and wellness. This presents an opportunity for marketers to encourage healthier behaviors and personalize the delivery of healthcare information and services.”