With the increasing popularity of smartphones, brands everywhere are either releasing apps or wondering if they should. The health sector has even dubbed a whole new industry “mHealth” because of the potential smartphones offer. If you are a hospital marketer, does it make sense to create an app now? Stats and facts seem to say a resounding yes. Here are six arguments for hospital health apps.
1. Like, everyone has a smartphone. In the past few years, the smartphone market has exploded. Over half of adults who own cellphones have smartphones. According to Strategy Analytics, from 2011 to 2012, smartphones in use jumped 47%, surpassing 1 billion.
2. Even more people will have smartphones tomorrow. Strategy Analytics predicts that the next billion smartphones are predicted to be in use by 2015. So over the next few years this hot trend will be even hotter.
3. People are increasingly use phones for health. Pew Research Center discovered that of cell phone owners, 1 in 3 have used it for health information, compared to only 17% in 2010. And when we narrow it to smartphone owners, a full 52% gather health information on their phones. So as smartphones grow in popularity, even more people are likely to be looking up health information on their phones. A survey by Price Waterhouse Cooper confirms consumer expectations: 6 in 10 patients expect mHealth will significantly change how they find information on health issues in the next 3 years.
4. Put your hospital in front of consumers every day. People with smartphones are hooked—a survey by Harris Interactive found that 63% of females and 73% of males don’t go an hour without checking their phones. And as the population ages, smartphones will become even more important—from a Cisco survey, 90% of those 18-30 years old check their smartphones as part of their morning routine. Creating a great app will allow consumers to wake up with your brand in the morning, and be in front of them throughout their day.
5. Position your brand as technology-forward. People expect their phones to help them with their health. According to Pew Research Center, 1 in 5 smartphone owners have at least one health app on their phone. If you can create a usable app, people will download it, and they will see you as high-tech and helpful.
6. Apps can be simple to create and highly usable. And now to clear the roadblocks. Think of a simple idea, and it can be simple to create. App developers and interactive agencies can hear about your idea and let you know what will and won’t work. Now for the usability roadblock—will people download it and never use it? This won’t happen if your idea begs for daily use. Consider an app several hospitals have branded for their own hospital called the ICE App. This app puts your hospital logo on a person’s home screen, along with an in-case-of-emergency phone number, so first responders can see who to contact. Once users download the app and set up the lock screen, you are the first thing they see when they turn on their phones. Learn more about getting the ICE App for your hospital.
The stats are screaming an argument for your hospital to release a branded app. What’s stopping you?
“Mobile Health 2012”, Pew Internet and American Life Project, Pew Research Center
“Worldwide Smartphone Population Tops 1 Billion in Q3 2012”, Strategy Analytics
Harris Interactive, June 2012
“Generation Y: New Dawn for Work, Play, Identity”, Cisco 2012
“Emerging mHealth: Paths for growth”, PWC 2012