Country music taught me that the only thing that stays the same is everything changes.
The mobile Web is expected to reach 2 million users and outpace desktop Internet usage by 2015. Not all users will be younger generations; fifty percent will be over the age of 35.
Today’s mobile Internet users are more and more turning to their smartphones for answers to their health-related questions. In fact, 17 percent of cellphone owners have used their phone to look up health or medical information, and this number will only continue to grow.
Many in the health care industry are already adapting to mobile demands and implementing novel techniques to keep their patients healthy and informed:
- Mobile websites – This should be a priority for health care organizations. Yes, a regular website can be viewed on a smartphone, but a mobile site will load faster, present the text in a larger, more readable font and help avoid issues with Flash, which doesn’t work on all smartphones. Just remember to keep content more concise than your full website.
- Text alerts – Some doctors’ offices are sending out text messages to remind patients when it’s time for an annual visit or vaccination. According to a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), texting is an effective medium for under-served and low-income populations, with a 100 percent read rate, and the method tends to have an extremely high response rate.
- Mobile apps – Though a multitude of health-related apps already exist, there is value in customizing one for your organization and extending the reach of your brand. Health apps may feature mobile gift shops, ER wait status updates, find a doctor, medical information, basic health care tips, a forum to connect patients with one another and staff members and tools for tracking and managing one’s health.
Business is survival of the fittest, and the fittest means utilizing mobile marketing. These methods provide a wealth of opportunities to grow your business.
Mobile marketing allows you to improve the patient experience by offering quick and easy services, which will in turn increase patient satisfaction and inspire patients to become advocates for you.
You can also provide a forum for discussions that are already occurring online, which allows you to participate in the conversation and capitalize on your involvement. Providing information and tips not only helps you ensure your patients are well-informed with the most reliable information, but it positions you as an expert and increases the likelihood that when they need help, they will call you.
In a world that is ever more focused on instant mobile access, it is paramount for health care companies to utilize mobile marketing options to stay relevant in this digital age.