Health & Wellness This Week

Can Healthcare Go Mobile? | Health & Wellness This Week

This article is part of ParkerWhite’s weekly series, “Health and Wellness This Week,” a roundup of the latest healthcare marketing news and what it means for your marketing strategy.

Everybody wants digital. It’s just taking healthcare a while to adapt. Despite all the hype around wearables, much of healthcare hasn’t even figured out how to get a mobile friendly website.

This week we look at:

  • Pharma companies struggle to create websites that work on all devices
  • The increasingly pervasive mentality of healthcare consumerism
  • Apple and Humana partnership allows major insurer to collect health data

Pharmaceutical Companies Behind in Website Optimization

A new report by Manhattan Research reveals that just about 33 percent of pharma companies have mobile optimized product websites. The researchers cited the mobile gap as a “critical blind spot” for the industry, considering mobile adoption among physicians and consumers. More than four in five physicians are using mobile devices for work and research efforts, as well as formulary investigation and clinical information. A look at nine service portals and 98 healthcare provider apps created by pharma companies also indicated standalone mobile websites are more commonly used than responsive design.

Marketing Strategy Insights

  • If your website needs updating anyway, it is highly recommend that you use responsive design, which can allow you to design one site that works on all devices
  • Google advocates responsive design over standalone mobile websites, because responsive sites have one URL and the same HTML on any device, making it easier for Google to find your content (and put it in search results)

The Retail Mindset in Health

The ACA has motivated more people to buy insurance through exchanges instead of through their employers. For consumers who now have to pay for certain procedures and treatments, they’re looking to make sure they get the most value. This means they’re more price sensitive than if they weren’t paying, but that doesn’t mean they’re willing to sacrifice quality. Finally, people are utilizing mobile to take control of their health and access data. Data from Research & Markets reveals that by 2017, 50% of consumers will download a health app. On the provider side, the HIMSS Analytics Mobile Survey estimates 80% of physicians are using mobile technology to provide patient care. “Successful healthcare marketers are developing ways to connect with consumers and establish relationships with them,” says author Bill Coontz. “Specifically, communications are becoming more targeted and relevant for each consumer.”

Marketing Strategy Insights

  • Brands need to evolve their strategies for healthcare consumerism, this may include repositioning your brand or working on refining your messaging to ensure it resonates with consumers
  • Payers, providers, physicians, and patients are all important stakeholders with various needs, wants, education, awareness levels, digital adoption levels, etc., which makes segmentation critical to reaching and resonating with each audience

Apple Partners with Humana to Track Health Data

Humana is the first major insurer to track health data from the Health app in iOS 8. The data is shared with employers and can be used to determine coverage costs. Apple’s integration means data can come from various devices, including Fitbit and Apple Watch, and all end up in one place. Humana hopes this will help increase accountability for their Vitality program.

Marketing Strategy Insights

  • Ease-of-use matters, which is why the aggregation element of Apple’s HealthKit matters
  • Digital provides many opportunities for innovation in the way we engage and educate consumers to live healthier lifestyles