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 5 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 percent, 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
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 percent in 2010. And when we
narrow it to smartphone owners, a full 52 percent 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 three years.
4. Put your hospital in front of consumers every day.
People with smartphones are hooked—a survey by Harris Interactive found that 63 percent of females and 73 percent 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 percent 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?
Mollie Ottenhoff is a writer at DCInteractiveGroup. A full version of this article appears on DC Interactive's Spark Report.