According to IMS Health, half of consumer-oriented Android health care apps have less than 500 downloads. With utilization spread thin across the 43,000+ health care apps on the market, organizations must differentiate each new app with a clear, strong value proposition for providers, patients, and the organization.
To attract potential users and encourage physicians to recommend your app to patients, providers should take the following steps.
1. Design apps meant to be used on a regular basis
Some apps confuse patients about their health needs by providing them with meaningless or misleading data at random intervals. IMS recommends providers and developers evaluate new apps’ potential benefits and limitations in empowering patients and improving health care efficiencies.
Apps designed to be used regularly, for example, are more likely to offer meaningful data and provide value to consumers, rather than those used on an ad-hoc basis.
2. Connect the app to patients’ treatment plans
Apps can fragment, rather than support, patient care when the guidance they provide does not align with an established treatment plan.
IMS suggests involving providers in app design, integrating with a patient’s EHR, and including their physician in communication to promote integrated care and clear, consistent messaging.
3. Alleviate concerns by clearly communicating privacy standards
Apps that collect data but fail to clearly explain how that data is stored or used can generate consumer concern and discomfort.
4. Collect and publicize user-reported outcomes
Quantifiable success data, such as improved user clinical outcomes, can drive utilization by attracting media attention and building physicians’ confidence in the app. For example, the fertility tracking app Glow recently announced that it helped more than 1,000 women conceive.
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