Internet user experience expert Joe Arcuri helps cut through the confusion when it comes to...
Mobile Healthcare Industry
The Web Strategist’s Michael Gartenberg writes that “as mobile and the social Web become one, customers are empowered to make confident buying decisions, wherever they go.”1 While Gartenberg’s social commerce refers to on-the-fly shopping of retail, entertainment and travel products, healthcare is also finding its place in the mobility matrix, with growing adoption of mobile, new media and other solutions in the health information and decision-making process.
“With rising adoption of smart phones by both physicians and consumers, and close to 6,000 health-related applications available through online app stores, the opportunity to reach consumers via mobile marketing embedded in these apps is a ripe opportunity,” says Brian Dolan, founder and editor of MobiHealthNews, an online portal that chronicles the healthcare sector’s adoption of mobile technology. “With many new entrants in the wireless health market searching for a business model,” adds Dolan, “content marketing and advertising will certainly find their place.”
In addition to concerns such as bandwidth, infrastructure and data security, the big question in this burgeoning space is what happens when technology replaces trusted face-to-face health consultations. Yet, meeting these challenges is precisely what is driving innovation, adoption and deployment forward, presenting healthy opportunities to providers of mobile health systems and mobile devices and healthcare marketers alike.
Substantial research reveals the growing convergence between mobile technologies and healthcare communications, research and delivery, starting with the overall trend towards mobility. According to IBM’s Institute for Business Value, the number of mobile users will grow by 191 percent from 2006 to 2011 to reach approximately one billion users; Big Blue is backing up this forecast with a planned $100 million investment to improve mobile services.2
Then there is the healthcare sector’s evolving embrace of IT and mobility devices. “Over the past five years, there has been a major shift among physicians, who have traditionally resisted the intrusion of computers and other technology in healthcare,” stated Leo Carpio of equity research firm Caris & Company Inc. in a recent interview.3