Why is it so hard to engage in mobile health?
We all know that there is an established need for health Apps with over 70% of people taking a prescribed medicine at any time (Talking Medicines 2017), health is an everyday problem for you & I. If you turn on the radio, read the daily newspaper or watch TV then you see that health is topical, its part of our conversation. We know more and more people want to take control of their own health & empowerment of the patient is a running theme for the industry. Healthcare consumers show good uptake of digital technology, 75% of consumers surveyed said technology is important in managing health (Accenture). Creators of mobile Apps have responded & fuelled a plethora of health Apps in the market place. It is estimated that there are 318,000 health Apps globally with 200 being added everyday (IQVIA). The mhealth market is projected to reach US$102 Bn by 2023 (Liquid State 2018). This is fuelled as adoption of smartphones across age groups becomes ubiquitous and with heavy investment in digital health from the start up and venture capital community.
So demand & supply are strong, is it easy to succeed?
The answer is no, only 4% of mHealth app publishers achieve more than 1 Million downloads annually, and only 15% achieve 50,000 to 250,000 downloads annually (Research2Guidance). Medsmart® has been designed by Talking Medicines to help patients manage their own medicines at home and is unusual in that it is a unified solution covering all of the medicines of a user rather than just those for just one company or disease area. Medsmart® has reached that top 15% bracket & Talking Medicines have learnt what makes an App solution appeal or fail:
Questions to ask for a winning solution
Is it addressing a problem? It will not win if it fails to solve a problem – users are vulnerable & looking for answers, if the solution doesn’t immediately help them they will abandon and uninstall.
Is the user genuinely at the centre of the experience? An App is not as an extension of a website, it needs its own user experience development and testing. If its not intuitive then its won’t gain engagement.
How is the user addressed? Addressing the user as a consumer not just as a patient, recognising they have choices and consumer psyche. An App is a relationship tool & the consumer has a life around them.
Can it help empower? Giving consumers tools that will help them manage their own health, wellness or disease condition has utility for repeated usage.
The market is an exciting one, dynamic and no solution stands still as consumers become more demanding and technology continues to enhance how the relationship can be developed. It may not get any easier to succeed but for those that do there are rich rewards in knowing that consumers can be supported in their health and wellbeing through mhealth.