The data revolution now has a tremendous foothold in healthcare.
From mobile apps that track your steps to wearable medical devices that can capture your vital signs, consumers are tracking … and hacking their healthcare; this is what I mean by “applification.”
And the market is responding in kind to the tune of an estimated $111.1 billion by 2025.
This “on-the-go” and on-demand view of healthcare is exactly why medical providersmust take note now or risk being replaced by a few lines of code.
When you look deeper into what applification really means, it becomes clear.
Most medical providers are failing to use this treasure trove of health data to their advantage. Instead, doctors are becoming passers-by as applification takes the healthcare driving seat.
There are three eye-opening reasons why afflification could spell the end of traditional healthcare.
1. Doctors can’t compete.
A doctor’s knowledge is just a fraction of what an app can do.
The saying “there’s an app for that” has taken on a whole new meaning in the 21st century. Rather than scheduling specialist appointments or even stepping foot in a doctor’s office, consumers can, instead, download one of over 318,000+ health-related apps. What could take a doctor 15 minutes to do, a mobile app can do in seconds. Whether it is tracking their vital signs or monitoring their weight loss goals, consumers want instant answers when it comes to their health.
2. Consumers want results.
If the results aren’t compelling, consumers aren’t buying.
The days of waiting weeks for results or even waiting an hour for a follow-up appointment are numbered. Patients expect results to their problems and they are not willing to wait for them. With greater access to information via the internet, it’s not enough for a doctor to just be a medical expert as it is for their methods to work. And with mobile apps like MyFitnessPal helping people, like me, lose over 100 pounds just by tracking food and calorie intake, who really needs a doctor (or a nutritionist)? It’s that “do-it-yourself” sentiment that has made applification a force to be reckoned with.
3. Traditional healthcare isn’t convenient.
Mobile apps provide a high level of convenience and a proven level of accuracy.
The sheer volume of data that can be collected by health apps and wearable medical devices far exceeds what is taught in a medical school classroom.
They’re no longer vanity accessories that “look” nice, these technological advancements have a very high predictive accuracy, especially for hard-to-diagnosis disorders such as atrial fibrillation. But, it’s not what these components can track, it is how the data can be leveraged that will ultimately change everything we know about healthcare.
Leveraging Health Apps to Drive Marketing
When consumers are empowered to monitor their own health this inevitably shifts how they buy and what they buy. Though health apps and wearable devices have many medical providers concerned, they also represent an amazing opportunity.
With over 54% of consumers willing to try a doctor-recommended app, medical providers that create their own apps or establish affiliate partnerships with existing app manufacturers are in the best position to profit.
And from a marketing research perspective, health apps are must-watch.
It is by measuring and analyzing the information from health apps that healthcare marketers can create their own competitive advantages. Having the foresight to categorize customers based on those products may support their health goals and will enable health brands to speak directly to consumers on the right channels with the right messages.
If my 20+ years in direct response marketing have taught me one valuable lesson, then it is this: savvy marketers always find a way to tap into mass desire and get their message in front of people in a meaningful way — and health apps are your secret weapon to do just that.
Follow the data.