Published on in Vaccine Update for Healthcare Providers
Do you feel like everyone has a cell phone these days — and that people are always looking at their phones? If yes, rest assured that the data supports your observations!
App Annie is a global tech company that collects data on mobile application use to share with mobile app publishers, much like Google Analytics provides website owners with data about the use of their websites.
Recently, App Annie published a report, The State of Mobile 2019, summarizing the use of mobile apps in different industries and countries over the last few years. The data show that people are increasingly using their phones to access games, videos, services and information.
The State of Mobile 2019 report highlights
- In 2018, more than 4 billion mobile devices were in use. This included both tablets and phones. Many people reported having more than one device.
- Ninety-six percent (96%) of the world’s population lives in range of a mobile network, and more than 50% of the global population is online.
- Mobile apps were downloaded more than 194 billion times in 2018, representing an increase of 35% from 2016.
- While about a third of downloads were classified as games, 65% were not game-related as people continue to use apps to conveniently accomplish other tasks.
- People in the U.S. and Canada spent about 3 hours per day using apps during 2018.
- In the U.S. people averaged more than 100 apps on their phones, but reported using only about 30 to 40 of them.
- Sixteen- to 24-year-olds, referred to as Gen Z, spent 20% more time on their phones than other age groups and engaged with their apps 30% more often.
- App-based video streaming increased 140% globally between 2016 and 2018. In the U.S. it increased about 95% during that time period.
- Nine of every 10 minutes spent video streaming was through YouTube in 2018.
- Medical app downloads increased 35% in the U.S., U.K., Finland and Brazil between 2016 and 2018. Even greater increases were seen in India (65%) and Indonesia (110%). While consumer spending indicated that increases were related to fitness and meditation apps, video calls with doctors were mentioned as a unique opportunity for app-based applications.
Download the complete report today. Note: You will need to enter your email address, name, phone number, company name and job title to download the report.
What does this mean for healthcare providers?
As people increasingly use their phones to shop, bank and socialize, they will also look for convenience related to their family’s healthcare as well. While creating mobile apps is expensive and may not be necessary for individual healthcare providers, here are some things that clinics and practices can consider in order to take advantage of the popularity of mobile devices, while increasing engagement, satisfaction and convenience:
- Make sure your website is “responsive” — Responsive websites adjust the page layout for the device on which they are being viewed, so that text and imagery are displayed in a meaningful way. Investing in a responsive website, if you don’t already have one, helps in two ways. First, it makes your website more patient friendly, and second, it helps with how well your site is found by search engines, particularly on mobile devices, which is where many people do their searching.
- Consider how you communicate with patients and families — Are you able to offer text communication, such as patient reminders, in addition to phone, mail or email options? Many people keep their calendars on their phones, so a text or email with the appointment date and time is more likely to find its way onto their calendar.
- Provide resources for additional information that are mobile friendly — Do you provide a list of reputable websites for families seeking additional information? It may be time to check whether the websites you recommend are responsive (see point #1) and consider adding a list of endorsed mobile apps and podcasts. Some groups, such as Bright by Text enable parents to register for informational texts related to pregnancy, child development, and local resources.
- Consider engaging on social media — If you already post about health and medicine, consider adding your social media information to your website or electronic signature. Alternatively, consider developing a social media presence for your practice. If your patients and families are followers, you can easily share information about office hours, staff updates, disease outbreaks, vaccine supplies, and more. Check out this archived Vaccine Update article, guest authored by Dr. Margaret Stager, for more information about healthcare providers and social media.
- Evaluate the payment options you offer — Changes to payment options can be tricky, but increasingly healthcare providers are considering ways to increase convenience related to payment. For a relevant article describing some of the considerations, see “The benefit of flexible payment options” by Jordan Rosenfeld published on Jan. 2, 2019, by Medical Economics.
- Stay abreast of developments in telehealth — As telehealth continues to expand, monitor the experiences of colleagues and healthcare systems in your area with an eye toward which options may afford opportunities to ease the pressure on your staff and your time while expanding convenience for your patients and families. The federal government offers information at healthIT.gov, including a section about telemedicine and telehealth .
Materials in this section are updated as new information and vaccines become available. The Vaccine Education Center staff regularly reviews materials for accuracy.
You should not consider the information in this site to be specific, professional medical advice for your personal health or for your family's personal health. You should not use it to replace any relationship with a physician or other qualified healthcare professional. For medical concerns, including decisions about vaccinations, medications and other treatments, you should always consult your physician or, in serious cases, seek immediate assistance from emergency personnel.