By Toni Connelly, Product Manager, Mobile, Validic

Today, it is estimated that more than 5 billion people have mobile devices, and over half of these connections are smartphones. People carry these devices with them everywhere – giving organizations an opportunity to connect with their users in their everyday life and engage on a regular basis. For healthcare and wellness organizations, the ability to connect with individuals in a way that fits their existing lifestyles offers a chance to impact everyday behaviors and habits to improve health.

However, consumers today have high expectations for a mobile experience. 42% of all time spent online is via a mobile device – and users expect an experience tailored to their device. What’s more,  89% of mobile time is spent on mobile apps, making a persuasive use case for developing and owning a mobile app as well. For organizations to effectively engage users on mobile, a streamlined experience is key.

Consumers are already using their mobile devices to care for their wellbeing. 62% of smartphone users have used their device to gather health-related information. Without a mobile experience for your users, you miss out on valuable health-related information that resides solely on their mobile device – whether this be from health apps in their phone, like nutrition trackers or mental health apps, or from Bluetooth-connected devices that are connected to their mobile device. By leveraging the available data and engaging with users on their mobile devices, organizations can address consumer demands for healthcare and wellness tools integrated into their existing lifestyles to improve health outcomes and lifestyle behaviors.

Connecting wearables and devices via mobile

Offering the ability for users to connect their devices within an app makes for a more streamlined experience. Because some device manufacturers rely on Bluetooth LE rather than server-to-server communication for transmitting vital health information, a mobile app can be used to capture this Bluetooth data and bring it into your ecosystem.

Open up your user experience to valuable new sources of health information by incorporating wireless health and fitness devices into your app. These devices can provide deeper insights into your audience’s lifestyle and health which you can leverage to improve their health outcomes.

Bringing patient-generated health data from the variety of wireless health and fitness devices on the market into an easily accessible, positive experience makes for a valuable clinical tool and further empowers consumers to partner with their wellness program or healthcare providers for better health outcomes.

Building a positive user experience

Not surprisingly, in order to create a successful mobile experience users must install and use your mobile app. Your focus should be on communicating the value of your app and providing compelling features – those which are most attractive to your audience – with clear, intuitive navigation and consistent, expected app behavior. Keep in mind some key best practices to keep users engaged and satisfied.

To prevent user frustration and provide the most natural experience, always ensure you are using up-to-date design requirements which are consistent with how each mobile platform is intended to work. Google and Apple publish detailed guides for Android and iOS, respectively.

Empower your audience to make the best health decisions. Relevant, timely, and convenient features are favored in the mobile experience. To make sure your features are relevant, keep in mind your target audience’s true needs and whatever you do, do it well. Offering few comprehensive features can yield a better perceived user experience than offering many incomplete features. Ensure that you’re using friendly, easily understood terms, providing helpful feedback and actionable tips, and giving your users a good reason to keep using your app.

If your app is geared towards use by patients with chronic conditions, consider not only the features they need to successfully manage their condition but also easy paths for communicating with their provider or getting help when they need it. Likewise, if your app is geared towards use by providers or caregivers, keep their workflow in mind. A simple, intuitive experience makes it easy for them to access the most important information and features. In general, any audience will appreciate you offering quick access to features for “on-the-go” use so they can complete their tasks and get on with their day.

In order to better meet the needs and demands of consumers who are looking for quick, convenient, engaging ways to participate in their health in their everyday life, a positive mobile experience for health and wellness programs is key. To help people better manage their health and encourage positive behaviors and lifestyle, we must meet them where they are, using the tools they’re already using, to make a positive impact.

Learn more about Validic’s solutions for data connectivity to improve the user experience.

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