It is estimated that about 81% of Americans own a smartphone. People take their phones with them everywhere. Meaning, apart from when people are sleeping, companies have a unique opportunity to connect and engage with their users throughout the day. For healthcare and wellness organizations, the ability to connect with individuals via mobile devices offers a chance to influence everyday behaviors and habits to improve personal health decisions.
Why Building a Mobile Experience is Vital
Consumer behavior is ever-changing, which means that businesses need to be able to adapt their user experiences and offerings. A survey found that 62% of companies already have an app or are creating one. Consumers downloaded 205.4M apps in 2018, and that number is projected to grow to 258.2M by 2022.
Websites offer many benefits to strengthen a brand’s customer experience, but an online presence is no longer sufficient.
Consumers are demanding convenience. We live in a world with instant access to information and the ability to shop for different types of products, consumers expect companies to keep up and stay relevant. According to a recent study, 62% of mobile applications save users time. If your organization doesn’t include a mobile experience, you are missing out on constant opportunities to better engage and influence your current and potential customers.
Build Brand Awareness
A study found that the average American checks their phone every 12 minutes, and 10% of people check their phone every 4 minutes. Think about an app that you use on your phone the most. How often do you visit that app versus the web-version on your phone or even a computer? If customers repeatedly see an organization’s app on their phone, it creates brand visibility every time they look at their phone screen.
To strengthen brand relationships, a mobile app needs to provide its users with a great deal of value. Organizations could consider designing their apps so they offer incentives or rewards to their users, provide special in-app promotions, or nudge users to return and increase conversions. By developing a mobile app, your organization will increase brand visibility and potentially offer customers a great deal of value that could strengthen a brand’s overall reputation and loyalty.
Increased Engagement and Personalized Interactions
A significant advantage of using a mobile app is the ability to personalize communications to your specific audience or market. Mobile apps allow organizations to create highly customized user experiences and develop deeper, more meaningful relationships with their customers.
These notifications allow businesses to facilitate direct interactions with their customers. Additionally, push notifications can engage your customers and quickly remind them about your products and services at an optimal time. These can be set to certain locations or times of day to better personalize your engagement. Imagine being able to create personalized notifications based on their personal data.
The Value of Using Validic
The growing number of digital health devices and apps available offers organizations an opportunity to use personal health data to improve engagement, personalization, and subsequently personal health outcomes. This requires, however, the need to build and manage device integrations to acquire this data.
There are several unknown roadblocks in building these connections on your own, such as hiring developers with experience in APIs, SDKs, and Bluetooth protocols, contractual time to form business partnerships with device manufacturers, and so on.
Creating these integrations can be costly and time-intensive for organizations to take on. Every integration an organization builds introduces a level of debt that they are responsible for for the lifetime of the company. Our clients’ mobile engineering teams would have had to add at least one iOS and one Android developer and one to two quality assurance professionals to their team of developers in order to manage the integration workload. This assumes the current developer team could take on the additional work. If not, clients would have had to add two more junior-level developers; with total compensation and benefits, that could cost the organization $200K+ additionally per year.
That organization, then, is spending resources (time/money) to write the code, testing the connections and committing to ongoing maintenance and support as manufacturers release updates and regulations for protocols change.
There are minute considerations to this work, as well. Organizations have to decide how to configure and scale their data model without coupling it to the device’s data model. Simply put, software updates from device and app manufacturers can break a data model or upset the flow of data.
Ongoing maintenance also includes finding and fixing bugs because no code is ever written perfectly the first time. There are continuous updates to device APIs, SDKs, and Bluetooth protocols to consider, as well as annual Operating System (OS) updates for both iOS and Android. Because Validic is writing code for as many customers as we are, we are able to charge each client a fraction of our costs, which is a fraction of the fees they would incur from these ongoing requirements.
On top of this, finding mobile engineers that can work across platforms can be difficult. We’d recommend finding engineers or product personnel that understand the nuance of the healthcare space, to know which data are important to build into the model and which are redundant.
Lastly, organizations have to consider how they will host the data? In the cloud? Or will your organization take on the cost of web hosting with Google, Amazon or Microsoft?
Validic solves this challenge by providing a one-to-many connection to digital health technologies. We have a dedicated account manager for each of our device partners and have solidified deep relationships over the last several years. When issues arise, we can escalate them quickly, and when new devices or data types are launched, we receive an advance notice, which ensures your organization never has a gap in service.
How Validic Supports Mobile Engagement
Validic’s mobile solutions include a set of SDK libraries that enable healthcare organizations to easily integrate Bluetooth Smart in-home health devices, Apple’s HealthKit and GoogleFit, and Validic VitalSnap® into their existing iOS and Android mobile applications.
Many in-home medical devices have limited digital connectivity, meaning information accumulates on the device and may never be sent to or viewed by a provider. This data inaccessibility makes it difficult for providers to make timely care decisions, especially for patients suffering from chronic conditions that take consistent biometric readings and require regular clinical touchpoints.
Leveraging optical character recognition (OCR), Validic’s VitalSnap enables patients to use their smartphone to quickly capture readings from non-connected digital health devices, such as thermometers and blood pressure cuffs, from the phone’s camera without taking a picture. Validic VitalSnap digitizes the data on the device’s screen in real-time and uploads it to the cloud.
VitalSnap alleviates not only the burdensome and time-consuming process involved with manual input but also reduces data inaccuracies stemming from manual recordings.
Apple HealthKit Integration
Validic provides access to the full breadth of data captured by Apple’s Health application. You can add HealthKit support to your iOS app with only a few lines of code. We standardize and normalize Apple Health data, ensuring our customers receive consistent data formats from the Validic API regardless of the source.
Bluetooth Smart Clinical LIbrary
Validic provides access to dozens of in-home health devices such as blood pressure
monitors, scales, thermometers, and heart rate monitors by connecting to these devices via Bluetooth Low Energy.
Learn more about Validic’s solutions for data connectivity to improve the user experience.
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