It's official. I've joined the ranks of those device-addled people for whom one form of media is simply not enough. I came to this realization one evening as I toggled between email on my phone, shopping on my iPad and catching up on Netflix - all while sitting next to my husband as he did the same thing. Though I may find this sudden inability to unplug troubling, new research shows I'm not alone. In today's multi-screen world, our devices accompany us everywhere - acting as both companion and advisor. And while this brave new digital world may be eroding the art of conversation, new evidence suggests it's making us better consumers - and patients.
For example, a recent Digitas Health survey found that patients who use smartphones in their doctor's office are 80 percent more likely to switch medications and twice as likely to ask for a brand name. A separate study reveals that 38 percent of smartphone users say their device is "essential" for finding health and medical information.
Patients aren't just getting their information from websites either. According to Digitas, nine out of 10 patients would use an app recommended by a physician. And "power users" - those with both a smartphone and a tablet - are 30 percent more likely to talk to a doctor about a mobile site or app and twice as likely to switch medications.
So what does all of this mean for health care marketers? Here are three key takeaways whether you're selling prescription drugs or surgical services:
Today's patient isn't just searching for information - they're searching for a reason to act. What are you doing to give them one?
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