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Healthcare News: Promoting healthcare appsHow to use Twitter polls

Patient use of mobile devices as healthcare management tools is on the rise. According to a report by PwC Canada, almost two-thirds of Canadians are open to using virtual health options to manage healthcare tasks. And more than a third of Canadians think mobile apps will make accessing health care services “substantially more convenient” over the next three years.

Healthcare practitioners south of the border are already beginning to embrace these virtual options. About 16 percent of American healthcare professionals currently use a mobile app for healthcare management, and roughly 46 percent intend to do so in the near future. If a branded healthcare app is in your organization’s plans, you may want to keep reading. In addition to exploring the benefits, we’ll offer tips on promoting your app to your patients.

The benefits of a healthcare app

  • Increased efficiency: According to a recent survey on the benefits of mobile apps, half of healthcare professionals agree mobile apps will increase efficiency. Think of the time (and resources) consumers and providers can save when patients schedule or change an appointment, renew a prescription or check lab results with the swipe of a finger.
  • Improved access to care: No longer is an in-person visit the only way to access medical care. Patients who are frail or those who live in rural areas can visit a physician or specialist across town or across the world—virtually—through a mobile app.
  • Increased autonomy: A healthcare app is another tool patients can use to assist in the management of their care. Patient discharge instructions or office visit summaries can be accessed via an app. Medications can be reordered or even automatically refilled. And questions on medication side effects, care plans and more can be sent to physicians with the touch of a button.

Once you develop your app, you’ll want to promote it. A postcard printed with a quick-response (QR) code for easy download is a great way to get this important information into the hands of your patients. Retractable banners and floor stickers are also effective promotional tools that are difficult to overlook. You may also consider imprinting your message on giveaways, such as Smartphone Stress Relievers or banner pens, that can be distributed in your clinic.

Encouraging patients to try the app by offering a reward for download is also helpful. First-aid kits, smartphone wallets or the chance to win a tablet case are all nice incentives.

Mobile healthcare apps can improve patient satisfaction, care and overall health and well-being. If you’re not using one now, chances are you may be exploring the option in the future. We hope we’ve provided a head start by discussing some of the benefits others are seeing.

Conn, Joseph. “Easy on those apps: Mobile medical apps gain support, but many lack clinical evidence.” Modern Healthcare. N.p., 28 Nov. 2015. Web. Retrieved 22 Mar. 2016.

Leventhal, Rajiv. “Survey: Doctors and Patients See Benefits in Mobile Apps.” Healthcare Informatics. N.p., 24 Mar. 2015. Web. Retrieved 22 Mar. 2016.

Savitz, Eric. “5 Ways Mobile Apps Will Transform Healthcare.” Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 04 June 2012. Web. Retrieved 22 Mar. 2016.

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