When patients return home after a hospital stay, they can be overwhelmed by the written instructions and all the information available on the web. Who can they trust most for guidance when it comes to their post-release regimen and healthy lifestyle? Naturally, their healthcare provider.
Branded wellness apps for smartphones or tablets, offered by healthcare providers, can become reliable sources of information, not to mention – efficient tools of patient engagement.
Why wellness apps? Smartphone and tablet usage is rising steadily among all age groups. But more importantly: According to a 2012 Deloitte survey, even on a basic level of mobile adoption, patients already expect health and wellness-related content to come from their most trusted source – their healthcare provider.
Yet, according to a recent MobiHealthNews analysis, only about 3% of U.S. healthcare facilities offer some kind of branded mobile app to their patients. This sounds like a great opportunity to get ahead of the competition, while providing important benefits for both patients and healthcare professionals!
Benefits of Wellness Apps for Patients
Wellness apps engage and empower patients in numerous ways. With a user-friendly, feature rich mobile app, patients can:
- Take ownership of setting and achieving their wellness goals
- Manage and track their diet and exercise
- Build their customized care team and quickly reach their trusted professionals
- Search for and exchange healthy recipes
- Find wellness resources and recreational activities within their local community
- Connect via social media and network with other patients
Benefits for Healthcare Providers
For hospitals, doctor practices, wellness centers, and other healthcare organizations, launching branded wellness apps can bring the following benefits:
- Offer patients a new channel for obtaining trusted educational information
- Encourage patients to track diet, exercise, and wellness regimen
- Improve patient engagement and reduce communication costs
- Foster a vibrant wellness-minded community around your brand
- Boost your brand image and visibility with a compelling portfolio or patient apps
Success Story: Henry County Health Center’s Healthy Living App
A community-based health center located in Southeast Iowa, Henry County Health Center (HCHC) was able to build a comprehensive, yet user-friendly patient wellness app that reinforced their hospital brand and encouraged healthier living among their patients and the community.
Using the MobileSmith platform, the HCHC Healthy Living app was built natively for iPhone and Android and deployed to app stores quickly and within budget without any programming involved at any stage.
HCHC’s first-ever mobile app was such a huge success that it earned HCHC a Bronze at this year’s prestigious Web Health Awards.
Perhaps most importantly, the Healthy Living app proves the value of direct communication between healthcare providers and the patient community. The app is an instrument of promoting healthy lifestyle and first-rate wellness advice – directly from the palm of the patients’ hand!