How mobile users are accessing health info

imagesKEY TAKEAWAY: While more people are using the Internet for health the majority of them are accessing health information on desktop/laptop PC’s not mobile devices. However, they will access sites if they are given an Rx for a drug to learn about the product before filling their prescription.

I’m sure you have heard about Mobilegeddon.  It’s the propaganda being spread by start-ups that want VC’s to fund their ideas for new mobile apps/websites.  I just received a preliminary research report (n=6590) that wanted to quantify where, when and why people access health information via mobile devices.  Among the key findings:

1ne: The initial search for health information is predominantly done using desktop/laptop PC’s not mobile devices.

Online Pharmacy

2wo: Mobile devices are used when there is a “sense of urgency” in searching for health information.

3hree: Users are more likely to use a mobile device to access drug company websites either just before or after leaving a doctor’s office.

4our: When asked why desktop PC’s were preferred responses included “content is easier to read” and “websites load faster”.

5ive: The vast majority, 82%, would NOT download a drug company app unless it provided them with a better way to manage/learn about health conditions.

analysis social media

6ix: Most people use mobile device to “kill time” either in meetings, on the way to work or waiting for appointments but the number one use is email.

7even: The biggest frustration in accessing online health information via a mobile device are websites that are not optimized for mobile and slow loading sites. Bigger screen sizes are desired when reading content heavy health sites.

Does this mean that you should focus strictly on desktop PC’s? No, of course not.  The first step is to analyze your web analytics to determine what share of visits are via mobile platforms.  It’s then important to conduct research and “why?”.  Why are they accessing your site via mobile? What was the key driver?

Finally, don’t get drawn in by the hype around mobile health.  There is a difference between mobile health and mobile fitness and their use is different.