The Data Digest: How Consumers Use Their Mobile For Healthcare Related Tasks

On April 2nd I'm attending the TEDx event in Maastricht, the Netherlands, which is dedicated to healthcare. Given my market insights background, this may sound a bit out of my league. But you're mistaken. Of course, the healthcare element is sometimes a bit alien to me, but healthcare is not just about curing disease — it's also about culture, technology, and consumer behavior. And those elements are very familiar to me as market researcher.

Last year the event got me very energized. It's great to see how technology can help people in very difficult situations. I listened to e-patient Dave, a cancer patient who talked about how he used patient support communities like epatients.net to better understand his illness; he has since become a noted activist for healthcare transformation through participatory medicine and personal health data rights. And Lucien Engelen advocated crowdsourcing to create a map of defibrillators (AED devices) globally. (Note: you can download the app here.)

We know that consumers are ready for healthcare-related activities on their mobile phones. Forrester’s Technographics® data shows that a third of smartphone owners use their phone for healthcare-related activities, ranging from tracking what they eat to medication text alerts.

My colleague Liz Boehm recently published a case study showing how Humana, a US insurer developed a successful mobile strategy. MyHumana Mobile, the current version of Humana's administrative app, currently has a 4.5-star rating (out of 5) in the iTunes App Store and 3.3 (out of 5) in the Android Marketplace. The mobile team is also fielding a survey for both the mobile website and mobile app users and 92% of respondents have reported satisfaction with Humana's mobile capabilities.