The recent Pew Internet survey shows that 85 percent of American adults own a mobile phone, out of which 53 percent own smartphones. In other words, about 45 percent of all U.S. adults own a smartphone. Nearly one-third of mobile phone owners have used their phone in the past one year to look for health related information. This figure is almost double of the figure indicated in a two-year old national survey.
52 percent of smartphone owners look for health information using their device. The most common categories of mobile phone users who use their device to find health information include people who experienced a medical condition in the recent past, people who found a significant change in their health situation, and caregivers. Nine percent of mobile phone owners say that they use their devices to receive text alerts or updates about medical issues.
The growing popularity of mobile health apps can be gauged from the fact that 20 percent of smartphone owners already have at least one health app on their device. Mobile health apps allow a smartphone user to track or manage his or her health. Some of the most common mobile health apps are related to weight, exercise and diet.
The trend of using mobile phones for health information and health apps is on the rise. Healthcare marketing professionals and doctor SEO marketers must focus on this area to maximize their marketing outcomes. A doctor’s website must be suitably adapted to make it compatible for smartphone viewing. Doctors and other healthcare professionals may also provide free health text alerts to subscribers to improve their access to local patients.
Many smartphone users are already accessing their social media accounts through their smartphones. Therefore, an effective online medical marketing strategy should include integration of social media networking and mobile marketing. Over the next few years, Internet usage via mobile phones is likely to grow exponentially. Healthcare marketers must gear up to stay ahead of this trend and achieve best possible targeted exposure for the medical practice.
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