|Title:||United States physician smartphone adoption in percentages for 2001, 2004, 2007, 2009, 2010, and 2011|
|Source:||Medical Marketing & Media|
Start of full article - but without data
US physician smartphone adoption
Source: Manhattan Research Taking The Pulse US vll.X
Note: Table made from bar graph.
Just as they did in 2009 and 2010, healthcare marketers and industry commentators are widely proclaiming 2011 to be "the year of mobile." The difference being, this time, it's for real. And the numbers prove it.
According to Manhattan Research's Cybercitizen vlO.O study, nearly XX million US adults are m-heallh consumers or use an app, text-messaging or browser on their mobile device for health reasons, and this figure is up from XX million in 2008.
And penetration of smart phones among healthcare professionals now stands at XX% and rising, according to the firm's Taking the Pulse vll.X survey of physicians.
Meanwhile, an Ernst & Young report in February revealed that drug makers, led by Merck and Novartis, boosted spending on mobile apps and educational websites for patients by XX%, initiating XX new projects in 2010.
Clearly, the potential for mobile to revolutionize the way marketers, educators and healthcare providers reach and engage endusers, exchange value, prompt action, change behavior, build loyalty, achieve scale and measure results, is almost unprecedented. In theory, at least.
Which is why it has seemed like a long wait for such a fast-evolving medium to become established. And now that it's arrived, we're not calling this the year of mobile anymore. It's too big for that. "We are at the start of the Decade of Mobile," asserts Bill Drummy, CEO of Heartbeat Ideas. "2011 is just one inflection point."
The key game changer was, of course, the emergence and adoption of the smart phone. According to Google, last year in the US, XXX million people owned a mobile phone, but crucially, more than XX million of these were web-enabled smart phone devices. Compare that to the XX million US households with internet connection and it is clear that a shift is taking place. In fact, by 2012 Google predicts that, for the first time ever, there will be more smart phone shipments than PC shipments in the US.
Google also reports that the number of mobile searches has grown five-fold in the past two years with XXX billion searches projected for 2011 - roughly equating to the number of desktop searches in 2007.
"Whether they're searching, browsing the web, or using mobile apps, people are using smart phones to find information about virtually everything, and health-related information is certainly no exception," says Amy Cowan, head of industry, healthcare, at Google. "It's estimated that XX% of health information seekers own a smart phone and over XX% of Google search queries in the healthcare category of searches are now coming from mobile devices."
Klick Pharma's VP of strategy, Jay Goldman, relayed some telling indicators and metrics to delegates at New York's ePharma Summit in February, such as the fact that by XXXX.XX% of all web traffic will come from mobile devices (Morgan Stanley); that XXX million will use healthcare smartphone apps by 2015 (Global Mobile Health Market); and that there are already more than X,XXX healthcare apps available for download for the iPhone and the Android.
So what is it about smart phones that we as people find so appealing? Joe Grigsby, director of emerging media at VML, told attendees at the BDI Mobile Healthcare Communications event in New York in January lhat "the reason we are addicted to these devices is that they give us control over our lives." And the entry point is looking for information.
And how are people using these devices in the healthcare space? For now, browsing is winning over apps. According to ComScorc, XX% of iPhone users have searched for healthcare information on their devices. Similarly, with healthcare professionals, XX % are currently visiting websites using smartphones, whereas XX% are using apps, while more than XX% of physicians go online during patient consultations, mainly using hand-held devices, according to Manhattan Research.
But that's where the similarities between healthcare consumers and healthcare professionals end. In fact, there is a significant divide between the two audiences, at least from the pharma perspective. While there is an understandable fascination with unlocking the enormous untapped potential of consumer, and plenty of mobile initiatives to boot, the market remains something of an experimental pool of possibilities in which marketing toes are dipped.The physician market, on the other hand, embraced smart phones early, and in this mobile explosion, most of the big bangs--and pharma investment--take place on the clinical side.
"The uptake of mobile technology by physicians simply happened sooner than consumer adoption," says Jim Dayton, senior director, emerging media, at Intouch Solutions. "Physician communications beyond the doctor-rep interactions have always been a pain point for pharma companies. From that perspective, it was an easy business decision for many pharma companies to dip their toe in the mobile application waters by starting with physicians. I expect, as consumer adoption grows, that pharma companies will continue their mobile endeavors and start developing extremely useful apps for patients."
The rate at which physicians have embraced smart phones is truly staggering. As much as XX years ago, XX% of HCPs already owned a device (probably a Palm), according to Manhattan Research. And as technology and functionality evolved, adoption rates rocketed, and today XX% of doctors own a smart phone. Already more than half of those (that's over XX% of all physicians) have used a medical app for professional purposes this year, compared to just one-third last year. Drug references are the most popular type of apps, with around half of HCP smart phone owners reporting that they use them.
And doctors won't use just any old smart phone, either. Since the inception of the iPhone, physicians have become fiercely brand-loyal, with a staggering XX% now owning an Apple device of some kind. Little wonder, then, that in the past year they have also been snapping up iPads like they are going out of fashion. By the end of 2010, already XX% of doctors owned Apple's Ground-breaking tablet device, and in the first few months of this year that figure has shot up to XX%. Manhattan Research reports that an additional XX% plan to purchase one by the end of QX, while adoption could reach a gargantuan XX% by the end of 2011. If physicians loved the iPhone, then they sure are crazy about the iPad.
So, what's the big attraction? Obviously, the Apple platform has already become an integral part of the lives of most doctors and the iPad is a continuation of that same user experience. But more than that, the format of the iPad is particularly conducive to the functions physicians perform and the types of content they access.
"It's as big as a clipboard, fits in an (oversized) lab coat pocket, and offers a richness and utility that's never been possible before," notes Heartbeat's Drummy.
Monique Levy, VP of research at Manhattan Research, has the data to back up these claims. "There's a whole band of things that [physicians] wouldn't have done on their smart phone that they are interested in doing on their iPad." she says. "More than XX% of physicians who are planning to purchase an iPad this year said they'd be interested in showing images, video or other information to a patient. Almost XX% want to use it for remote patient monitoring. And more than XX% are thinking of using it to write clinical notes. This is higher than you would see for a smart phone."
Healthcare and pharma in particular are often accused of being slow to adopt new technologies. Not this time, insists Levy. "Pharma actually jumped in quicker than they did with other technologies, like the web XX years ago," she says. "They showed more urgency, they didn't want to get left behind-They're experimenting with what works and what doesn't. It's like a second chance."
Google's Cowan argues that the industry still has a lot to do, however. "First, pharma must handle the basics. A great first step is to make sure their websites are optimized for the platform. We recently found that XX% of our largest advertisers did not have mobile-optimized websites.The health vertical in particular was at, or near, the bottom in virtually all our tests. Remember, your customers are already looking for you on the mobile web; it's critical that you deliver a great experience."
Intouch's Dayton agrees that pharma is lagging behind. "Mobile is viewed as a channel, when in reality it is a platform for marketers to build long-term, personal relationships with people. Pharma, like all industries, needs to look at mobile through this lens and abandon the idea that they can simply push information to patients, HCPs and caregivers. Only then will they create a useful mobile experience for their brands."
Klick's Goldman believes the industry has inherent issue with innovation. "Pharma lags behind the general business adoption of mobile for the same reasons it does in social," he says. "Almost everyone in this industry wants to be the wildly successful second company to do something but shies away from being the trailblazing first to market. There are a lot of good historic and current reasons for that attitude--not least of which is the intense regulatory pressure we all face in everything we do. We have seen a handful of challenges pop up repeatedly in our mobile projects with our clients, including: demonstrating a viable business case to executives without many supporting case studies, educating your internal review teams about the context of use, clearing mobile apps through an approval process designed to handle documents and screenshots, adverse event reporting concerns for comment pages within app stores (particularly in the iTunes App Store on iOS), and budgetary concerns around the need to develop multiple versions for iOS, Android, and BlackBerry. The good news is that we've developed solutions to all of these challenges and strongly believe that mobile is the next frontier for pharma marketers and sales enablement."
Brian Dolan, editor of MobiHealthNews, also sees regulatory compliance as an obstacle. "Once the US Food & Drug Administration figures out guidance for mobile marketing in health apps, I suspect that pharma companies will be ready to focus on consumers," he says. "Perhaps next year. Maybe."
The world, at least outside of healthcare, has gone app-crazy, with more than XXX,XXX apps available for the iPhone alone. And recently, Apple announced the XX billionth app download--a landmark it reached much quicker than with music MPXs. Unsurprisingly, Klick's Goldman, points out that XX% of mobile users aged XX-XX have downloaded an app (from eMarketer: how mainstream are mobile apps?).
In healthcare, apps for consumers are not there yet, however, with usage skewed towards a younger demographic. According to Manhattan Research, just X% of consumers aged XX+ use healthcare apps, while only X% of their caregivers use them (Cyber-citizen XX.X).
"Your starting position shouldn't be: 'I'm going to build an iPhone app,'" says VLM's Grigsby. "Mobile can't work in a vacuum. We don't want to produce these on-off experiences; usually it's an extension of something else." Grigsby says the opportunity is to provide the point from physical moment to digital experience - and it should be seamless. "We, as marketers, are split into physical and digital marketing activities." he says. "Consumers are not."
Todd Siesky, PR manager at Roche Diabetes Care, agrees. Roche developed the Glucose Buddy app for diabetes patients, X million of whom happen to own iPhones. "We not only have to find our sweet spot," he said, addressing the same BDI delegates, "we have to talk to it."
Goldman predicts a gradual increase in mobile dollars.
"There are a number of factors that will see spending shift more in line with typical spend in digital: increased rate of smart phone adoption by consumers, broader acceptance of mobile apps as health tracking and monitoring tools, the emergence of physician 'prescribed' apps (especially ones that report data into an EMR or similar system) and the digitization of healthcare records. It's also worth noting that a number of our clients are investing in the development of internal apps for sales force enablement, visual aids and e-details."
The danger, as always, for pharma marketers is jumping head-first into a new "fad" without really figuring out where it fits and who might benefit from using it. VLM's Grigsby uses the example of QR code technology, whereby uses scan a special code with their phones that directs them to a website or a special offer, etc. "Clients are often excited by QR codes," he says, "but the reality is we are often talking to ourselves." Grigsby uses the example of positioning QR codes on the back of trucks. "How many people are chasing trucks waving their iPhones?"
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