With so many businesses and organizations going mobile, should hospitals?
Around 42% of Americans own a smart phone. A study performed by Pew Trust, said that 59 percent of U.S. adults access the Internet wirelessly using a laptop or a mobile device. This study also stated that 61 percent of those accessing the Internet wirelessly are searching for health-related information.
Hospitals in Middle Tennessee are investing in a mobile version of their website. They want to attract new patients, and build a stronger connection with current patients. The region has a highly competitive market, and the hospitals hope to gain an edge by having an easily accessible mobile website.
Likewise, Cleveland Clinic has launched a mobile website allowing smart phone users to access information about the hospital as well as search for doctors. This site allows users to search for doctors based on name, location, or department. They can also see general information such as where to park, hospital hours, etc.
More and more Americans turn to the internet as a way to gather medical information, and more consumers are utilizing hand-held devices to access the internet.
I know from personal experience, I only turn on a computer to look something up if it is too hard to do on my iPhone. Creating mobile websites can be a bonus for many businesses. However, they do have some downsides if not executed correctly.
Meredith College has a mobile website, which is great, but it is vastly different from their regular website and hard to use at times. My point is, if you are going to do a mobile website, make it correlate with your regular website. This is especially important if consumers are used to using your website; they may get frustrated and confused when learning how to navigate a mobile website.
I am not sold quite yet on the fact that hospitals need a mobile website, but having one certainly can’t hurt them. If you needed the information right away, for example, if some one is allergic to bee stings and you didn’t know what to do, you could look it up on a mobile website. However, if it wasn’t an emergency I think that I would rather sit at a computer and research than do it on my phone.
What are your thoughts on mobile sites for hospitals?
Photo by Anoto AB