Lack of meaningful healthcare apps costing millions to the hospitals, report finds

blog-ad-02According to a recent report published by Accenture, only 2% of the patients are actively using the mobile health apps offered by largest US hospitals.  The report further estimates that these hospitals could lose more than $100 million in annual revenue if they fail to align healthcare mobile apps to the services consumer’s demand.

Among the 100 largest U.S. hospitals, which are assessed for the mobile app usage, the research found that two-thirds (66%) of these hospitals offer patients mobile health applications and approximately, two-fifths (38%) of that subset developed in-house apps for its consumers.However, many of these mobile applications have failed to win over more patients, owing to the non-alignment of their functions with respect to the user experience. For example, only 11% of the mobile health apps offer at least one of the three most desired functions, the consumers expect which include the ability to book, change and cancel appointments; access to medical records; and ability to request prescription refills. Further, the report found that about 7% of patients have switched healthcare providers because of poor experiences with online customer service channels such as web chat and mobile apps.

Accenture suggested that healthcare providers will likely see higher switching rates in future as the service expectations from the consumers will be high. The switching rates are likely to be on par with the cable TV providers (11%), mobile phone industry (9%), or even retail (30%).

The researchers analyzed both the mobile health apps that are being offered by the hospitals as well as independent digital health disruptors such as ZocDoc, WebMD and Good Rx, through iTunes app stores and Google Play. The report further suggests a way for the hospitals to improve the customer experience which is to partner with digital disruptors to create mobile platforms aimed at specific patient demands. It also suggests the hospitals to build in house solutions as the pace and size of the mobile health technology is expected to grow faster and larger.