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The Threefold Path to Patient Engagement – Part 3: Right Apps
Posted: 9/19/2011 12:47:15 PM
by Amir Kishon, CEO | with 18 comments
The Right Apps Checklist

In order to design the right apps we need to focus on making our apps meaningful. The little tools and trackers described earlier do not represent any significant value to users. For example, calculating BMI is easy and consequently most sites that discuss nutrition will include a BMI Calculator even though such “tools” are not meaningful to users.

Based on our experience, users are looking for apps that hold their hands, so to speak, while walking them through their journey. We identify the following characteristics for the right apps:

1. We are living in a “Me” centered world and our apps should provide users with highly personalized plans. Such plans include personalized assessment, goals, reports and adjustments. This fills the fundamental need to “help me achieve my goals”.

2. The plan should be meaningfully connected to the actual treatment, product or service. Many companies realize that they need a plan but they drop the ball by providing plans that are not meaningfully connected to their products or services and by that limiting the value of their apps. For example, a diet company that just offers a generic “meal plan” tool would lose their clients. There are hundreds of meal planning tools out there, why would clients find value with yet another one? What clients are looking for is a planner that is not only simple and easy to use, but also will educate them on how to use the products and services to achieve their goals.

3. This is a journey and journeys take time. Consequently, offering a tool that offers a one time analysis or plan without actually walking the walk and accompanying the user on an ongoing basis through his or her journey would stop short of proving long term value.

4. Did I mention that such plan should be simple and fun? We are lazy and some of us are not rocket scientists, so we need our plan to be simple to understand, engaging and fun to use. This is obvious.

5. Finally, we have legs and they take us to places. The app should be there wherever we need it. Smart phones and iPads come to the rescue.

To recap, the Right Apps Checklist includes:

#1 Offering personalized assessment, goals, planners and trackers
#2 Connecting the plan to the actual treatment, services or products in a meaningful way
#3 Offering continuous guidance over time
#4 Making it simple and fun
#5 Offering accessibility everywhere
 
So we have conquered the app frontier, are we done? Based on our experience, you need one more ingredient to cook a great dish.

Next time: Right Content
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