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September 24, 2012

Healthcare Mobile Web Presence

It is pretty much a given that healthcare organizations, medical offices, and physicians maintain a web presence given how frequently consumers turn to the internet and google especially for health information.

Given that... I would like to point out that more and more of this web traffic occurs on a smartphone rather than a computer and in an effort to retain consumers who seek healthcare, it behooves that any web presence be also mobile friendly.

According to my own personal web statistics using google analytics (free), in the month of Sept 2012, more than half (59.7%) of all web visits occurred using a smartphone.

Compare this to 53% in July 2012 and 39% in January 2012.

In January 2011, it was a laughably small 12.5%.

Overall, mobile web browsing accounts for 20% of all web traffic in North America. Cisco in February 2012 predicted that:

"global mobile data traffic will increase 18x between 2011 and 2016... By the end of 2012, the number of mobile-connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and by 2016 there will be 1.4 mobile devices per capita. There will be over 10 billion mobile-connected devices in 2016, including machine-to-machine (M2M) modules-exceeding the world's population at that time (7.3 billion)."

Also, google's own internal research revealed that half of consumers will use a website less often if it does not work well with a smartphone even if they like a business. In essence, you WILL lose customers at the moments that matter without a website specifically made for mobile devices.

It is based on just such statistics that persuaded me to take the time and money to convert my practice website such that it is now mobile friendly earlier this month.

So what does it mean to have a mobile friendly web presence?

It means that a consumer does not have to enlarge or scroll around horizontally to view a single webpage. Information appears formatted specifically for the smaller smartphone screens automatically.

In the past, there was a call for healthcare to have a web presence. In the future, that may not be good enough... modern IT demands a web presence that is mobile-friendly. Indeed, if one made decisions purely based on statistics, the focus should be on "mobile presence" rather than "web presence".

Food for thought...

Sources:
Mobile-friendly sites turn visitors into customers. Google 9/25/12.

Google Research: No Mobile Site = Lost Customers. Forbes 9/25/12

Mobile is Not a Sideshow. Information Week 9/21/12

Cisco Visual Networking Index: Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update, 2011–2016. Cisco 2/14/12

Mobile Devices Now Make Up About 20 Percent of U.S. Web Traffic. All Things D 5/25/12.
Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids. Google+ Christopher Chang, MD Bio

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