What to learn from digital transformation in health and wellness with ALive’s app growth

Mobile health, also referred to as mHealth, encompasses health services provided through mobile devices. While mHealth refers to all mobile devices that have the ability to transmit data, increasingly widespread ownership of smartphones has made smartphones the most popular platform for mHealth delivery.

 

In Thailand, it’s vital for companies to build a strong digital foundation for collecting user insights and behaviors, as it reflects on how their products can impact their target users—something that’s very important to get right in the market. The mHealth boom has been the perfect opportunity to do just that for mobile marketers in Thailand’s health and fitness vertical.

 

COVID-accelerated mHealth growth

 

The health and medical industry was among the top three fields to grow in prevalence on mobile devices as part of rapid digital growth during the COVID-19 pandemic. From fitness trackers like Fitbit and female health trackers like Clue to mental health services like Headspace, popular mHealth apps paved the way for more traditional brick-and-mortar businesses, as well as new and emerging health-focused companies, to join the mHealth space.

 

Overwhelmed medical sites, lockdowns, social distancing measures, and quarantines led to an increased at-home remote monitoring, mobile patient data, virtual programs for chronic conditions, video consultations, and e-prescriptions. Data collection during this time had to quickly adapt to the requirements of Thailand’s Personal Data Protection Act (similar to Europe’s GDPR). This evolution in health and wellness technology has established a bar for patient convenience that has remodeled the health industry as we once knew it. Developing a strategic direction was more imperative than ever for mHealth companies.

 

ALive powered by AIA was one such app to enter Thailand’s growing mHealth market during this time. Available to download on both the App Store and Google Play, ALive provides holistic health and wellness advice to users through features such as telemed, a community forum, educational health content, and My Diary, which provides a calorie tracker, moment log, food journey, growth tracker, and vaccine log. With 300,000 users at the end of 2021, shows ALive had successfully leveraged COVID’s mHealth growth; the team was ready to strategize its position in a post-pandemic future.

 

Planning for the future of health and wellness apps

 

By 2025, the global digital health market is expected to surpass 500 billion U.S. dollars. During this time, the global mobile health market alone is predicted to reach 189 billion U.S. dollars.

 

The increasing size of the health and wellness industry will lead to radical mobile healthcare solutions in the palm of your hand. Here are a few existing innovations we will see evolving in coming years.

 

  1. More biometric data: Data types available to collect from mHealth devices, especially in the form of wearables, are expanding. From the comfort of your home, you can gather data on blood pressure, oxygen levels, temperature, quality of sleep, lung capacity, BMI, bone mass, and blood glucose levels. Athletes are able to easily measure stride length, foot strike angle, and foot ground contact time. Combined with mobile apps, this biometric data can provide real-time suggestions to improve the user’s health with instant visualization of cause and effect.
  2. Wider variety of mHealth devices: The diversity of mHealth devices is increasing. Portable devices with biometric sensors are already available in the form of tattoos, jewelry, pills, gloves, beds, and shoes. As more everyday devices become “smart” through the introduction of various biometric sensors, consumers will be enticed by accessibility and begin to track and use wider ranges of health data.
  3. Increased mobile healthcare integrations: Virtual consultations surged throughout the pandemic, allowing patients to chat with their general practitioner over a video call on their phone. Now we’ll see a continued roll-out of healthcare services on mobile devices as doctors begin to link up with the wealth of first-party consumer data. Companies like Apple are already offering sharing features for tracked biometric data to notify nominated individuals to receive alerts when defined measurements are outside of a set healthy range.

 

However, an increase in health and wellness apps comes with an increase in mobile advertising fraud. Ad fraud can take the form of spoofed attribution, spoofed users, and/or in-app bots. In the case of ALive, Adjust has helped to respond to concerns of fraud so that the team could get back to focusing on a growth strategy for their app. Adjust’s fraud prevention suite helped them understand where fraudulent activity was originating. This insight ultimately led to a reduction in user acquisition cost, a nearly $60,000 saving, and a 60% increase in conversion.

 

With a fraud strategy in play, Adjust aligned ALive’s CRM data to Adjust’s fraud prevention reporting suite, streamlining ALive’s reporting to help them see the true end-to-end results of their marketing performance post-elimination of fraudulent leads. AIA was then ready to turn to Adjust’s Audience Builder to effectively segment and communicate with their legitimate target users.

 

Overcoming saturation in the health and wellness vertical

 

Another consequence of continued mHealth growth that’s important to note is the chance the mobile health and wellness vertical will become oversaturated with competing apps. There are already thousands of healthcare apps available for both consumers and healthcare professionals, covering lifestyle and mental health to fitness and nutrition. In Q1 2021 the number of mHealth apps available on the Apple App Store reached its peak to date of almost 54,000 apps. Now there are over 51,000 apps, up by two percent compared to the previous quarter. Likewise, the number of mHealth apps on the Google Play Store peaked at over 65,300 apps in Q4 2021, and currently sits at over 52,500 apps, up nearly four percent on the previous quarter.

 

To keep your app performing in a highly competitive market you’ll need a robust marketing strategy. In a vertical that is particularly personal, personalization is fundamental. Provide users with tailored information and custom recommendations, and create a dialogue with the user to help them feel supported on their health journey. Make sure that the data you are collecting is securely protected and communicate this to your users. Work with specialist healthcare providers to deliver features that are truly effective, and keep an eye on what cutting-edge mHealth technology releases you can align your own technology with. Just as importantly, work on a strategy for releasing gamification updates to your app to keep users regularly engaged.

 

It’s clear that mHealth is much more than a passing pandemic trend. Mobile devices have now become an integral part of the health and wellness customer lifecycle.

 

We have successfully navigated the health and wellness industry segueing into the mobile space at a breakneck speed during a data privacy evolution. Now, we can expect to continue a (better-paced) march toward an expanded breadth of mHealth devices, trends, and applications as consumers demand more accessibility and transparency in health care.