Mobile Research Tools that You Can Utilize in Your Next Healthcare Study

three businessmen using their smartphones and one businessman using his tablet all of which are conducting mobile researchDid you know that in the USA alone, 95% of the people today own a mobile phone of any kind? 

The continuous expansion of smartphone ownership has significantly influenced a trend in market research because it offers a different and more convenient approach compared to traditional research. More and more researchers are taking advantage of using mobile market research because of its ability to add undeniable value to traditional data-gathering and distribution methods all the while being more cost-effective and convenient both to researchers and respondents. 

Fortunately, mobile research advancement isn’t limited to just one sector. It has penetrated a number of sectors, healthcare included. In fact, according to statistics, mobile users look up health-related topics online 68% of the time.  In addition to that, a lot of medical facilities are now using mobile applications to restructure communication between patients, clinical personnel, providers, etc. because of reduced costs and the ability to better manage a patient’s condition round the clock. Wearable devices for fitness and health such as fitness trackers can be easily linked to mobile phones now. 

Mobile solutions that you can utilize when conducting a study in the healthcare industry:

  1. Mobile surveys

    This is an efficient and cost-effective means of obtaining data in conjunction with other online data gathering methodologies including web-enabled IDIs and FGDs. For instance, you can use mobile surveys to easily obtain insights regarding the expansion of “mhealth” or mobile health implementation both from the patient’s point-of-view and from individuals working in the healthcare industry. Also, according to a poll about survey preferences, 65% of respondents said that they prefer taking surveys through their phones and tablets rather than the traditional surveys on paper. 

 

  1. Audio diaries and patient journals

  2. This is another means of obtaining insights, thoughts, and feelings of clinically-inclined respondents through real-time voice recording. It is also a suggested alternative for patients in need of counseling but are either not comfortable sharing through face-to-face consultation or are not ideally situated in areas near appropriate facilities. This way, patients can share their feelings in the comfort of their own homes.  Patients can also document changes in their physique through photos and detailed captions in a way that you would normally do when writing on your journal. 

 

  1. GEO Triggering

  2. This is a means of obtaining authentic insights by triggering specific activities that will start or end based on the patient’s location with the help of GPS.  For example, you can better track the appearance of allergies and rashes depending on where you are located and what activities you’re participating in through GEO triggering.  

 

Apart from these efficient mobile solutions, another important consideration when it comes to research in the healthcare industry is making sure that the respondents’ or patients’ personally identifiable information is secured and protected. That being said, you have to make sure that the service provider you are coordinating with is consistently conducting a comprehensive HIPAA audit, an annual review of compliance practices, and training programs for its employees to assure you that they remain in line with the HIPAA requirements. 

 

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