Today’s consumers expect to have information at their fingertips. Take my son Jacob for example. He is 18 years old and constantly on his iPhone. While I typically use a computer to do research, my son will use his iPhone. I have come to the realization, the way people access information is changing and mobile solutions are becoming more critical than ever before.
I was inspired to do some research online and found that mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) account for 60% of time spent on digital media compared to desktop computers. When it comes to consumer demand for immediate information, the benefits industry isn’t immune. There are nearly 43,700 medical apps available in the Apple store today, 69% of which are targeted to consumers and patients. People want instant access to healthcare answers and details about their insurance benefits. These days, employees no longer consider this a luxury—it’s an expectation. This is why it’s critical to promote benefits that feature user-friendly mobile apps.
Benefits at Your Fingertips
The most effective healthcare apps enable employees to research medical options, receive immediate care and manage healthcare expenses. Here are some examples.
- Teladoc offers employees and their families 24/7 access to non-emergency healthcare consultations with U.S. board-certified doctors via phone, online video or mobile app. This valuable app makes it easy for employees to request a consultation, keeping them healthy and at work.
- Health Advocate helps employees navigate complex healthcare and insurance-related issues. Their free app gives employees on-the-go access to Health Cost Estimator™, a medical services price comparison tool that allows employees to make more cost-effective healthcare decisions.
- Doctors Online has an app, providing employees with timely medical answers from an expert medical team—all at their fingertips.
- NBRx Card allows employees to receive a discount on prescriptions at the pharmacy. Employees can also use the app to compare drug prices at different pharmacies. This encourages consumers to shop around for the lowest prescription price.
Jacob will be entering the workforce in four years, and I have no doubt he’ll be looking for ways to access healthcare and benefit information on his smartphone. Your clients and their employees are no different. It’s time for you to take advantage of this growing phenomenon and get on board with products that offer mobile apps.
 According to a report co-authored by Murray Aiken, executive director of the IMS Institute of Healthcare Informatics.
--Marti Powles, COO
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