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Using a Healthcare Communications App? New Data Reveals a Big Weakness

A few months ago, the Pew Research Center updated its "Mobile Fact Sheet" for the first time in several years. It includes a lot of interesting facts and figures about the mobile revolution, including statistics concerning smartphone and cellphone ownership.

Among the figures that caught our attention: 92% of Medicare-aged adults (65 and older) own a cellphone. Of these users, 29% do not own a smartphone — in other words, they only own and use a cellphone.

If your healthcare organization is relying upon an app to communicate with patients, and your patient base includes Medicare-aged adults, the latter of these figures should be troubling. It essentially means that 3 out of every 10 of your Medicare patients cannot use your app. That's on top of those patients who are not currently using your app for any number of reasons (e.g., never installed the app, forgot about the app, found the app difficult to navigate, forgot their account information, experienced technical problems).

Let's turn our attention back to the first figure we shared: 92% of adults 65 and over own a cellphone. That's great news for the increasing number of organizations using text messaging as a communication tool. All mobile phones can receive and interact with texts. Nearly all texts are read by recipients, and most texts are read within just minutes of being received.

In total, Pew reports that 97% of American adults own a cellphone. That's why we say that in a mobile-first world, the effectiveness of texting cannot be denied. If your organization isn't using two-way text messaging or is looking to expand how it's using texting, reach out to us. We'd love to tell you how our clients, which include some of the largest and most respected healthcare organizations, are leveraging text messaging to improve their patient and employee engagement.



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