Most of us in the marketing and market research worlds are, by now, pretty much living on our phones. Mobile devices are our primary portals to the online world, vying for our attention even when we’re in front of a desktop or laptop or bigger screens.

And data from our most recent physician and consumer research drives home just how profoundly that shift is impacting healthcare info-seeking. Consider:


  • Mobile Rx info-seeking is now poised to eclipse desktop:

    • In 2016, more than half of U.S. consumers (54%) who research Rx drugs online used a smartphone to do so – up from 46% in 2015 – while the use of desktops and laptops for Rx info-seeking declined from 76% to 67%.
    • In many disease categories, mobile searching already outpaces desktop – for example, queries including multiple sclerosis, diabetes and breast cancer are searched more often on mobile devices than desktop/laptops.*



  • Mobile has a big impact at the point of care:

    • Thirty percent of those consumers who accessed Rx info on their smartphones discussed a prescription drug with a doctor or nurse as a result.
    • One in ten (9%) online consumers – and one in three cancer patients – looked up drug info on smartphones at the doctor’s office.


  • Physicians are mobile-reliant throughout their workday and at home:

    • 45% of physicians use smartphones to access digital resources for professional purposes between patient consults, and almost one in four (23%) do so during patient consults. Forty-three percent use tablets to access digital professional resources at home.


In short, if people are interacting with your brand – there's a good chance it's on a small screen. And even if your website is optimized for mobile viewing, it doesn’t necessarily mean you are delivering the best possible mobile experience. Our work mapping the digital ecosystems surrounding brands has found that in some key categories, many product websites are dominated by mobile traffic, making it essential for brands to take stock of how they are delivering value to customers across screens. This might seem like a no brainer, but we found many problems and bumps in the landscape.


Here are a few questions to ask when you are auditing your mobile experience:


1. Do you have a strong understanding of how device behavior and info/resource needs vary across the patient journey and physician workflow? Of how this varies by geography, specialty, patient condition, demographics, and other factors?


2. Are you prioritizing content in a way that reflects how your audience uses different devices? For example, physicians tend to use their smartphones for quick-access clinical support resources like formulary info, while favoring more immersive media and long-form reading on tablets.


3. Is your message clear and focused? Are you providing a direct path to desired behavior?


4. Are technical and design issues like mobile website speed causing you to lose your audience?Are forms and other requests for user input or interaction optimized for smaller screens?


5. Is an app, rather than a website, best suited to your objective? Should your app be single-function or multi-purpose?


6. How is Google’s mobile-first indexing impacting your SEO?


7. Are you tailoring your search strategy to account for the different types of information people search for on mobile versus desktop? Are you presenting information in the right formats for these screens?


8. Are you optimizing cross-channel/screen experiences that often include mobile info-seeking – such as TV ad viewing, symptom presentation, and after receiving a script?



What low hanging fruit and mission critical fixes do you need to prioritize first? 

DRG Digital has the data, experts and frameworks to help you audit and improve your interactions with your patients and physicians on mobile devices and across screens.

Contact us at to learn how to improve your brand customer experience. 



*Source: Google Keyword Planner, US – English, Jan 2016 – Dec 2016

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