The healthcare industry has undergone drastic changes over the past few years. With advancements in technology, patients now have access to more information than ever before. This helps them educate themselves and generate and interpret medical data for better outcomes. This has also led physicians and medical practices to change their conventional marketing strategies to new digital marketing and online marketing to ensure that new patients visit them, and also to retain existing patients.
Mobiles and Mobile Apps Gaining Prominence
The year 2013 was the big year for the adoption of mobile medical apps and today almost everyone uses mobile health apps to know more about their medical condition. Cardiologist Eric Topol, a professor at the Scripps Research Institute in San Diego says that the medical industry has reached a turning point. He was prompted to say this when one of his patients sent him a screenshot of the electrocardiogram he had run on himself with a smartphone. Today there are more than 165,000 health related apps that are available for downloading and monitoring the wellness of an individual. There are many apps now available with another device or sensor that can monitor glucose, take blood pressure readings etc. An app called Dexcom G5 lets patients place a sensor under the skin to take continuous glucose readings that are transmitted to and graphed on a phone.
Technological leaps can make a huge contribution to the healthcare field because:
- This is a time when there is a growing shortage of primary care providers.
- Shifting the responsibility to the patient would reduce the providers’ burden; it will also help patients stay on top of their symptoms.
- ER visits can be significantly avoided.
So, in such a changing scenario, medical professionals must utilize the potential of the Internet and make sure that their targeted audience group find them on the World Wide Web. Let us examine three major reasons why doctors must market themselves.
3 Reasons Why Doctors Must Market Themselves
Now patients don’t have to rely on family or friends’ recommendation to choose a doctor; instead they have the luxury of looking up for the doctor’s information online. Therefore it is important for physicians and healthcare providers to have a strong online presence. Prospective patients attach great importance to another patient’s review when it comes to healthcare decisions. Getting or posting positive reviews about a physician or medical practice shows credibility and influences patients to choose between doctors. Following are three reasons why doctors should market themselves in the current digital scenario.
- Patients research doctor reviews before visiting a doctor: Years ago choosing a doctor was an unorganized procedure, patients would ask their family or friends regarding a physician. But today with the help of websites like Yelp, patients have access to reviews and information about a doctor or medical practice. It helps patients to find doctors in their location, filter by price, neighbourhood, ranking and more. With review sites and medical websites becoming highly relevant, doctors and medical practices need to build a strong online presence for their survival. Doctors and medical practices with poor online presence could be at a serious disadvantage.
- Natural remedies have become popular: Many people are now aware of the importance of leading a healthy life and they give priority to eating healthy food, exercising and going for natural remedies. Therefore doctors should update themselves with current health and nutrition trends so that patients can match their views with doctors. Also, including content on natural remedies on the physician’s website also helps in attracting more patients.
- Medical websites teach people to use their own judgement: Many informative medical websites educate people about medical facts and patients are now empowered with a huge amount of information about healthcare. They needn’t consult a physician to clear a doubt or regarding some health condition. Some physicians may find it advantageous to include relevant medical information in their websites. Patients researching specific health conditions and treatment options available would be persuaded to consult a doctor who provides them with reliable information on the same.
Advancements in technology help patients and doctors a great deal, but it is still important for patients to put their trust on physicians for effective medical care. For medical practices and physicians it is very important to implement the right internet marketing strategies and also have a mobile optimized website. Their focus should be on projecting their services and how it would prove useful to the target group. They have to build credibility and instil confidence in the patients regarding their services. With a strong website and effective social media presence, physicians can ensure that their services are made available to a wider section of people.