Tag Archives: mobile initiatives

The New Digital Mobile Consumer: Topics

Welcome to The New Digital Mobile Consumer.
An overview of the topics discussed in the TCS Global Trend Study – September 2012:

The CEO’s Point of View for TCS Digital Mobile Consumer Study

Introduction and Key Findings

Findings: All Regions
Comparing Results Across the Four Regions

Findings: North America

Findings: Europe

Findings: Asia-Pacific

Findings: Latin America

Findings: Global Industries

Case Studies
Case Studies in Pioneering Mobility Initiatives

Implications and Recommendations

Demographics and Research Approach

Download the Report and Infographic

TCS Digital Mobile Consumer Report

            Infographic: Responding To The Digital Mobile Consumer                    Infographic: Engaging Digital Mobile Consumers

PDF Report »
                       Infographic: Responding »       Infographic: Engaging »

Who Will Win the War? Not Necessarily the Companies That Spend the Most

TCS Digital Mobile Consumer StudyThese and many other mobile initiatives to date will eventually show what “sticks” and what doesn’t. We believe every consumer company has an opportunity to generate more business with consumers and increase their loyalty through mobile technologies and new ways of doing business with them. That is, we see enormous opportunities for companies to follow consumers – even if they number in the millions — to use mobile technology and mobile-friendly ways of conducting business and reap substantial benefits. However, the value of the mobile initiative must be compelling enough to convince consumers to “follow” these companies back through their mobile devices – to want to download and use a company’s mobile apps, to want to search on and deploy its mobile websites.

In this way, one can imagine that simply spending heavily on mobility initiatives is no guarantee of success. From our survey, the biggest spenders on initiatives aimed at digital mobile consumers were not at all the most successful ones. How do we know?

We grouped the 664 survey respondents into two categories based on how they answered one of our questions: “Compared to your biggest competitors, how would you rate your firm’s success at addressing consumers who interact with your organization through digital mobile devices?” We provided a seven-point scale – from a 1 (“far behind”) and a 2 (“behind”) to a 4 (“neither ahead nor behind”) and a 6 (“ahead”) and 7 (“far ahead”). There was barely any difference between “leaders” (answering with a 6 or 7) and “laggards” (answering with a 1 or 2) in their 2012 spending on initiatives to win over the digital mobile consumer (technology, consulting, IT services, etc.). (See Exhibit IX-4.)

 Exhibit IX-4: Q16/Global: What Companies Will Spend in 2012 and 2015 on
Technologies and Services to Respond to Digital Mobile Consumers
(in US$ Millions, Adjusted for Average Revenue/Company)

Exhibit IX-4: Q16/Global: What Companies Will Spend in 2012 and 2015 on Technologies and Services to Respond to Digital Mobile Consumers (in US$ Millions, Adjusted for Average Revenue/Company)

The ratio of mobile consumer spending as a percent of company revenue was virtually the same for “leaders” and “laggards.” And this was the case for both questions on investments – for this year and their projection for 2015. What that tells us is that being successful in this arena requires spending on the right mobile capabilities for consumers – not spending more than the competition.

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Implications and Recommendations
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How Pennsylvania health care provider Geisinger uses mobile to stay connected to patients and physicians

For the past decade, Geisinger Health System has been ahead of the curve in embracing information technology to connect with patients, medical professionals and the community; improve both health and efficiency; and save money. Patients can use their personal computers to check their test results, send messages to their doctors and fill out health questionnaires. Family members and friends of new mothers can even tap into Geisinger’s online site for viewing pictures of the newborn.

The Danville, Pa.-based healthcare system now hopes to expand its reach beyond consumers’ and medical professionals’ personal computers to their mobile devices. Geisinger’s far-flung operations give it a powerful reason to do so. The $2.7 billion (revenue) non-profit organization serves a wide swath of rural Pennsylvania — 44 counties in the central and eastern parts of the state that are far from its two biggest cities (Philadelphia and Pittsburgh). For many Geisinger patients and medical professionals, traveling to and from the organization’s five hospitals and 39 primary care clinics can be time-consuming. Mobile technology’s communication and coordination tools can help Geisinger patients avoid unnecessary trips to the clinic, remember appointments and know which medications to take and when.


But the second reason Geisinger is so intent on exploring mobile technology is that technology-driven operational change is in its DNA. Widely praised in recent years by everyone from President Obama to Time Magazine, the organization is considered a pioneer in providing cost efficient and quality health care. It has already embraced technology to streamline recordkeeping and communicate with patients. As Geisinger CEO Dr. Glenn Steele Jr. stated in the company’s 2011 annual report, “In order to reengineer healthcare to better serve the patient and keep costs under control, you have to do everything – everything–differently.”

So what has Geisinger already done with mobile technology? So far it’s been lots of experimentation, intermingled with strands of enthusiastic adoption, according to ChaninWendling, Geisinger’s manager of eHealth.

Two years ago Wendling joined Geisinger’s Clinical Innovation Division, dedicated to finding more effective and efficient ways to deliver healthcare. Its charter is clear. “Our division helps support better quality for patients, safety or improving the cost model – anything that benefits healthcare in the organization,” Wendling says. “We help the entire Geisinger organization – including our primary care, specialty care and hospitals — figure out how to improve the way they work.”

The Clinical Innovation Division has a rare luxury among healthcare companies: It doesn’t get involved in the day-to-day interactions of nurses, doctors, administrative staff and patients. That frees up the division’s employees to focus on the big picture of Geisinger’s busy overall operations.

Even before the organization launched its Clinical Innovation Division, Geisinger has been a pioneer in the creative use of IT in health care. For example, since the 1990s the organization has been an early adopter of electronic medical records (EMR), which has boosted the quality, cost and safety of health care.


The Focus of Mobile: Improving Patient Care

Geisinger AppGeisinger has connected itself to patients and medical professionals online for a decade. In 2001 Geisinger launched a patient portal called MyGeisinger, enabling patients to replace phone calls and even some visits with email communication and a secure web site. Ten years later, about a third of the system’s 600,000 active patients have registered to use the system – about 204,000 in all. Patients use MyGeisinger to send notes to physicians, enter data on their conditions, and schedule appointments with primary care and women’s health physicians. In turn, Geisinger uses the portal to remind patients of upcoming exams or medical conditions they need to watch. A 2010 article in a health care journal said the portal had reduced by 25% the number of patients who came in for a visit after surgery, and eliminated about 12,000 phone calls a month from patients.15 Efficiencies such as these are critical for all healthcare providers, and especially so for Geisinger, since it also owns a health insurance plan, with about 300,000 subscribers today.

In the last 1½ years, Geisinger has ramped up efforts to get more patients to enter data on their health. Through MyGeisinger, the organization surveys patients as well as provides questionnaires for those with acute conditions. For example, those with persistent asthma are asked to fill out an online questionnaire (the Asthma Control Test, a national standard of care for persistent asthmatics) about their condition every 90 days. Previously, patients were only able to complete the asthma control test during a clinic visit using a paper form. “A lot of patients don’t come in every 90 days,” says Wendling. “So by using a third-party questionnaire in MyGeisinger, you don’t have to have a clinic appointment to fill in the tool.” The information is included in patients’ electronic medical records. Those who score poorly get follow-up calls. “Essentially, we’re trying to check up on people and make sure their asthma doesn’t get out of control and they end up in the emergency room. It allows us to check in on patients more frequently,” Wendling explains.

Despite its impressive online innovations, Geisinger is still in the early stages of using mobile apps for both patients and physicians. Rather than a sales tool for gaining new patients, Geisinger’s mobile initiatives focus on using the technology to help patients engage in their healthcare, such as patient reminders for their medical appointments and their medications. For example, in December 2011 Geisinger implemented a standard app from the health care software firm Epic. The smartphone app gives patients remote access to their MyGeisinger data – test results, health summaries, and more. The impetus to make MyGeisinger easily accessible from mobile devices came two years ago, in September 2010, when physician leader Dr. Thomas Graf suggested to Wendling that Geisinger should be doing more with mobile devices. “We were just talking about general things and then he said one of the things he’d like to see us do is get into the smartphone space,” Wendling says. “He said, ‘We have all our patients walking around with these devices and we don’t do anything with them.’ That stuck in my head. So we started to look into what other healthcare organizations were doing with these tools and how we might use them for patient care.”

Today, mobile access is making it easier for Geisinger patients to stay up-to-date with their health. Adoption for the mobile app that provides smartphone access to MyGeisinger has been slower than expected, even though patients who use the app have reacted enthusiastically. Seven months after launch, about 1% of MyGeisinger users have used the mobile app, a lower rate than the 8 to 10% that Wendling had expected. (She noted that 13% of MyGeisinger log-ins are from mobile devices.) Wendling believes additional marketing campaigns should raise that percentage. To date, the company has promoted the mobile app on its website, the MyGeisinger home page, press articles and Twitter. Still, the organization’s goal is for 25% of MyGeisinger portal users to use the mobile app by 2015.

But that’s not the only mobile access that Geisinger has in play. The health care system has also optimized its popular iNursery site for mobile devices, enabling friends and family to “visit” new babies in the hospital through their smart phones. (See link.) Another site that Geisinger has built, called Find-a-Doc, helps mobile users locate physicians and clinics in the Geisinger network.


Geisinger Mobile Initiatives for the Next Three Years

For its patients, the healthcare company’s mobile initiatives will focus on the concept of “patient activation” – essentially, encouraging consumers to take more responsibility for their health. “The idea is that to really improve results, you need patients to be concerned about their health and believe in their role in improving it,” Wendling explains. To further that goal, Geisinger is exploring ways to engage patients through mobile apps, text messages, Twitter, Facebook, widgets and games. For example, Wendling’s team is developing a wellness game to be played on both a mobile app and the web portal. Her team has also implemented a pilot wellness site that includes a mobile app that tracks people’s walking and running activities and automatically uploads them onto a cardio log so that they can monitor their own health (and see the impact of daily exercise).

Geisinger is also launching text message options for patients. They currently pilot text messages to mobile users to remind them of upcoming medical appointments. “We’re pursuing a lot in that space now,” Wendling says. In the fall, Geisinger will launch a text message program for patients on cholesterol medications who are not refilling their prescriptions on a timely basis. This program will send a text message to remind patients daily to take their meds. Down the road, Wendling sees this as a broader opportunity to involve other family members in sharing information about when the patient needs medications and or when appointments are so that they are less likely to forget.
Based on previous healthcare innovations, it won’t be a surprise if Geisinger gets “mobile right” before many other healthcare systems. As Wendling points out, the organization has “a culture of innovation which sets the tone for trying new things.” In addition, having a division dedicated to clinical innovation makes a “huge difference,” she says. “Other divisions often don’t have the time that’s needed to simply try new things.”

15 E. Gardner, “Will Patient Portals Open the Door to Better Care” Health Data Management, March 1, 2010.


Case Studies
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Latin America: Led by Retailers, Companies are Highly Responsive to the Digital Mobile Consumer – Key Findings

Key Findings:

  • Latin American retailers lead the four sectors we surveyed in this region in reshaping their businesses to win over the digital mobile consumer. They have the highest percentage of consumer purchases, marketing campaigns and service transactions through the mobile channel.
  • The retail sector is spending the most this year on “mobile-friendly” ways of doing business. But by 2015, their mobile investments will be overtaken by those of consumer product companies.
  • The two most important success factors in creating effective mobile businesses is enabling consumers to do everything they want to do with a company through their mobile device, and getting customer-facing departments to work in unison on mobile initiatives.

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Findings: Latin America
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North America: Key Success Factors in Winning Over the Digital Mobile Consumer: Creating Quality Apps and Getting Functions to Work Together

Numerous challenges confront companies that want to respond effectively and cost-efficiently to consumers who increasingly use mobile devices to transact business. Therefore, we wanted to know which elements in responding effectively and efficiently to the digital mobile consumer were considered the most important. We constructed a list of 14 factors that we had heard repeatedly in our interviews. On a scale of 1-5 (1=not at all important, 5= of highest importance), we asked survey respondents to grade these 14 success factors. To be sure, they aren’t the only factors. But they were enough to give us an understanding of what factors are more important than others.

What did we find? First, not one success factor stands much higher than all the others. (See Exhibit III-14.) The average scores were all between 3 and 4 on our scale of 1 to 5. However, the three highest-rated factors were these:

  • Developing mobile applications that are both useful and easy to use for consumers
  • Getting the business functions that “touch” consumers – especially marketing, sales and service – to work in a unified way on mobile initiatives
  • Making sure the company’s mobile apps or mobile-optimized web pages appear prominently in local search results. That is, when consumers enter a term into a search engine such as Google or Bing, does a company’s mobile app or mobile web pages appear near or at the top of search results?

Exhibit III-14: Q21/North America: Key Success Factors in
Winning Over Digital Mobile Consumers (Scale of Importance, 15)

 Exhibit III-14: Q21/North America: Key Success Factors in Winning Over Digital Mobile Consumers (Scale of Importance, 15)


Findings: North America
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