The Longevity

Market Research Determines Success Factors for Digital Health Coaching Apps

Berlin-based research2guidance has released a list of six “success factors”, based on market research, that are linked with the success of mobile health coaching apps. These apps, which he calls a “win/win” for startups and established industry leaders, provide startups with access to larger health markets while allowing established players to mobilize around new solutions to improve patient care through strategic partnerships. Key success factors for mobile health apps include chat based interfaces, the ability to communicate and share data with providers, well-designed programs, digitally skilled coaches, the incorporation of connected devices, and a sense of accountability for healthcare costs.

1. Chat focus: Chat is the main communication method for coaching, offering best quality and business KPIs as coach/patient ratios are highest among communication methods (up to 1:3,500). This might change in the near future as pure AI based coaching services (provided by companies like Lark, Nutrino) offer better ratios but current quality of pure AI coaching is lacking too far behind human coaching.

2. Sophisticated dashboards and population management tools: …Best in class dashboards include group messaging, alerts, patient/user life cycle management as well as comprehensive reporting features…

3. Structured programs: Programs between 6-16 weeks are used to drive user retention and to build marketable products…These structured programs stimulate daily interaction with the user based on a standardized curriculum…

4. Digital native coaches: Changing behavior is a major challenge especially when one coach is responsible for thousands of patients/users. This requires digital native coaches…

5. Starter Kit including connected devices and consumer goods: …Adding connected devices to the coaching offering increases user value and retention and supports new revenue streams.

6. Integrated health care delivery and business model: …Coaches manage the “daily” communication with the patients identifying unhealthy habits and life styles, helping to change unhealthy behavior, setting and checking goals and monitoring risks. Pilots of integrated models have shown significant reductions in cost per patient mainly through reduced HCP and hospital visits.

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