5 Ways to Engage Digital Health Users

Many of us in the digital health space are starting to prove that digital health solutions can impact outcomes and improve the overall health of users. While the jury is still out on which solutions will have the biggest impact and get the widest adoption. Here at Glooko, we’ve learned a lot about how to get digital health users engaged in driving the behavior change needed to get to outcomes.

Below are the top 5 ways to engage digital health users:

Make enrollment and on-boarding EASY

Engagement doesn’t get a fair chance if you make it hard for the user to figure out how to enroll and start to use your solution. To ensure that doesn’t happen, follow these key tenets of enrollment: 1) Tell the user what is happening at each step; 2) Keep the steps simple; 3) Only gather the data you need; 4) Let them enroll wherever they access your product (e.g. if they download your app or fill out your online form, make sure they can enroll there too.)

Synthesize personal data for the user

This one seems obvious, BUT many digital health apps out there just show you a listing of your latest data and maybe a few reports and not much else. While this is personal, it leaves a lot up to the user in terms of understanding and acting on the data. While that information is good, most people don’t know what to make of it or what to do to change. Recently we put out a version of Glooko that takes historical data and delivers specific personalized trends and patterns to users. These trends put into words information that is spread over weeks, sometimes months of glucose data and summarizes it into actionable insights for the user. These insights, of course, constantly change and keep the user coming back.

Make it fun!

We are addicted to our phones and the apps that have the “fun” element to them keep us coming back. Whether it is gamification, points, goals, notes of encouragement or even small recommendations on ways to stay active, engaging users in something fun will get them to use your app beyond the chores of logging diet and exercise. One example of creating fun is the “Fitbit Office Challenge.” This feature goes beyond basic tracking to creating a work community of step trackers that compete on hitting challenges set by the group. We use the office challenge here at Glooko and not only has it been great fun but it has also engaged us in more active (and collaborative) use of our Fitbits.

Offer incentives (that make sense)

It has been proven that people do things they are incented to do. In fact, in a recent study that Glooko ran, we found that for a sweepstakes prize or a gift card, people were 1.6x more likely to sync their data and engage with our app than those who didn’t receive the incentives. Incentives need to be aligned with the mission of the app, easy to access and easy to understand, but if you follow these rules, they pay back in active users.

Keep it fresh (never stop)

New (and better) features, new and interesting data and new and impacting insights will keep users coming back to see what they can learn. The more you are able to keep your finger on the pulse of your user population and understand their needs, the faster you will be at creating the next feature, and the more effective you will be at winning their mindshare. At Glooko, we challenge ourselves to continue to provide more and more value with each iteration of our platform and to always ask “what’s next?”

Robin Beadle