Mobile Health

Consumers are becoming more and more reliant on their smartphones; just thinking about a day without mine frightens me! This information presents a great opportunity for health care professionals to develop inventive strategies to reach and engage with consumers when they are on the go — from disease management to remote health monitoring, and beyond.

The mobile health movement (also known as ‘mHealth’) has fully emerged. There are a number of mobile health apps out there, but they are low quality. These apps are typically “unsponsored,” meaning there is no professional medical company running them. “Sponsored” apps are what patients want. Sponsored apps are supported by insurance companies, healthcare providers and other medical institutions, which ultimately result in higher patient adoption and engagement of an app.

HapptiqueAre you a healthcare provider and do not know where to start? Happtique is the first mobile application store, think of it as comparable to the ITunes store, developed by healthcare professionals for healthcare professionals. Happtique offers healthcare enterprises — like hospitals, continuing care facilities, and physician practices — the ability to create individually branded and secure apps that support patient mobile technology use.

The rising need of healthcare is matched by rising costs; both are only expected to increase. Providentially, mobile technology and innovation are positioned to take healthcare in a more resourceful direction. Surrendering to mHealth is your only option as patients are becoming more proactive. It will guide your on-the-go patients on a path to safer health practices and self-care. With one-fifth of Americans owning smartphones, instant access to healthcare is an important trend in 2013.

The world of healthcare is changing fast. Providers that are in the forefront of change will benefit greatliy, as will their patients.

Mobile Local Commerce

Small businesses listen up! This year, more than ever, consumers will be compelled to shop locally. New technology is providing services that identify local shops offering exactlyImage what consumers are looking for. Shoppers are tech-savvy and expect purchasing to be quick, convenient, and hassle free. The facts are straightforward, if the experience is not convenient, consumers are less inclined to use you as a merchant. Here are two ways to jump on this tech-savvy bandwagon:

 

1. Intuit, otherwise known as mobile payments on the go. The commercials show an on-the-go personal trainer using Intuit but in actuality, it is great for any small business that currently does not accept credit cards. In some cases it might be less costly than getting a traditional credit card reader! Intuit offers a free application for you to download (for your iPhone, iPad or Android) and a free card reader that easily attaches to your mobile device. You are charged per credit card transaction, and it is commitment-free.

Still not convinced about mobile payments? Check out this infographic.  Mobile payments level the playing field for small businesses, giving you the tools to recapture lost sales from large chains.

2. Goodzer is an app that is popping up on every smartphone. It is a search engine for unique boutiques and small neighborhood stores that can be easily overlooked. The concept is to find local products. Consumers can type in any product and Goodzer checks prices and availability in real-time of any local merchant that list items on a website. Retailers can easily add themselves to the Goodzer database by clicking ‘Add Store’ on the Goodzer websites’ navigation bar. The system is growing – if you do not add your store, local competitors will add theirs. When consumers search, who do you think they will find?Image

 Local merchants who are not ready to make the transition to mobile services may lose sales to mobile-ready competitors and risk the long-term success of their business. So check it out!

The Power of Women

In the past few years we have seen that women have held the buying power in the market. They have made the majority of purchasing decisions. So, who is leading the companies Imagethat make the products women are buying for themselves and their families? Women. Women business leaders are at an all time high and they are only just rising.

As of July 2012, twenty Fortune 500 companies had women CEOs. This is an all-time high and proves the steady pace of women leading the largest companies in the world. We should have seen it coming. In the 2008 recession, men lost their jobs in greater numbers than women because women’s skills were more flexible. In general, men have been waiting for their old jobs to come back while women have adapted to make the most of new opportunities, even going back to school. In 2012 there were 8.3 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. Recent blockbuster films and best-selling novels have put women front and center as the heroines. These leading roles, typically played by men, are providing the cultural context and empowerment for women to take leading roles in the business world.

Now that we have talked about all the numbers, let us look into certain characteristics that are helping women become such important leaders.

The business world is now relying more on feminine traits; relationships and passion. We live in a very technology driven world, but consumers still crave that human touch from companies. They want a relationship with businesses and women are more adept at relationship building. Science proves women are more natural communicators and engagers, the key foundation of relationship building.

Having a strong emotional drive can be very powerful in leading a business. When women are excited and passionate about a product, a service or company, they become extremely driven from that emotion. Men strive to hide their emotions. I am not saying that men cannot be passionate, but men tend to downplay the positive benefits of emotion and passion as a force to drive innovation and growth.

The bottom line is that diversity has always been a powerful force in any company— including male-female diversity. It gives for better solutions, allows solving problems faster, and enables companies to see opportunities better. We are going to see the number of female business leaders grow higher because we require that balance. We need the creativity and we need men and women leading together in business. Support the women in your organization!

Friend-Sourced Travel

If you are a company in the travel or hospitality industry, you will want to pay attention to this new trend for 2013; ‘Friends’ as travel agent

People desire more meaningful experiences and a host of new online services enable travelers to go “off the beaten path” and discover the hidden secrets of their destination, offered by trusted, local experts whom consumers see as friends. Some websites are even giving options for people to overnight at the homes of their local tour guides, dine with locals, and take tours with a city resident.

One site that has really been gaining an extensive following is Vayable. Their mission is to
“… enable entrepreneurship, cultural exchange, community-building and exploration worldwide by empowering people to share experiences with others.” You can discover, book, and offer tours and activities almost anywhere in the world. Vayable hand picks experiences submitted by users. Travelers really appreciate the high quality and ‘realness’ of the site.

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As much as the travel industry relies on travelers, it also relies on destinations. Survival of the tourism industry translates into the survival of the communities that sustain it. Vayable provides these smaller — almost forgotten gems of communities — with a new safe and fun way to accomplish sustainability. Small towns can post getaways and invite friends to come join them.

With travel being so inherently social, it is important that the tourism industry becomes just as social. If you are in the business of travel or tourism, check out these sites as well: Trippy, Airbnb, and Trip Birds.