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Attention ‘Big Pharma’: It’s Time To Get Mobile


While the corporate conglomerates that comprise the pharmaceutical industry have waded their way onto the World Wide Web, they still have a little evolving to do. They need to respond to research that shows more than half of consumers looking up disease information are doing so on their cell phones.

An analysis of Google searches related to 10 medical conditions for the period October 2012 to September 2014 reveals patients are employing their mobile devices between 50 and 65 percent of the time.

doctor with stethoscope and tablet pc

“Mobile searches are rising rapidly in healthcare,” the study’s executive summary reads. “Certain conditions are even more popular re: mobile search, probably due to sensitivity & stigma.”

Among the medical conditions analyzed were diabetes (40.7 percent), attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (both 43.5 percent), multiple sclerosis (43.8 percent), breast cancer (45.3 percent), schizophrenia (48.5 percent), erectile dysfunction (50.3 percent), depression (51.3 percent), HIV (52.8 percent) and premature ejaculation (54.3 percent).

“It is clear that pharma is behind where it needs to be when it comes to mobile,” writes Gary Monk, a marketing consultant in the field, in a LinkedIn article titled “The Pharma Mobile Disconnect.” “This lack of adoption runs in violent contradiction to current patient and consumer behavior.”

The industry is so far behind that companies should optimize their Web sites for mobile or shut them down and start over, Monk concludes.

“If it seems too much effort to optimize…then it is better to spare some further effort and not launch it in the first place,” he writes. “It will be ineffective today, let alone in the next 2 years when the vast majority of searches and views will be on a mobile device.”

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