Before You Develop That Mobile Healthcare App: What You Should Know About Mobile Platforms

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A conversation with Seth Perlman (see bio), President, The Lathe, about the importance of choosing the right mobile platform and understanding the pros and cons involved when developing healthcare and pharma related applications.

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Thursday, October 13, 2011 Listen to internet radio with Pharmaguy on Blog Talk Radio

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Background Mobile Screen Formats

If you’re designing a mobile website or mobile app, it now has to work on screens that range from tiny to huge. Because manufacturers on the small end of the spectrum have not compensated with higher pixel density like Apple’s iPhone 4, the design may be illegible. Conversely, a design that makes efficient use of a moderately-sized screen may just look goofy when scaled to 4.7″.

Screen size and aspect ratios are just TWO of the variables in mobile platform specs that must be considered when developing any mobile application. An even more important factor that needs to be considered when selecting a platform for app development in pharma is the difference between native apps and mobile web apps. That choice has implications that range from market conditions to audience-specific considerations to the burden of maintenance and updates that comes with the launch of an app.

In short, mobile web apps are a viable alternative to native apps in many cases, and typically provide benefits that native apps cannot provide. The trick is designing them in such a way that they feel native to users and aren’t quickly relegated to the “scrapp” heap.

Questions/Topics Discussed

  • How do we select the right platform for a pharma or healthcare app?
  • What do we need to know about the intended audience? Is it possible for pharma marketers to answer this question completely? If not, why not?
  • What’s the difference bewteen native apps running on mobile devices and web-based apps running on the same devices? What are the pros and cons of each of these types of apps with regard to:
    • data security & patient privacy
    • maintenance & updates
    • metrics & measurement
    • usability & user experience
  • What about HTML5?

Guest Bio

Seth PerlmanSeth Perlman is a seasoned internet professional with more than 17 years of web development experience for hundreds of clients, from design and implementation to technical leadership to executive management.

Seth spent the past 8 years focused on healthcare and pharmaceuticals since founding The Lathe in 2003. Most recently focused on mHealth and the application of mobile technology (apps, web apps) to the needs of patients, caregivers, and healthcare professionals.

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