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Healthcare and Mobile

The Case for Responsive Design

April 09, 2014

Not too long ago, we set out to write about our favorite responsive web designs in healthcare. Only problem? We couldn’t find very many examples. What was intended to be a list of 10 was cut down to seven.

(Need a refresher on responsive design and why it matters? Read this blog)

 Even worse, 68% of the top 25 healthcare companies in 2013 don’t have mobile-optimized versions of their websites (Source).  

 Mobile _use _infographic

And _its _growing _500x 138

Healthcare is a trillion dollar industry. From hospitals to providers, these businesses and academic communities are at the forefront of innovation and best practices. Yet they seem to trail behind when it comes to their online destinations.

If healthcare is increasingly mobile, why aren’t the websites?

Hospitals can be old-fashioned about their web presences, and often consider reputations enough to draw customers. This is the classic “If you build it, they will come” mentality embodied by large organizations.

With a mobile presence no longer an add-on, it’s more important than ever to offer a responsive design that provides the same user experience on a mobile device that’s available on a desktop.

We looked at the websites for some of the biggest hospitals and healthcare providers to see who’s adopted this responsive trend.


Baxter _500x 750

Guilty of: Eternal scrolling

Trying to find read an article or click a header tab? You’ll have to swipe sideways to see anything. 


Stryker _500x 750

Guilty of: Super zoom, boring design, difficult to read colors

Their mobile version shows a zoomed out image of their main site. Have fun pinching and swiping around to try and read different the sections.


Website:St. Jude Medical

Stjm _500x 750

Guilty of: Not responsive

While their site has a clean, simple design and layout, it’s not responsive to mobile devices. What does that mean for the user? TINY fonts, smaller than those dirt specks you should really clean off your screen.  


Website:Massachusetts General Hospital

Massgen 2_500x 750

Guilty of: Not Responsive – but mobile!

This one hits close to home. Boston is a major tech and innovation hub, and that should be reflected by its hospitals!

Sweet Surprise: Mass Gen has a mobile site!

While much more limited than their desktop version, the mobile site offers users a variety of information they may need on the go. It lets users find a doctor, get maps and directions, learn about patient & visitor information, make new patient appointments or contact them!

Massgen _patient _info _500x 750

Just look at that difference. Their mobile site is WAY easier to read than the non-responsive, non-mobile sites above. Plus, it easily lists out information for patients and visitors. Nicely done Mass General.

Who to emulate:Philips

Philips _500x 750

The Phillips website isn’t just responsive; it’s sleek, modern and easy to navigate for consumers and professionals. Even the videos scale down to fit mobile screens.

Best of all- it looks like it belongs in 2014.

Poor web design isn’t just a problem for hospitals. Responsive is important for patients and doctors user experiences.

So, what should your online presence do?

  • Make sure patients  know you’re up to date.
    • In healthcare, patients expect currency and a commitment to modern standards.
    • Mobile optimization for websites is soon to be a non-negotiable for effective marketing.
    • The more websites and companies that switch to using responsive design, the more your patients will come to expect it.
  • Offer access whenever, and wherever they need it
    • Users can take advantage of services offered on your website as they come to mind by simply grabbing their mobile device—which is usually with them at all times.
  • Provide easy access to doctors, hospitals and providers.
    • Let users make an appointment, hassle free.
    • Have patients and doctors follow up on appointments from the palm of their hand!
    • Educate visitors on your hospital or organization in a clear and easily readable format.

Stephanie Kapera over at Kuno Creative put together this article on what to do before redesigning a hospital’s website. She explains that it’s not always easy to justify the costs involved in a website redesign. “There’s no equation you can use to forecast the advantage of “awesome” design over “just OK” design,” but there are some great arguments for investing in web and mobile.   

Google -Stats -Online

Google -Mobile
This Google study uncovered that not only is a hospital’s online presence critically influential on users, but mobile-responsive websites converted more users than their computer-only counterparts. 44 percent of users who visited mobile sites booked an appointment, that’s a whopping 10% more than users who visited computer only sites.

It’s simple. Mobile sites won more patients.

Great web design means better business.



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