Marketing & Public Relations Firm - Verasoni Worldwide

All posts tagged health care marketing

MONTCLAIR, N.J. — A new nationwide study conducted by AhHa! Insights, the research division of Verasoni Worldwide, examined the top 150 downloaded mobile health applications (mHealth) among iPhone and Android users through March 31, 2012.  With more than 46 percent of the American population now owning smartphones, more and more people are turning to mHealth to help manage, monitor and improve their health. Mobile healthcare applications make up an increasing share of the apps available in the Android and iOS app markets. Though in this study, in regards to the iOS market, only apps available for the iPhone were examined.

The results show that weight loss and exercise applications are more heavily downloaded by far than any others.  The study examines the adoption of mHealth as a part of personal health management. It also provides further insight as to what health categories people may be interested in when using mHealth applications to manage their health and wellness.

Key findings include:

  • Weight Loss and Exercise apps dominated the top 150 downloaded mHealth apps on both the iPhone and Android devices.
  • iPhone users are seven times more likely to pay for a mobile healthcare app than Android users.
  • Medical reference applications were downloaded ten times more by Android consumers than by iPhone consumers.
  • Weight Loss and Exercise comprised 60 percent of total downloads. When “Weight Loss” and “Exercise” were removed from consideration, the following are the top six categories, in order:
    • Women’s Health
    • Sleep and Meditation
    • Pregnancy
    • Tools and Instruments
    • Reference
    • Emergency
  • Top grossing applications for both Android and iPhone combined were Exercise, Weight Loss, Sleep & Meditation and Women’s Health.

“While mHealth is in its infancy, the potential of mHealth applications is well on its way. Though, no where in the top 150 applications for both iPhone and Android did we find significant downloads of connected medical and health applications such as blood pressure monitoring that delivers feedback to physicians offices, so it appears that the real potential of mHealth in terms of monitoring, diagnosing and providing real time results falls short here,” said Abe Kasbo, CEO of Verasoni Worldwide. “What this study tells us is what people are downloading. We do not know if and how these mHealth apps are being used or if they are having the desired effect that both their publisher or user has in mind,” continued Kasbo.

The study was conducted by AhHa! Insights, the research division of marketing and public relations firm Verasoni Worldwide. To view the entire study please visit http://verasoni.com/ahha3/mobile-health-applications-2012-study/.

About Verasoni Worldwide

Verasoni Worldwide is an integrated marketing and public relations firm with offices in Montclair, New Jersey and New York City. Verasoni Worldwide delivers expertise to multiple markets including healthcare, financial services and banking, government, travel and hospitality and not for profit.  Verasoni Worldwide develops and implements meaningful, cut-through marketing communications strategies for clients.  Verasoni Worldwide is a pioneer in the integration of digital and traditional media, including public relations, advertising, brand development, reputation management and global marketing communications strategies. To learn more visit www.verasoni.com Facebook.com/verasoni. Twitter: @verasoni.


By Abe Kasbo:Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Swedish-American Life Sciences Summit. I participated on a panel where I discussed innovations in communications relative to healthcare and met some extraordinary people working extraordinary things in the life sciences arena.  I met several companies who were either forging new markets or new technologies and watched carefully, as attendees and speakers alike eyed China with hope for new markets and as a source for investment.  While everyone was talking innovation, I was think communication.

Technologies and innovations need investment, but they also require essential communications strategies if they are going to thrive in a competitive and crowded marketplace. It’s hyperbole to point out that any successful communications program requires some level of investment and commitment. Think of the iphone or ipad.  Apple invested in the technology and meticulously planned for how to communicate with the market to raise awareness and drive sales.

In healthcare, we tend to think of innovation in terms of technologies, clinical breakthroughs, or medicines. It is also right to look outside of healthcare for innovation. Consider how Allegheny Medical Center used Toyota’s method of manufacturing to learn from their errors, streamline their processes, and stretch their budget. The goal is for Allegheny Medical Center to standardize their processes and increasing efficiency, nurses and doctors can now spend more time with their patients,” said the website.

And while I love the Toyota example, Ernst & Young made an interesting point at the conference. Cross-market penetration into healthcare is prevalent if not alive and kicking. Samsung is investing almost $3 billion in electronic health equipment. Nestle a half billion in health and wellness products for diabetes, and obesity. Pepsico, almost $3 billion in healthy drinks and snacks inspired by traditional Chinese medicine, and Telus is investing almost a billion dollars in a social network to allow Canadian patients manage their health.

What kind of partnerships lie are ahead for hospitals and pharmaceuticals?  How can patients be involved in their healthcare, and more importantly, their wellness?  And just as important, how do we effectively communicate theses programs in an increasingly fragmented and social world?  These are some of the questions that occupy our thoughts. Because our job is not only to develop and execute strategic communications campaigns, our job is to partner with our clients and the markets they serve, and deliver transformative ideas that make a difference. It is how we invest in our clients, it’s how we are looking to change the agency game. And now, we just need to communicate it…well.


NEW YORK, Feb. 28, 2011 -  A new nationwide study by Verasoni AhHa! and Simon Associates Management Consultants of how hospitals across the United States use Facebook suggests that hospitals are not using Facebook to its capacity to engage patients, build healthcare communities or develop their hospital brands.

Only a few hospitals across the United States are utilizing social media to connect with patients, improve the health status of the community and extend their brand, and these hospitals are doing it very well. The majority is not, the study indicates. “It appears that hospitals either have yet to grasp the role of Facebook with respect to connecting with patients, or have not yet invested in the medium to be able to use it as a viable marketing communications and healthcare or community development tool,” said Dr. Andrea Simon, President of Simon Associates Management Consultants and co-author of this study.The study looks at various types of relevant Facebook activities and tactics for 120 hospitals of various sizes and affiliations across the United States. The study includes an analysis of the size of network, frequency and types of posts, and the use of the integration tools available on Facebook, among other measures. “While the numbers clearly indicate that patients are on Facebook, it is the job of hospitals to find them, and engage them in a meaningful way. And, just because a hospital is on Facebook doesn’t mean that they are building a meaningful Facebook experience for both the hospital and the patient,” said Abe Kasbo, CEO of Verasoni Worldwide, co-author of the study.On hospital pages where there is a high degree of interaction between the hospital and members, the study found that patients, family members, friends and members of the community used the hospital’s Facebook presence to share experiences, laud, connect, and recommend hospital services, and in some cases praise certain physicians.Children’s hospitals appear to be clear leaders in the use of Facebook. Children’s hospitals in this study have Facebook mass, meaning that the hospitals studied seemed to be very engaged in Facebook. Their networks–the number of people on their pages–are larger than most hospitals in the study and their activities appear to be more robust, engaging, and relevant.Additional highlights from the study include:

  • Only 8 of 120 hospitals (6%) had more than 10,000 fans
  • Less than 40% of hospitals posted daily, those who posted on a daily basis had many more encounters with current and prospective patients as well as caregivers
  • Less than 50% used Facebook’s event calendar to promote health or hospital events
  • 80% of hospitals did not use Facebook’s discussion board, while those hospitals who did were rewarded with a high degree of engagement, adulation and recommendations from members
  • 76 hospitals (63%) had no unsolicited feedback or questions on their pages. 38 hospital Facebook pages (32%) included unsolicited feedback from their Facebook members

Please visit http://verasoni.com/ahha2/2216/ to view the entire study including, implications, methodology and data and sights on social media for hospitals.

Simon Associates Management Consultants, founded by Andrea J. Simon PhD, brings the perspective of corporate anthropology to help companies and non-profit institutions change by rethinking their brand positioning, redesigning their organization’s culture, and improving their financial performance through innovative and effective new approaches to product development and marketing. The firm assists companies understand how customers really see, feel, and think about a company’s products, services, and customer experience. To learn more, please visit www.simonassociates.net.

Verasoni Worldwide is a marketing and public relations firm with offices in Montclair, New Jersey and New York City. Verasoni Worldwide delivers expertise across multiple markets and platforms; including healthcare, financial services and banking, government, not for profit, hospitality and travel.  Verasoni Worldwide specializes in the integration of digital and traditional media, including public relations, advertising, brand development, reputation management, and global marketing communications strategies. To learn more visit http://www.verasoni.com. Facebook.com/verasoni. Twitter: @verasoni.com.


I find myself broaching this important subject again. Where ever I speak, during client presentations, in the coffee shop, online forums, list-serves, etc., the hype about social networking continues.  Sure, in many important ways, social networking lives up to the hype, given the sheer numbers (people participating and their activity of course). Sadly, living the hype is not like hyping the hype, living the hype is less glamorous, I can assure you.

Here’s Why. It makes all the sense in the world to play in this space, but what good is it if you are not growing your network. Yes, there is value in being in touch with your customers, and social networking, gives you the opportunity to be exposed to your clients’ network. But isn’t the idea to grow your potential network so the influence of your brand, ideas, products, and organization grows?

My next post will be on the idea of dependence on social networking and the implications / complications that may arise…I’m also working on 10 ways to grow your network.

More to come…


Aug 01, 2009 – Bergenfield, NJ – Dr. Nicholas Bochi, a leading dentist in Bergenfield, New Jersey announced today the launching of the practice’s new website, http://www.BergenSmiles.com, as a key part of a new patient outreach and branding strategy for the Bergen County dentist. Dr. Bochi is one of a few dentists in the United States to have earned the highest degrees and multiple designations in the field. The Bergen Center for Advanced Dentistry continues its commitment to delivering first class dental health services to patients in Bergenfield, the greater Bergen County area, and Northern New Jersey.

“Everyone in our practice is committed to providing both the highest of dental care and excellent service. Our commitment to continuing education means that every patient will have access to the most advanced dental care, every time they walk through our doors,” said Dr. Nicholas Bochi. Dental services include: 24 Hour Emergency Care, Bonding, Bone Augmentation, Bridges, Crowns, Dental Hygiene, Dental implants, Dentures, Family Dentistry, Full Mouth Rehabilitation, Gum Contouring, High Technology Dentistry, Inlays and Onlays, Invisalign, Laser Teeth Whitening, Lumineers, Metal Free Fillings, Mini Implants, Night Guards, Oral Cancer Screening, Over-denture Implants, Periodontic Treatment, Porcelain Veneers, Preventative Treatment, Restorative Treatment, Root Canal Therapy, Sealants, Sinus Augmentation, Smile Enhancement, Smile Imaging, Socket Preservation, Zoom!, Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD), and TMJ Treatment.

Visitors to both the website and the Youtube channel – http://www.youtube.com/BergenSmiles – can also view videos of Dr. Bochi and patients sharing their experience with the Bergen Center for Advanced Dentistry. To learn more visit http://www.bergensmiles.com. The Bergen Center for in Bergenfield, New Jersey 22 North Washington Avenue, Bergenfield, NJ 07621. The office may be reached at 201.384.4454.

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By Abe Kasbo

Well this post has been a long time coming.  While the internet has sent the marketing communications world in one direction, it seems businesses are still looking around, wondering what to make of it and how to leverage it?  I’m not talking Coke, Sony, Pfizer, McDonald’s, AFLAC, or Fidelity.  I’m talking about businesses whose revenues may range from $5 million to let’s say a couple of billion in annual revenues, from banks, financial advisors, to small publishing houses, retail, manufacturers, and especially healthcare providers like hospitals and medical practices.  You may be thinking, “you’re joking…in this day and age?” I am very serious.

Just look around you, look online, look off line and anyone with an analytic eye (only one eye will do) can see the challenges for businesses around marketing and the web.Here’s the problem – it’s a behavior issue.  It seems that businesses who have had success with certain media tend to stay with  it regardless of the state of that media in the market place.  Staying with what works is fine, but you could be overpaying in one medium and loosing strategic opportunities in an another.  For example, we all know that newspaper advertising is down, and rates keep going up. Looking at history, we know that when radio became popular in the early 20th century, everyone called for the downfall of newspapers. Didn’t happen. TV came along, and the death of radio was loud.  Didn’t happen. And the internet is here and everyone is calling for the heads of newspapers, radio and TV. Probably – and yes I am hedging here – not going to happen. If believe that your business has been getting great results from your existing media mix, review and verify.  Look at the cost per effective impression and results.  Try to get a better gage on what your media is delivering.  Are you in a medium because that’s where most of your target audience is now?  Or are you there because you may think it makes sense because it’s worked in the past?  The old financial services statement, “past performance is not indicative of future results” applies here.  Run the numbers. 

This is not the time to put your marketing plan on cruise control, it’s too important for your competitive advantage.  We’ve got a week consumer market, a downward spiral of business to business sales and in this case, my belief is that the smartest, most strategic businesses will do OK now, and come out ahead when it’s all over.  All of this means that businesses must continuously understand the media market and it’s influence – positive or negative. Sounds fundamental, but there is so much turmoil in the media markets that is worth while taking time to understand them or engaging outside counsel with expertise…don’t hire people who are going to sell you stuff, hire a firm who will explain the current rocky media landscape and your business can best leverage it for the next 18 months.  Build your communications plan on that, and incorporate it into your marketing plan.