Congratulations Iodine! 2018 Webby Winner in the Health Category

Iodine 4 - WebbyThe 2018 Webby winners have been announced! Congratulations to Iodine , the 2018 Webby winner of the Health category.  If you don’t already know this site, it’s well worth taking a few moments to go through it because it certainly has a lot of positive features.

The Iodine site was launched on September 30, 2014.  It is a user-friendly website that allows users to search for information on drugs and over-the-counter products. Once the user has found the product page that they are looking for, they will find all sorts of information about that particular medication based on a mixture of clinical research and real-life experience; benefits, adverse events, how to use, information from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), people’s experience and reviews about their usage of the product, pictures of the product and even alternatives to that product.  There is so much information, but yet it’s all in a really easy to use format and easy to understand language and it really does not feel overwhelming at all.  The data is credible as it all comes from the FDA and the National Institute of Health (NIH).

Although the team behind the Iodine site is quite small, what they lack for in numbers they more than make up for in experience.  According to their website, many of the people who started the Iodine site are engineers and designers that used to work on Flu Trends at Google, which unfortunately are no longer publishing current data.  According to the Iodine About page on their blog, their mission is to “help people find what works best for them” and their goal is “to become the most useful and trusted resource for medication information on the planet”. Wow, that is some lofty goal but I have a feeling that if somebody can pull it off, it just might be the team behind Iodine.

Now that we understand the site a bit better, let’s go through a little analysis of the site to see what is it that makes this site so great that it won a 2018 Webby in the health category!

For starters, according to Alexa, visitors to the Iodine website tend to be mostly females with college education who either stay at home or work outside of the home.  The daily page views per visitor is 1.2 and visitors spend an average of 1 minute and 54 seconds on the site, which is well above the average of 15 seconds according to HubSpot; “55% of visitors spend fewer than 15 seconds on your website”.

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Here are some of the features of the Iodine website which make it stand out.

✅ Clear objective

The Iodine website has a clear objective, to provide information to Americans about various prescription and other-the-counter drugs. Visitors from other countries would benefit from this site as well, except that some information is very specific to the U.S. pharmaceutical market. Other than the fact that sometimes the brand name might not be the same from country to country, the Iodine website lists prices for the drugs, provides coupons (to be used in the U.S.) and references the FDA.

✅ Functional

Iodine achieves its goal because it is chock full of relevant information about the medication, all of which is presented in an aesthetically pleasing format and is easy for consumers and patients to understands, whether they are medically literate or not. This is paying off for Iodine because according to Alexa, the Iodine website is the 79,499 most popular website on the internet.  Now that may not seem impressive, but when you consider that there are over 1.8 billions websites out there, that figure looks pretty good all of a sudden. However, being a website targeted to Americans, it is interesting to note that within the United States, Iodine.com ranks at 21,230, which is definitely something to brag about. The site also ranks at an impressive 25,233 in Canada!

✅ Easy to navigate

Within a few seconds, you will most likely find what it is that you are looking for.  It’s really that easy.  The tabs are clearly marked and are readily visible. You just go to the tab of interest and scroll or click away.  It is very intuitive.

✅ Speed

I have been on this site a few times from both my laptop and smartphone, and the site always loads reliably and quickly.  There are a few graphs but no heavy images that slow you down.  GTmetrix and DareBoost report the homepage load time to be 5.3 seconds and 5.7 seconds respectively.

✅ Reliability

According to an analysis by Power Mapper, the Iodine website does not have any broken links.

✅ Search

According to an analysis by Power Mapper, there are no search issues with Google, but the titles and meta descriptions are too long to be optimal on Yahoo and Bing.

❌ Social component

Although the site allows feedback from people who have used a specific drug, the format of the site is not conducive to generating a conversation. I do appreciate the ability to filter the reviews based on being a female, age and condition being treated.  It allows one to find a patient similar to oneself.

Although Iodine has social sites which it communicates from, such as its presence on Twitter Facebook and its blog (which has not been updated since October 2017), none of its web pages seem to have any sharing icons such as Facebook, Twitter or other.  This might have been done intentionally due to the seriousness of keeping their visitors’ privacy intact since they are looking up details about medications which could provide insight into their health conditions.  Or maybe it’s just an oversight, or it  has not been a priority.

This site is most useful for American patients and consumers, but it could expand its audience to healthcare professionals and pharmaceutical / health industry workers.

What do you think of the Iodine website?  Leave us your comments.

 

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One Step at a Time Up the Stairs to Success

No elevator to success - liteI don’t often share personal information on my blog, but since having restarted to promote my business, people have been asking me what I’ve been up lately. So here it is, the short version about the appearance, quieter times and recent reemergence of Marketing 4 Health Inc.

Almost exactly 10 years ago, I started my own business, Marketing 4 Health Inc.Marketing 4 Health Inc., helping healthcare / pharma companies manage their social media. I was climbing the proverbial ‘success stairs’, sometimes it even felt like I was skipping a couple of steps at a time. Business was booming.

But about 4 years ago, I decided to intentionally slow down my business to take care of my growing family. Despite having 4 young children to raise at home, I kept at least a couple of clients on my roster at all times, but I knew that I could not handle any more than that, so I stopped all promotion of my services.  I even wiped out my blog, which was a sad day for me because it was gaining so much traction from the Canadian pharmaceutical industry at the time.  But frankly, putting my family first was the best decision ever and I would do it all over again.  Ultimately, it was well worth the sacrifice.

Move forward to now, and the kids are finally all in school now, so I can spend more time tending to my business. Ah, it feels invigorating to be climbing up those stairs again. Even though my business kept going throughout all those years, a lot of things slowed down, so now I’m putting in the effort to get the ball rolling again. So far it’s been baby steps, and that’s OK because I am enjoying the challenge and the thrill of it all.

Right now, I’m excited to be in the process of networking to regain my spot in the healthcare / pharma social media / blogging world. If you know of somebody who is looking for an experienced blogger or social media manager who knows and understands the regulations of the healthcare / pharma industry, please send me an introduction to them either on LinkedIn or via email; nat@marketing4health.net . I am eager to help my next clients reach their business goals!

Until then, let’s all keep climbing up those stairs together!  Cheers!

Almost 1/3 of Canadians are Using Mobile Apps to Monitor their Health

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Photo credit: 123rf.com

It comes as no surprise that an effective way to reach health-conscious Canadians is via health apps.  CEFRIO, the Research Chair in Digital Health and Canada Health Info Way released some interesting results in September 2017.  Here are some of their key findings;

In the first national study of its kind in Canada, and the largest ever world-wide, we now know that 32% of Canadians are using mobile apps to monitor certain aspects of their health.(1)

Canadians using the apps are typically younger, employed, university-educated, wealthier and are generally healthy.(1)

The most popular type of apps being used are those that track physical activity, nutrition, weight information and sleep.  Many of these apps are being used with a smartwatch.  The greatest motivator is that the users want to know themselves better and want to track changes.  The second greatest motivator is daily encouragement to reach personal goals.(1)

Here are the top 10 most downloaded free health apps on Google Play in Canada: (2)

  1. 7 FIT
  2. Carrot Rewards
  3. Headspace: Guided Meditation and Mindfulness
  4. Calm: Meditate, Sleep, Relax
  5. Calorie Counter: My Fitness Pal
  6. Shoppers Drug Mart
  7. Fitbit
  8. Period Tracker Flo, Ovulation & Pregnancy Calendar
  9. Lose Weight in 30 Days
  10. Google Fit – Fitness Tracking

 

Creating an app to help Canadians improve their health while promoting your product(s) and / or service(s) makes sense, as long as you provide value.  It cannot be an aggressive sales push or people will get turned off.  But beware, just because you created an amazing tool, it doesn’t mean that people will hear and know about it right away.  Just because you built it, it doesn’t mean they will come.  You will  have to promote it to draw people in.  There are lots of tools at your disposal to help you promote your app.  Forbes put together a list of 65 ideas to help you promote your app.(3)   Pick a few that you know you can excel at and focus on them consistently!

Let us know your experience with a health app, either as a manufacturer or client, in the comments below.

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Sources:

(1) “Diffusion of Smart Devices for Health in Canada” report, September 2017.  Download report here.

(2) Similar Web, Mobile App Ranking, Updated October 21 2017

(3) Forbes. 65 Simple Ways to Promote Your Mobile App.  Nov 7 2015.