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Apply mobile to healthcare market research…

“It is clear that 2014 is the year that mobile arrived in a big way;” this is a key message from the latest GRIT report, which charts the rise of mobile research as it knocks online communities off the top spot to become the most used research approach.

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While, many researchers might immediately think’mobile quant’ when you mention mobile, 2014 also saw a surge in use of mobile tools for qualitative market research. In fact, mobile qual shot up in use from 24% to 37% of researchers using the method, putting it close to the 40% mark that GRIT considers a “mainstream approach that all researchers should be considering and many should be using.” This booming interest in mobile qual is reflected in other GRIT data that report 72% of researchers using or have considered using mobile qual.


Within healthcare market research, the use of mobile platforms for qualitative research is a small but growing area. This year, we carried out a number of large-scale projects using our GKA Mobile platform to capture insights from both patients and healthcare professionals.


The advantages of using mobile devices for research are many, but it is the ability to capture in-the-moment, in-depth information that is behind the recent growth. As use of mobile devices continues to boom, especially we embrace social media, respondents are finding it easy to integrate mobile research tasks into their everyday lives. This is not surprising when simple video, brainstorming and blogging tools on a mobile device allow respondents to record real-time insights on the go, not just at home, avoiding the need to sit down at a computer and dedicate a chunk of time to a task.


One area generating great interest at the moment is the use of mobile devices for pre-tasks before the respondent attends a focus group, for example. Not only does this help researchers to better understand respondents prior to in-person research, many are finding that combining mobile and more traditional approaches is a great way to dip a toe in the waters of mobile qual.


Mobile research platforms such as GKA Mobile offer a range of easy-to-use yet effective tools. For example, modern video tools are a million miles away from the days of sending out cameras to patients or physicians to record video diaries, allowing respondents to record their videos anywhere and on any device. What’s more, once uploaded, clients are able to access the videos in the course of a research project through interactive dashboards, monitoring progress in midstream.


Other tools, such as the ideastorm/interactive brainstorming and blogging functions, provide greater depth of understanding of respondents’ emotions reactions, thoughts and opinions, a cornerstone of qualitative fieldwork. The Mark Up tool is an innovative new function that uses mood boards, heat maps and emoticons to test the effectiveness of ad concepts by capturing emotional responses. To enhance the power of these tools, many can be moderated, and GKA is able to provide the training needed to make the most of its platform and tools.