Columbus, OH – Technology influences our behavior throughout the day – whether it’s receiving reminders at work, ordering lunch at a restaurant that allows you to skip the line, or tracking your heart rate as you hurry to your next appointment.

Such technology, designed to change attitudes or carry out desired behaviors, is commonly referred to as persuasive technology. Though it’s by no means a new concept, persuasive technology remains valuable across industries, including healthcare. An example is a healthcare app that incentivizes you to exercise and rewards you as you achieve your goals.

According to an article by MedScape, nearly 75% of patients admitted to not always taking their medications as directed. With the ongoing challenge of medication adherence and filling prescriptions on time, recent efforts such as unifying health data aim to make apps more persuasive.

The amount of notifications that apps are sending can be quite overwhelming and might quickly lead to turning off notifications altogether. On the other hand, notifications can be helpful to keep patients motivated and, furthermore, persuade them to take their medication even at times they think they don’t need it.

The important challenge is to know when to send a notification to the patient – the timing of engagement is critical for a behavior change to be achieved. If an app fails to nail down the timing, the patient will likely not be motivated enough to respond. For example, a daily reminder at 6pm to take medication with dinner may not suffice if the patient is not on a consistent schedule – adding location recognition and linking with a calendar app could make it more persuasive.

Whether it’s a behavior you want to start or stop doing, or maybe even want to do more of, persuasive technology enables brands to become more relevant when and where it’s needed, instead of merely showing up through nonspecific push notifications.

About the Author:

As Managing Director of Innovation for Syneos Health Communications, Leigh is responsible for shaping the company’s perspective on the next era of healthcare marketing. Through thought leadership, strategic innovation workshops and new products and capabilities, Leigh focuses on identifying marketing approaches that will fuel that new era and generate significant growth for clients. Leigh has worked with Fortune 1000 companies to craft their digital, mobile, social and CRM strategies for over 17 years. She’s worked for category-leading agencies in retail, public affairs, B2B technology, and higher education. Prior to moving to Syneos Health Communications, she had several leadership roles at one of our agencies, GSW. There, she founded an innovation practice fueled by the zeitgeist and spearheaded digital and innovation thinking across the business. Leigh has taken a special interest in complex healthcare products that can change lives in meaningful ways. She was recently a strategic lead on the 3rd largest launch in pharmaceutical history: Tecfidera. Before that she had keys roles with Eli Lilly Oncology, Abbott Nutrition, Amgen Cardiovascular, and Eli Lilly Diabetes. A critical part of Leigh’s work is trends and new ideas. Every year, she convenes a group of trend watchers from across our global network to identify the shifts most critical to healthcare marketers. Leigh is a sought-after writer and speaker. Recognized as one of the most inspiring people in the pharmaceutical industry by PharmaVoice, Leigh also was recognized as a Rising Star by the Healthcare Businesswomen's Association (HBA) for her overt passion, industry thought leadership and significant contributions in new business, strategy and mentoring.