Upward Mobility – The Great Migration Into Optimizing

One of the many noteworthy milestones with respect to digital has been around the transition to mobile search. As was recently reported, Google’s Amit Singhal speaking at a conference noted that Google is getting over 100 billion searches each month and that over half of them are taking place on screens that are less than six inches on mobile devices. Despite that, as noted here, there is no guidance from FDA about how pharma companies should design a branded site for mobile.

This past Spring, I did a few posts around mobile. In a June posting Regulatory Considerations for Optimizing a Site for Mobile” I took a quick look at 10 brand name drug sites and found that only 5 were optimized for mobile. That has changed.

In December 2013, I wrote a posting that also looked at medical societies and optimization for mobile – “Optimizing for Mobile – Do It!”  At that time a quick survey of 10 top medical societies found that only 4 had optimized for mobile despite the fact that when you attend a medical meeting you have to jump out of the way of people who are walking while looking at a hand held or tablet. That same posting noted that a Manhattan Research report had indicated that only a third of pharma sites were optimized for mobile. That too has changed.

This is not a scientific survey, but I took a look at the sites for pharma companies, drug brands and medical societies and found that while mobilization is still not universal, it is on the up. Not going to name names here:

  • A look at 16 top pharmaceutical companies found 11 had sites that were friendly to a phone search, 5 did not;
  • A look at 19 brand sites found that 15 were optimized for mobile and only 4 were not;
  • Examining 13 sites of large medical societies found that only 1 was not optimized for mobile

Given that seeking health information is a primary use of the Internet and given that more searches are happening on mobile devices, it would make sense that optimization is on an upward trajectory, but it still may be surprising that it is not universal. After all, even www.fda.gov is now optimized for mobile (so is NIH).

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