Trust takes time. ESPECIALLY if you are promoting a commercial product! We must be sure to create value everytime we interact with our clients.
Online the key to building trust within smaller niche communities is by providing high quality content.
Since I'm coming to the POSSIBLE end of my internship on this project, I'm starting to look at how to keep this part of the project going after I leave.
If someone does not continue to produce quality content amongst the crohn's online community, then we will have to rely merely on brand recognition and reviews in the google store. Name brand recoand our efforts will have been in large wasted.
It would be great to find if someone near to this project is either blogging or some kind of information gathered from patients is easily able to be published. Perhaps we can even use intern blogs and promotion thereof to continue to generate content which will be found by web crawlers.
If we do this we should make sure that all of our content meets certain minimal criteria for quality, our content should be clearly branded making it clear what our products are and what function they serve and ideally we should maintain some level of Search Engine Optimization (set metatags, intelligent titles, and so forth.)
I also believe that for as long as we can do it we should make an effort to allow users to interact in some way with each other and with us.
This type of thing should get customers invested and help build brand loyalty.
An update on the forums
CCFA actually makes GI Buddy. And? No responses to the original post. Furthermore, checking the forums it seems that there is a 4 day gap between a post placed yesterday and the previous post. It seems that this forum does not have a good amount of traffic and contributors.
Crohn's forums which looks to be the best forum actually deleted my post due to the seemingly commercial nature of my post. After an email exchange with one of the admins verifying the authenticity of our organization my post was retitled and reposted at this link. My account was also changed to be given special permissions to post question of this nature which requires admin approval. We received some feedback which I used to compile my following report.
The Healing Well forum is actually looking for a Crohn's disease moderator, and this could be a special opportunity for our lab to gain instant credibility with this subset of the population. The link to the admin request is here.
We received some feedback which I used to compile my following report.
Testing existing apps
GI Buddy - reviews on this app are not good... Many people complain that this app doesn't work correctly and is in actuality non functional. For me however the app worked fine. I do however agree that it is annoying to have to log in each time. Also I found that the food diary had some odd entries. For example when looking up chicken breast, there was an option to select raw chicken tenders. (Seriously... Who's eating raw chicken tenders?) NOTE: This morning I tried to load GI Buddy, but it got frozen on my screen. I did a hardware reset removing the battery and replacing it back in and the app once again would not load. FAIL!
GI Monitor- reviews on this app are much better, also I like that they have made an introductory video for their product. It seems better supported and better developed then GI Buddy. This product was sold to Medivo, so it's interesting that a developer saw fit to purchase an existing app rather then actually develop their own from scratch. This reiterates my former statement that we may be able to garner value from purchasing or building strategic partnerships with other app developers to provide a high quality product to our patients/ customers.
I will continue to update with more apps as more apps are recommended. Some apps are recommended which are not dedicated health apps such as daily diaries which some people are using to track their symptoms. However as this is not part of an apple healthkit like ecosystem, I didn't really mess around that much with those apps. However I did look at some of the feature sets and used this information to provide recommendations for our app.
APPS that I looked into that weren't GI related, but health related.
For diet trackers, my two favorite diet trackers are Sparkpeople and Myfitnessbuddy.
One odd thing though is that these apps give me different calorie totals although I've logged in the same foods. I guess that there's a certain amount of variance, but it is a little confusing.
For fitness trackers my favorite app was JEFIT.
My FAVORITE functionality which I found on JEFIT was the ability to sync my data with their website. This way notes or exercise routines that I would want to develop but which would be awkward to input via a mobile device could be addressed through using my regular computer keyboard.
Also at each point where I enter data I am given the option of tracking my progress.
Also both Sparkpeople, Myfitnessbuddy, and JEFIT all save inputs and then actively use this to make data entry easier and faster. For example JEFIT will remember how many reps, sets, and how much weight I did for my last workout and will auto fill with an input swipe system to move the numbers up or down. So if last week I did 10 reps, and this week I did 12 reps all I have to do is swipe up a little and hit save and my numbers are in the system! The food trackers save , "Favorite foods." which makes entering food items less repetitive. For our app we should look to do something similar.
I also looked at
Fitness Buddy Free which is a program that just shows pictures of a variety of different exercises. The functionality of this program does not seem to bring any value that I could not get off of youtube, so I'm not a big fan of this app.
Sports Tracker is very cool for people that run. It uses GPS and location tracking to measure how far you've run, and then allows you to share you route time and distance with your friends. However I don't really run on the street really that much at all, so this app really isn't relevant for me.
Strong Log is a very bare bones app that just allows you to record your "Power lifts" or the 3 major compound exercise movements used in power lifting which are squat, deadift, and bench press. It's just not enough content to keep my interest however. and
Gymwolf which is a fitness app like JEFIT, but just a little less better done.