Posted by Shawn Gross

Last April I wrote that mobile and wearable technology will become integrated marketing program differentiators for hospital marketers by offering patient experience strategies that support both the sick and the healthy.

Yesterday it just got easier with Apple’s announcement of Apple CareKit.

Mobile companion apps powered by Apple CareKit are the perfect way for hospitals to play a meaningful role in their patients’ everyday health while also creating an “always-on” brand platform strategy.

Let’s look at four example marketing programs below that are so personal they can literaly be worn on your target audiences’ wrist (or reside within their smartphone.)


Happy Places

Helps patients suffering from depression avoid locations that trigger a negative memory and could be “prescribed” by your psychiatry clinicians.

Vitamin D 

Monitors your primary care patients daily intake of vitamin D making sure they get the appropriate amount of bright peak sunshine exposure by taking into consideration skin type and geolocation.

Heart Monitor 

Gives your heart surgery patients notifications of increased heart rate and blood pressure to help manage their recovery.


Provides an easy to use (and addictively fun) way for your surgery patients to track their recovery progress by recording daily pain levels.


These are subtle, continuous advertisements for your clinical service lines and healthcare providers yet don’t feel like traditional marketing at all. The possibilities are almost endless.

You and your weight loss clinic clinicians could develop custom hospital step-counting or calorie-tracking apps, your cardiologists could develop activity trackers and your oral maxiofacial surgeons and dentistry teams could create apps that remind patients to floss.

Sure there are currently more than 1000+ apps already offering these services but they don’t allow your patients and clinicians to track, share and monitor important data together. And for marketers, they don’t give you the opportunity to build opt-in lists for continuous, automated nurture email programs that support your service line marketing efforts.

With Apple CareKit marketers and web developers now have an open API to capture and share data to create companion apps that build trusting relationships with your patients while being the center of your integrated marketing program (instead of another landing page, radio spot or billboard.)

Will these new digital relationships allow your patients to establish stronger bonds with their care providers, comply with treatment recommendations, return for follow-ups and recommend your service lines to others?

The future of hospital marketing has never looked healthier.


To explore more ways that hospitals are reimagining healthcare marketing, read Mark’s Story and download White Rhino’s eBook “Addictive Health: The Patient Journey Reimagined” including 4 examples of how hospital marketers are engaging with patients in new ways.

Shawn Gross is the Chief Digital Strategist, Healthcare Practice Lead for White Rhino in Lexington, Massachusetts where he helps health care organizations build content rich, patient-centric websites and addictive digital health services. Shawn was previously the head of digital marketing at Massachusetts General Hospital and Tufts Medical Center and can be reached at

Topics: Technology, Digital Marketing, Healthcare