Healthcare Optimization: How to Improve App Engagement with A/B Testing

By Paul Bernier

January 31, 2024


Healthcare apps have become indispensable tools for patients seeking convenient access to personalized information, services, and care. 

However, the journey between app creation and widespread adoption can be challenging, and it doesn’t come automatically with optimized user engagement. To do that, you need an A/B testing solution.

These platforms offer a systematic approach to comparing different versions of an app or different app elements to determine which performs better. This enables data-backed decisions for your virtual care app—and why does that matter? Assumptions can be risky. And when you need to move the needle, hunches aren’t enough. 

In this blog, we’re looking at all the ways you can improve your healthcare app with A/B testing best practices. By the end, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running to improve the quality and engagement of your healthcare app with a solution that stands ready to sign a BAA. 

Understanding Healthcare Optimization

Let’s start with this: Healthcare optimization for your app is no walk in the park.

There are rules, privacy regulations, and an ongoing effort to earn the trust of users. Striking the right balance between innovating and sticking to industry standards is challenging. And let’s not forget the competition! 

Standing out in the healthcare app crowd is tough. Your campaigns need to not only catch attention but also connect with your target audience. So why should you be focusing on user engagement?

Unlike other industries, healthcare is personal. People need to trust the apps they use, and want to sense the voice of their service provider in the app experience. Building that trust and keeping users engaged is essential.

That’s where A/B testing comes into play.

Now you can understand what users like, what they don’t like, and everything in between. And with the right tools, you can tweak and improve the user experience through A/B testing. These experiments create interactions that resonate with your target audience. 

The result? Happy users who keep coming back, more self-service, and lower operational costs.

Optimizing your app is a must—there’s no way around it. Now let’s take a look at how you can do this.

Setting Clear Goals for Healthcare App Optimization

Before jumping into A/B testing, you’ll want to take a moment and outline what you want to achieve with your healthcare app optimization campaign. 

Are you aiming to boost user engagement, increase app downloads, or enhance user satisfaction? These objectives will guide you in every decision you make going forward, so it’s important to really think these through before moving on.

Maybe you’re launching a new feature or targeting a specific audience—whatever it is, define and document it. Clear campaign objectives not only keep your team aligned, but also set the stage for effective A/B testing.

Now that you’ve got your objectives outlined, it’s time to establish measurable Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). These are the metrics that will tell you if you’re hitting the mark. An example of KPIs you may track are:

  • Click-through rates
  • Conversion rates
  • User retention
  • App download rates
  • Average session duration

Whatever it is, choose KPIs that directly reflect your campaign objectives and you’ll have a clearly defined way to track success or define areas that need optimizing.

Identifying Variables for Testing

Now that you’ve set your goals, it’s time to identify variables for A/B testing. 

These variables will be at the center of improving your app campaigns and reaching desired outcomes. Let’s take a look at some variables you should consider experimenting with.

Visual Appeal

Simply put, first impressions matter. Users often decide in a matter of seconds where to engage with your app or move on. You should experiment with visuals, like graphics, images, and even the overall design. Test variations to discover what resonates best with your audience.

Copy that Works

This should go without saying—the words you choose to display are important. Test the copy for your app, like headlines, descriptions, and calls-to-action (CTAs). See which language gets the desired action from your users. It’s not just about what you say but how you say it, and A/B testing allows you to pinpoint the messaging that strikes the right chord.

Optimizing the CTA

Having the right CTA can boost results. Experiment with variations in button color, size, and placement. Does a bold color prompt more clicks? Is a larger size more noticeable? These seemingly small details can significantly impact user interaction, making A/B testing an invaluable tool for optimization.

User Flow and Abandonment

Consider testing different user flows within your app. How do users log in or navigate through various sections? Where are the abandonment points? Is there a more intuitive path that encourages engagement? A/B testing can help you understand the user journey and refine the app’s structure for a seamless and satisfying experience.

Timing and Frequency

When it comes to healthcare apps, timing matters. Experiment with the timing and frequency of notifications, reminders, or updates. Find the sweet spot that keeps users informed without being intrusive. A/B testing helps you strike the right balance, ensuring your app remains a helpful companion rather than an annoyance.

Those are just a few variables to experiment with to get you started. Get creative, try out different elements, and let the data guide you toward an optimized healthcare app that resonates with your audience. 

Analyzing and Refining your A/B Testing Results

As you gather data from your A/B tests, you’ll want to dive into the numbers and metrics to understand how each variation performed against your defined KPIs.

This step is essential to identify patterns, anomalies, and trends that can guide your decision-making process. Because the real beauty of A/B testing lies in its iterative nature. Rather than a one-off process, it’s an ongoing program of refinement. 

Use the insights from your initial tests to inform the next round. Did one variation outperform the others? Great! Now, build on that success by testing further variations that dial in the winning elements. Remember, the goal isn’t just to optimize for the moment, but to achieve continuous learning and improvement. 

With each A/B test, you’re not only refining specific elements but also growing your overall healthcare app strategy. 

Overcoming Challenges with SiteSpect

Healthcare optimization often deals with unique challenges, such as regulatory compliance, the need for personalized user experiences, and the demand for data security. 

Many organizations struggle with personalizing and optimizing user experiences in secured areas of their app to reduce operational costs. At SiteSpect, our platform steps up to the plate with a tailored solution designed to address these unique challenges head-on. With our solution, you can conduct A/B tests while ensuring compliance with industry regulations.

Whether it’s testing user flows to find the friction points, visuals, copy, or experimenting with CTAs and buttons, the platform offers a user-friendly interface that facilitates efficient testing while also meeting the requirements of:

  • GDPR
  • CCPA
  • PCI
  • And more

Plus, many other application security measures, like single sign-on, two-factor authentication (2FA), and end-user permission levels are available with the SiteSpect service. We are also one of only a few vendors willing to stand behind our HIPAA-ready services and sign a BAA, bridging the compliance divide, and enabling healthcare organizations to explore the full spectrum of A/B testing and user experience enhancements.

And with our comprehensive dashboard, you can track performance metrics and identify trends as they unfold. This allows for quick adjustments to your healthcare app optimization strategy so you can see what your self-service virtual care app saves on operational costs in real time. 

Overall, the versatility of our platform allows for tailored experimentation and optimization. With SiteSpect, you have a partner who not only understands the healthcare sector but is equipped to support your journey towards delivering the best user experiences possible.

Final Thoughts

Optimizing your healthcare app can lead to great benefits, but it’s not without its challenges—especially when you’re bound by regulations and unique user expectations. But it can be done with the right A/B testing tool at your disposal. 

Ready to discover how our tailored A/B testing solution can boost your app’s performance, ensure compliance, enhance user experiences, and drive continuous improvement? Request your free SiteSpect demo to start your healthcare optimization journey today. 


Paul Bernier

Paul Bernier

Paul Bernier is Vice President of Product Management at SiteSpect. He has a background in website optimization, recommendations, and development, as well as web analytics. He is based in Boston.

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