Health IT Startup: MobileSmith

Bob Dieterle
Bob Dieterle

MobileSmith is an online app development platform, enabling hospitals and health organizations to create custom, native apps, across iPhone, Android and iPad devices, without any coding required.

Elevator Pitch

We have a platform that allows a marketing department with no development experience to create custom, native mobile apps. With us, any hospital can enhance their patient engagement strategy, without coding, and without the cost of hiring developers.

Founders Story

The earliest foundations of the company that would become MobileSmith, were laid in 1993. Back then, the company, known as SmartOnline, sold software to assist small businesses. SmartOnline became one of the early pioneers of the SaaS (Software as a Service) model that we use today. The company worked to adapt to the constantly changing technology. In 2010, the company hired Bob Dieterle as senior VP and general manager. He advocated and orchestrated a complete overhaul of the company services, and focused the company, instead, on the budding industry of mobile applications. The company wanted to deliver organizations a means to quickly create and manage apps to connect to their consumers, without having to rely heavily on an IT department. Working to that end, the MobileSmith online platform was developed, and in July 2013, the overhaul was complete, as the company rebranded itself as MobileSmith Inc. and has since focused entirely on delivering quality and cost-effective mobile apps to organizations.

Market Opportunity and Strategy

There are several app development platforms out there, such as Appcelerator or Kony. These platforms still require a programmer or developer to write code for the apps. Our platform requires no coding whatsoever. A designer or marketer can easily come to us and use our platform to design, prototype, build and deploy an app. While we have clients from a variety of fields, healthcare providers have found our platform particularly useful. With healthcare IT departments swamped with EHR implementation and marketing desperately trying to enhance patient engagement options, our platform has been able to fill their needs without placing any further burden on their IT, and avoiding the higher labor cost of developers. As only 35 percent of healthcare providers offer mobile apps, according to the HIMSS Analytics Survey, there is a clear need in the healthcare industry for our platform, and several organizations have found us to be an excellent means of enhancing their patient engagement via mobile apps.

With budgetary concerns being the number one restriction for these providers in offering apps, we have focused on offering a lower cost, yet high quality solution for healthcare providers to engage their patients, and expand their brand. As proof of the quality of the apps that these providers are creating, two healthcare organizations’ apps were awarded Communicator Awards of Distinction, and another one took home a WebHealth Bronze Award. In all of these cases, these apps were going up against creations from organizations, and professional app developers, with much larger budgets and still received recognition for their quality.

We constantly research the healthcare industry to deliver the best service to providers, and we share our findings with the providers through webinars and educational content. One example of our research was produced as an immensely popular Patient Engagement eBook, sharing with providers the latest methods to deliver the most engaging mobile apps for their patients. We have continued to share our platform at healthcare conferences and tradeshows (We have exhibited at the last two HIMSS conferences) At several of these shows, including the Healthcare Marketing and Physician Strategies Summit, which took place at the end of April in Orlando, we actually built the conference app on our platform, giving healthcare professionals further demonstration of our platform capabilities.

Further Benefits of the Platform

Typical app development costs for a custom full-featured app run anywhere from $30,000 to $150,000. With our platform, hospitals are able to cut that cost significantly. Further, our simple subscription fees not only include the cost of development, but the entire life-cycle of the mobile app process. The platform allows for unlimited Over-the-Air testing and, once the app is released, providers have streamlined versioning capabilities, and a central CMS for app management and updates, all for that one subscription fee. This also saves a considerable amount of time as well as money, with organizations able to incorporate Photoshop designs, logos, and color schemes in one or multiple apps and conduct testing near instantaneously, all in this one platform. Hospitals can make an app exactly how they envision, and if they see something they want to change, or have an idea for a whole other app they’d like to create, it’s only too easy to create.

It used to be that organizations could not create a native app, which was also cross-platform. They would have to make two separate creations. Our platform mitigates that problem, using a hybrid native technique to allow users to develop fully native apps across multiple platforms, in one design process, and still without any coding required.

Business Model

We operate an enterprise class SaaS business model, licensing our platform to healthcare providers in exchange for a simple subscription rate. Secondly, we license our platform to provide a white-label solution for partners to sell to their own clients.

Current Needs

We’re always looking to hire brilliant new developers (especially for iOS) residing in or willing to relocate to the beautiful, flourishing RTP area.

Headquarters: Raleigh, North Carolina

Number of Employees: 26

When founded: Initial company 1993, overhauled 2010, rebranded as MobileSmith, Inc. in July 2013

Examples of Apps Built On Our Platform:

Wake Forest Baptist Health- Comprehensive Cancer Center (2014 Communicator Award of Distinction)

Customized Communications-The Gift of Motherhood (2014 Communicator Award of Distinction)

Henry County Health Center- HCHC Healthy Living (2013 WebHealth Bronze Award)

Rex Hospital- Rex Cancer Care, Rex Wellness Center

Our 3 Stage Process for App Development

What kind of apps are enabled with our platform?

Where do we fit?

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