With the newest advances in analytics and technologies, there’s no doubt that push notifications can transform current practices at a rapid pace. While both remote and local notifications provide valuable medical information, remote notifications do not solely send a generic message to a user’s device. As explained above, identification codes and targeting strategies improve data delivery. In addition, when developing and employing push notifications, the following factors should be considered:
Intelligent and sensor-driven notifications
Smartphones, app, and wearables integrate artificial intelligence, learning algorithms, and sensor-driven data to improve health care practices worldwide. GPS settings are among the most beneficial features of any smart device. Thus, effective push notifications should integrate geolocation-based settings to assess a patient’s location and target messages. A recent study (n=77) showed that intelligent sensor-driven machine learning models might improve the timing and frequency of notification delivery (Morrison et al., 2017). By considering a user’s location, Morrison and colleagues explored the effects of three types of notifications on user engagement: intelligent, daily with pre-defined frames (one notification in a 24-hour period with a customized time range), and occasional notifications (one notification in a 72-hour period). Stats showed that intelligent messages (based on location and movement), as well as daily notifications with pre-defined frames, have numerous advantages over generic and occasional notifications. Yet, when it comes to real-world settings, too many intelligent and sensor-driven notifications can be perceived by users as random and invasive.
Timing and scheduling techniques:
Push notifications are tailored messages sent at certain programmed times, often during non-working hours. Morrison and colleagues, for instance, chose to send notifications to participants between 17.00h and 20.00h, as previous research had shown that people engaged more actively with apps in their free time (Morrison et al., 2017). Note that messages should not interfere with users’ daily activities; users have the right to define given time frames in which to receive notifications. In addition, people’s daily routines are not always consistent, so participants must have some control over the notifications they receive. Users must have the option to enable or disable push notifications. After all, people often get up to 50 notifications a day, in different formats (e.g., SMS, email) and from different apps – an alarming phenomenon which leads to low engagement rates. Since more and more users across the globe own a smartphone with a data plan, timing and scheduling should also consider local time zones.