What Are the Best Strategies to Increase Engagement on a UK Health App?

April 17, 2024

In the ever-evolving world of technology, health apps have become significant tools for individuals seeking to manage their health and well-being. A well-constructed health app can provide users with a wealth of knowledge, from detailed nutritional information to personalised fitness routines. However, developing an app is only half the battle. The real challenge lies in keeping users engaged and ensuring they utilise the app frequently. The strategies deployed for user engagement are vital for the app’s success. In this article, we’ll delve into the best strategies to keep users returning to your health app time and time again.

Understanding Your User

Before we go into specifics, it’s crucial to understand who your users are. To increase engagement, you need to understand your patient base. This can be achieved by conducting a comprehensive study of your user demographics and behaviour.

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Understanding your users goes beyond knowing their age, gender, or location. You should also examine their habits, lifestyle, and health goals. Using this data, you can then customise your app to meet their needs more effectively. Personalising the app experience is a proven method of increasing engagement. Everyone likes to feel unique, and personalisation gives users a sense of being seen and valued.

Google Analytics and other similar tools can provide valuable data on user behaviour. They allow you to see how often users visit your app, which features they use most, and at what times they’re most active. This information can guide you in refining your app to better suit your users’ needs.

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Offering Reliable Health Data

Quality content is key to keeping users engaged. In a health app, this could mean providing reliable and up-to-date health information. Users are more likely to return to an app if they are confident in the data they’re receiving.

Partnering with reliable sources such as PubMed can ensure your content is accurate and trustworthy. PubMed, a free search engine maintained by the U.S. National Library of Medicine, provides access to a wealth of peer-reviewed articles and health studies. By including trustworthy sources, you can build your users’ trust and keep them returning to your app for reliable health information.

Enhancing User Experience

The user experience (UX) of your app plays a significant role in increasing engagement. A clean, intuitive interface can make the difference between an app that’s enjoyable to use and one that’s frustrating and confusing.

Consider making your app’s interface as simple and intuitive as possible. Avoid cluttering your app with unnecessary features and information. Keep in mind that a sleek, straightforward design can go a long way in improving user experience.

Also, consider the speed and performance of your app. A slow, glitchy app can deter users and lower engagement. Ensuring your app runs smoothly and quickly is essential in keeping your users engaged.

Implementing Gamification Strategies

Gamification involves incorporating game design elements into non-game contexts. In health apps, this could mean implementing features such as points, badges, leaderboards, or challenges to motivate users and increase engagement.

For instance, you could award points to users for completing certain activities (like logging their meals or finishing a workout), which they could then exchange for rewards. Leaderboards can foster a sense of competition among users, motivating them to use the app more frequently. Challenges or goals can give users a sense of achievement, further boosting their engagement.

Encouraging User Interaction

Encouraging user interaction can also help increase engagement. This could mean incorporating social features into your app, such as forums or chat groups where users can interact with each other. Users could share their progress, discuss health topics, or offer each other support and encouragement.

Another way to encourage interaction is through push notifications. Regular reminders to log their meals, exercise, or check their progress can prompt users to engage with your app daily. However, these should be used judiciously, as too many notifications can be annoying and lead to users disabling them or uninstalling your app altogether.

By focusing on understanding your user, offering reliable health data, enhancing user experience, implementing gamification strategies, and encouraging user interaction, you can significantly increase engagement on your health app. Remember, the key to successful user engagement lies in providing a high-quality, personalised experience that meets your users’ needs and keeps them coming back for more.

Utilising Google Scholar and PubMed for High-Quality References

High-quality references are essential in maintaining the credibility and reliability of your health app. Sites like Google Scholar and PubMed are excellent sources of peer-reviewed articles and research papers on various health topics. By citing these reputable sources, you provide your users with the assurance that the information they’re getting from your app is accurate and up-to-date.

Google Scholar is a free academic search engine that indexes a vast range of scholarly literature, including articles, theses, books, and conference papers. It spans numerous disciplines and sources, and can provide detailed insights into the evolving landscape of healthcare and mHealth studies.

Meanwhile, PubMed—an even more specialised source—offers over 30 million citations for biomedical literature, life science journals, and online books. Many of these are free articles that can be accessed by your app’s users, further enhancing their experience.

Integrating these sources into your app can not only boost your app’s credibility but can also increase user engagement. When users see that your app references reliable and respected sources, they are more likely to trust the information provided and use your app on a regular basis.

Prioritising Patient Engagement

Patient engagement is a critical factor in the success of any health app. It refers to the active involvement of patients in their healthcare, facilitated by tools and resources such as health apps. A high level of patient engagement can lead to improved health outcomes and increased satisfaction with healthcare services.

To prioritise patient engagement, it’s crucial to involve patients in the development and improvement of the app. This could involve seeking feedback through surveys or focus groups, and incorporating their suggestions into future updates.

Moreover, consider integrating features that promote self-management and autonomy. This could include tracking tools for diet and exercise, reminders for medication and appointments, and access to personal health records. Such features can empower patients to take control of their health, potentially leading to a higher retention rate.

The app should also be able to connect patients with healthcare providers conveniently. Features like virtual consultations, secure messaging, and easy appointment scheduling can enhance patient-provider communication, contributing to better patient engagement.


To summarise, increasing engagement on a UK health app involves a multi-faceted approach. Understanding your users, providing high-quality and reliable health data, enhancing user experience, incorporating gamification, and prioritising patient engagement are key strategies that can drive user engagement and retention rate.

While tools like Google Analytics, Google Scholar, and PubMed provide valuable insights and references, the most critical factor is maintaining a user-centred approach. This means continuously seeking feedback, understanding user needs and preferences, and adapting the app to meet these needs.

Overall, the success of a health app lies not just in its features but in the value it brings to its users. By focusing on providing a personalised, engaging, and valuable experience, you can turn your health app into an indispensable tool for your users’ healthcare journey.