Online Program

Benefits of a Mobile First Approach to Public Health

Wednesday, November 4, 2015 : 9:30 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.

Jeremy Vanderlan, ICF, Fairfax, VA
Cathy Thomas, ICF, Fairfax, VA
Miguel Gomez, Office of HIV/AIDS and Infectious Disease Policy, Department of Health and Human Services, Washington, DC
Michelle Samplin-Salgado, John Snow, Inc, Boston, MA

Mobile has emerged as a primary communication channel for health information. Pew Research Center data indicates at least three-quarters of all health inquiries begin at a search engine and more than half of all health searches are done on mobile devices. Public health information must be available to mobile devices.


Creating and maintaining a mobile experience for users is an imperative. But with the diversity of devices and ways that people access that information, how does one prioritize content in a way that works for all users, regardless of whether they are mobile, tablet, desktop or even wearable seekers of health information? has relied on a mobile first approach to content development and our technical platforms, which include a clinic locator, blog, basic HIV information, and resources on using new media. Through this mobile first approach, we now see more than 60% of our traffic coming from mobile devices.

Lessons Learned

This session will cover specific techniques and tools we use to guide our mobile first approach and demonstrate benefits of prioritizing the mobile audience. We will demonstrate outcomes of prioritizing mobile use cases and tasks and identify key technical and design decisions.


Prioritize health information for mobile users as benefits will accrue to all seekers of health information.

Learning Areas:

Communication and informatics
Implementation of health education strategies, interventions and programs
Other professions or practice related to public health
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs

Learning Objectives:
Identify mobile first approaches to content and website development Describe responsive web design, a device-agnostic technique for development, used by Demonstrate efficacy of a mobile first approach in meeting the needs of health audiences across the spectrum.

Keyword(s): Technology, HIV/AIDS

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Jeremy Vanderlan, (Technical Deputy, provides direction for's mobile products and initiatives.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.