Online Branding in the Healthcare Industry: A Quantitative Analysis on How the World’s Best Smart Hospitals Promote their Brands through Mobile Apps


  • Pablo Medina Aguerrebere Canadian University Dubai (UAE)
  • Eva Medina University of Alicante
  • Toni Gonzalez Pacanowski University of Alicante


Hospitals, Corporate communication, Brand, Reputation, Mobile Apps.


Artificial intelligence, big data, telemedicine and mobile apps contribute to enhance hospitals’ internal processes as well as patients’ medical outcomes. This technology represents an opportunity to make hospitals’ brands more credible. This paper analyzes how smart hospitals use mobile apps to improve their relations with stakeholders and promote their brands. To do that, we conducted a literature review about artificial intelligence, hospitals’ branding strategies and mobile apps; then, based on this review, we defined 36 branding indicators; subsequently, we resorted to the World’s Best Smart Hospitals 2023, an annual ranking developed by Newsweek and Statista, to analyze how the 300 best smart hospitals in the world managed mobile apps for branding purposes according to these 36 indicators. Our results proved that 57% of hospitals managed mobile apps for communication purposes, but only few of them used these platforms to interact with different stakeholders such as employees (32,7%) and media companies (2,3%), and this way build the organization’s brand in a collective way. We concluded that hospitals should follow a branding logic, develop apps for different stakeholders and explain why using these platforms is consistent with the organization’s brand. 


Biografias Autor

Pablo Medina Aguerrebere, Canadian University Dubai (UAE)

Pablo Medina Aguerrebere holds a PhD in Corporate Communication (University of Navarra – Spain-, 2011). He has published several scientific papers about health communication, especially about how hospitals manage social media to improve their corporate reputation. Currently, he works as Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Communication at the Canadian University Dubai (United Arab Emirates), where he teaches several public relations and advertising-related courses.

Eva Medina, University of Alicante

Eva Medina has a PhD in Business at the University of Alicante (Spain, 2021). She has published several papers and book chapters about public health, law and economics. Her main research area focuses on how hospitals implement integrated communication models to enhance their internal functioning from a legal, medical and communication perspective. Currently, she is researcher in the School of Communication and Psychology at the University of Alicante (Spain).

Toni Gonzalez Pacanowski, University of Alicante

Toni Gonzalez Pacanowski holds a PhD in Journalism (Pompeu Fabra University -Spain-, 2005). His main research area is health communication and technology, and more precisely how hospitals integrate social media and mobile apps into their internal protocols to improve their corporate communication initiatives. He is Full Professor in the School of Communication and Psychology at the University of Alicante (Spain), where he is in charge of different corporate communication-related courses.


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