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The College of Optometrists Membership App

Everything needed for excellence in practice.

The Challenge

The College of Optometrists is the professional body for optometrists, boasting over 16,000 members. The College delivers the route to qualification for the profession and delivers the guidance, resources, and development opportunities to enable its members to deliver the highest-quality care to patients.

To support its members, the College provides an extensive range of clinical and ethical guidance and resources. As optometrists operate mostly in isolation, in practice rooms, and largely without internet access, the challenge was to provide offline access of resources in an easy-to-access format. Cantarus built a mobile app on the MemConnect platform as a way of providing College members with an additional value-add via an in-practice toolkit, and unifying the many sources of guidance from across their digital estate.

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Providing a toolkit in their members’ pockets

The College provides a significant value offering to their members and creates a substantial amount of content to supplement this. Initially, it was tempting to replicate the entire suite of functionality provided by their existing website, but working closely with the MemConnect team, we were able to clarify exactly what would deliver value. We settled on the notion of an in-practice toolkit and centred all further decisions around this idea.

We unified the three key guidance solutions maintained by the College – Clinical Management Guidelines, Formulary, and general Guidance. Each is managed in a separate digital estate, but unified by MemConnect and formatted for mobile, without any additional effort by College staff. Members can access the app via the Single Sign-On feature, and do not need to register separately. Leveraging the power of a new platform, we created the ability to bookmark content across all data sources into one, easy access favourites list. This is available on the app’s dashboard all year-round. Users can easily slice through the comprehensive guidance material to find the content they’re frequently engaging with, and maintain a handy quick reference within the app.

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We created an innovative solution that downloads the complete guidance information to the device and updates this when a connection is established. Additionally, the footprint of the app is miniscule, and optimised so that it does not consume much of the device’s available storage space. The College produces short-form multiple-choice quizzes known as ‘Ethical Scenarios’ for members to test their knowledge. As an under-appreciated resource on the web, and as a form-factor well suited to mobile, we integrated this content directly into the app as an extra engagement tool. The College also have the ability to send out surveys to their members via MemConnect’s Surveys feature, and can access valuable results and insights through the innovative MemConnect cloud analytics tool. This enables the College to get in-tune with their members’ needs. Upcoming events are listed so members can browse and choose which events they want to attend. Each event also includes the number of CET points it is worth if they attend. As well, students can browse through the pre-registration jobs board. Jobs can be filtered by region, as well as searched for up to the next three years. All the details on who to contact and how to apply are conveniently included within the app.

The Results

The College are thrilled with the results from the app, with feedback from students being really positive and encouraging. Highlights include:

  • 10,200 total downloads across iOS and Android,
  • 4.9 stars average review score across both app stores,
  • Within two months of the app going live, it was featured on Google Play Store as the most downloaded medical app in a single month,
  • 26% adoption rate of all members using the app.

Cantarus is professional to deal with and has adopted a flexible approach to delivering the first phase of an app that we hope will come to be recognised and valued by members as a leading membership benefit. I would recommend Cantarus to any organisation considering building a member-facing app.

Catherine Bithell, Director of Member Services & Communications