Editor's note: Bj Kirschner is director, business development at New York research firm Just Worldwide.

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Whether you wondered at the initial instruction or at the fourth choice if the writer of this article was batty, I am guessing you were fully prepared to tap. We all do it all day long on our mobile devices. Even I do, and I am, at best, an un-early adopter of technology.

Fossil that I am, my original reaction to mobile applications was negative, though not because I am a technophobe who blames every change in eyesight on small devices but because they were laughably rudimentary. The applications looked ugly, did not take into account different types of devices, often required downloading of other apps just to run the one needed and, of course, your fingers ached just looking at the amount of tapping required. I kept expecting DOS windows to pop up. Oh, and then companies wanted their own bespoke platforms, meaning that respondents would confront unforeseen and different challenges for which recruiters could not prepare them because they were new to everyone. We smoothed that all out and now health care market research is filled with technologically sound and unique mobile applications used across the world, even in countries where technology is less welcome. There is no bigger fan of them for market research use than I.

As we know, 2020 and 2021 have changed the way we use technology and market research has not been exempt. Those of us on the health care side were fortunate that COVID-19 did not stop our work but rather forced it to change dramatically and quickly. The lifeline of course turned out to be mobile applications, either alone or partnered with web-assisted telephone interviews. A natural fit, it made for a fairly smooth pivot. But two issues that have always existed regarding mobile apps suddenly took on giant importance: over-worrying and overwo...