Case study Public Health Foundation Enterprises - WIC Program

PHFE WIC (Public Health Foundation Enterprises - WIC Program) is a US Federally funded program helping low income families in the Los Angeles, California area.

They provide supplemental food, health care referrals and nutritional education for low-income, pregnant, breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding postpartum women and to infants and children up to 5 years of age.


To provide participants with printed healthy food vouchers PHFE is required to give participants free nutritional education. For the past 18 months PHFE has been experimenting with providing this education in an online format. This was not as popular as first expected, possibly due to low income families not being in possession of a PC.

Using Microsoft's IsMobileDevice property to detect mobile users, PHFE found that only 7% of people accessing the website were from a mobile device. Once 51Degrees.mobi’s Lite data had been installed, this number shot up to 40%, due to far more accurate detection data. This led Mike Whaley (IT Director, PHFE WIC) to optimise the PHFE online education for mobiles, to increase the amount of participants finishing the online questionnaires.


Mike created an alternate smartphone version of the education website and used 51Degrees.mobi Device Detection to redirect users who were accessing the website via a mobile device.

Mike stated "Since our participants are not the high-tech middle class, but instead the lower income population struggling to buy low end phones and data plans, 51Degrees.mobi's compression and ability to allow us to identify and adapt to various phone and data limitations is incredibly valuable. Compressing the data to go easy on a user's data plan provides the customer with a better product and shows respect for the cost of their limited data."


Using 51Degrees.mobi, Mike has begun capturing response time and bandwidth after each education module and has managed to reduce total page size to around 40kb.

Within a week of 51Degrees.mobi Framework being implemented, 23% more people were completing the education online. This equates to 50 extra participants a day that have been able to complete the educational surveys, thanks to the redesign that 51Degrees.mobi's tools have helped PHFE to achieve.

Mike concludes "The compression in your product is working amazingly well and the modules are fast and responsive. This is already faster and easier to use than the big screen version of the education website and is a game changer for us."