Most U.S. Adults Want To Use Apps, Wearables for Health Management

February 25, 2015 in News

About 66% of U.S. adults are interested in using a mobile application to help manage their health, while nearly 80% are willing to use a wearable device for the same purpose, according to a survey by Makovsky Health and Kelton, MobiHealthNews reports (Comstock, MobiHealthNews, 2/24).

For the fifth annual survey, researchers in January polled a nationally representative sample of 1,015 U.S. residents ages 18 and older (Makovsky Health/ Kelton release, 2/24).

Findings on Mobile Apps

The survey found that millennials — respondents ages 18 to 34 — were more than twice as likely as respondents older than 65 to express interest in using a mobile app for health management.

Among interested respondents, researchers found that:

  • 47% wanted to use mobile apps to track diet and nutrition, the top interest expressed by participants;
  • 46% wanted to use mobile apps for medication reminders;
  • 45% wanted to use mobile apps to track symptoms; and
  • 44% wanted to use mobile apps to track physical activity.

Respondents’ interests varied based on whether they had a chronic condition, with:

  • 63% of respondents with gastrointestinal conditions expressing an interest in using mobile apps to track diet and nutrition;
  • 61% of obese or overweight respondents expressing interest in using mobile apps to communicate with a physician;
  • Respondents with pulmonary conditions being more likely to be interested in using mobile apps for medication reminders; and
  • Respondents with cardiovascular conditions being more likely to be interested in using mobile apps to track sleep.

Findings on Wearables

Meanwhile, 79% of respondents said they would be willing to use a wearable device for health management. Among interested respondents:

  • 52% wanted to track physical activity using wearables;
  • 45% wanted to track symptoms;
  • 43% wanted to manage a personal health condition or issue;
  • 41% wanted to track sleep patterns; and
  • 39% wanted to track diet and nutrition.

Additional Findings

In addition, the survey found that 88% of respondents said they would be willing to share their personal health data for the purpose of improving treatment options and care.

Further, 91% of those polled said they would search the Internet for health information. Among such respondents:

  • 58% said they would search online for information to help manage an existing medical condition;
  • 57% said they would search online for information about symptoms; and
  • 55% said they would search online to research a prescribed treatment.

Overall, respondents were about three times more likely to look at WebMD for health information than websites affiliated with the government such as those run by CDC or FDA (MobiHealthNews, 2/24).

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