About 19% of U.S. adult smartphone users have applications to help them monitor or manage their health, according to a report from the Pew Internet & American Life Project, MobiHealthNews reports (Dolan, MobiHealthNews, 11/8).
The Pew Charitable Trusts and the California HealthCare Foundation helped fund the study. CHCF publishes iHealthBeat (Central Valley Business Times, 11/8).
For Pew's Mobile Health 2012 report, researchers surveyed 3,014 U.S. adults, 45% of whom said they used a smartphone (Comstock, MobiHealthNews, 11/8).
Princeton Survey Research Associates International conducted the survey by landline and mobile phone between Aug. 7 and Sept. 6. The results were weighted to represent the demographics of the U.S. adult population (Central Valley Business Times, 11/8)
Smartphone Health App Users
The report found that wellness and fitness apps were the most popular among users of smartphone health apps. Among the 254 smartphone health app users identified in the survey:
- 38% used apps to track exercise, fitness or their heart rate;
- 31% used apps to track diet or food; and
- 12% used apps to track their weight.
The report also looked at the use of health apps among certain groups of smartphone users. It found that:
- 22% of smartphone users who are caregivers use health apps;
- 22% of smartphone users who have faced a medical crisis in the past year use health apps; and
- 21% of smartphone users with chronic conditions use health apps.
Using Mobile Phones for Other Health-Related Purposes
The report also found that 31% of mobile phone owners have used their phones to look up health information, up from 17% in Pew's Mobile Health 2010 report.
According to the latest report, only 9% of the 2,581 mobile phone owners surveyed used text messaging to obtain health information (Comstock, MobiHealthNews, 11/8).