Sixteen percent of U.S. adults who use smartphones and tablet computers access health applications regularly, according to a report released last week by communications firm Ruder Finn, MobiHealthNews reports (Comstock, MobiHealthNews, 3/8).
For the report, researchers in October 2012 surveyed a nationally representative sample of 1,000 consumers, 670 of whom had access to a smartphone, a tablet or both (Ruder Finn report, 3/4).
Most Widely Used Health Apps
The report found that the most popular health apps focused on fitness and wellness. Of respondents who said they used health apps:
- 49% said they used healthy eating apps;
- 48% said they used fitness or calorie tracking apps; and
- 46% said they used nutrition apps.
According to the report, 12% of respondents said they would use an app to videoconference with their physician.
The report also found that 13% of respondents said they did not think health apps would improve patient care.
Preferred Physician Use of Health Apps
According to the report:
- 42% of respondents said they wanted physicians to have an app for viewing test results;
- 33% said they wanted physicians to use remote monitoring devices; and
- 30% said they wanted physicians to have access to electronic health records via a mobile device.
Reasons for Not Using Health Apps
Of the respondents who did not use mobile health apps, researchers found that:
- 27% said they did not have a need to use health apps;
- 26% said they preferred meeting with their physician in person;
- 11% said they were concerned about sharing information through an app;
- 9% said they did not find health apps useful; and
- 7% said they did not know health apps were available (MobiHealthNews, 3/8).