Report: 16% of Adult Mobile Device Users Leverage Health Apps

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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).

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