Smartphone ownership encourages people to research health or download wellness apps. Besides key demographics that increase mobile health engagement, medical events or conditions are a key growth driver.
Much of the growth in the digital health industry has been within mobile, mobility being very valuable for all the different stakeholders in this area. But adoption is different among cell phone owners and the sub-category of smartphone owners, the ladder leading the way. A Pew Internet research on mobile health shows that 85 percent of adults own a cell phone, half of these own smartphones, which increase the possibilities for Internet access and application usage. 31 percent of regular cell phone owners have used their phone to research health information with their handset, which is nearly double that of two years ago (17 percent). But smartphone owners look for health information through their phones much more often - 52 percent, compared to 6 percent of non-smartphone owners.
Usage of mobile health services depends on context
Usages vary depending on context and demographics. Latino or African American groups, those between the ages of 18-49, and those with a college degree or higher are all more likely to use their phone to gather health information. Some groups also use text messages related to health more often than others: women, those between 30 and 64 years old, and smartphone owners. Besides demographics, people most often engage with mobile health when they are more likely to be involved with health-related situations. Typically, health changes within the last twelve months increase the likelihood of a smartphone owner to download a health app.
Smartphone owners more often download health apps than use medical texts
Although 80 percent of general cell phone owners use text messages to communicate, only 9 percent use them to get health related information. Caregivers, patients with chronic conditions, or people who have faced a medical crisis or a significant health change are more likely to receive medical information via text. However, health applications are generally more popular than text messages. 19 percent of smartphone owners have installed an app that relates to exercise, diet or weight. As of April of this year, 84 percent of smartphone owners have downloaded a health or wellness app. For health apps, the demographics skew towards women, those under 50 years old, and those with a household income over $75,000.