A new study has revealed that over 50% of Americans have shared health information with a medical professional through the internet, smartphone, mobile app or wearable fitness device.
The study comes from leading communications firm Ketchum, who has mapped U.S consumer adoption of wearable technology, apps and A.I for personal health and wellness using its mHealth Monitor survey.
The study highlights the changing dynamic of how health people manage their health, demonstrating how the adoption of technology has led to mobile health opportunities.
58% of Americans with a smartphone have shared information with a medical professional and one in four have emailed or texted a photo of a medical problem to their doctor. Shifting attitudes towards health tracking are highlighted through the percentage of people using fitness trackers. 47% of respondents have an app for tracking fitness, health or medicine and 83% of people who use fitness app used them on a weekly basis.
Ketchum also identified the five types of mHealth users that demonstrated the overall adoption to mobile and technological health tracking. The five types of people included:
Discerning Digitals: People who enjoy being connected but struggle with feeling too available. They are prone to using health and fitness apps and actively manage their health.
Swayable Seekers: People who would like to expand their skills using mobile technology. They’re confident about managing their health and many can source medical information online. However, many respondents said they still had a lot to learn about mHealth.
Health Tech Hesitators: People who aren’t happy with their physical health and who might not be managing their fitness. They aren’t comfortable sharing medical information online but they may be persuaded to learn more about or use mHealth.
App-athetic Agnostics: People who love mobile technology but aren’t interested in mHealth and don’t plan to use it.
Low-tech Lifers: Traditionalists who don’t feel that mHealth has had a positive impact on their life.
Executive vice president and North American technology practice leader for Ketchum, Lisa Sullivan said: “This study points to a shift in people’s attitudes and readiness to use technology to manage their health. With U.S. smartphone adoption at 68 percent, now is the time for businesses that have a stake in the healthcare industry to push to develop approachable, intuitive mobile tech offerings that help the ever-increasing mobile user population improve something as personal and important as their health.”