Saturday, July 21, 2012

Mobile health applications may be the next wonder of the world, but relatively few Americans are using them.

Citing data from the Pew Internet and American Life Project, Washington Post breaks it down: While 88% of Americans have a cell phone, only 10% have downloaded health-related mobile apps.

The good news is that 15% of younger cell phone users (ages 18-29) and urban African-American users had health apps on their phone, at least in September 2010, according to a Pew report from November 2011. But that also meant that only 8% of cell phone users aged 30-49 ages at which health issues are more likely to arise downloaded mobile health apps.

A follow-up study conducted in August 2011 found similar results. Not surprisingly, adults 50 and older were least likely to download mobile health apps to their cell phones, the researchers found.

“(A) persistent trend is that the majority of these apps are focused on tracking fitness or diet,” Dolan said. “There are two or three new BMI calculators released every month, for example and far fewer are focused on what most people would consider true health problems, like chronic conditions or chronic condition management.”