Healthcare News & Insights

Survey: Patients using mobile devices to manage their own health

Patients are becoming more eager to manage their own health care – and smartphones and tablets are giving them valuable tools they can use to do that. 

That’s the word in a recent survey from Cybercitizen Health and Manhattan Research, which found an increasing use of mobile devices to look up health information.

An estimated 75 million adults in the U.S. use mobile phones to find health information, up from 61 million in 2011. And the number of adults using tablets for healthcare purposes nearly doubled over the same time period, increasing from 15 million to 29 million.

Part of that increase is due to a greater number of people who own smartphones and tablets. However, increases in the quantity and quality of mobile healthcare apps have also made it easier for people to use those devices to research information about conditions and use apps to track their progress in treatment programs.

Using mobile gadgets to manage health is especially popular among older people, according to the survey of 8,745 U.S. adults. In fact, nearly half of respondents age 55 and older who own a tablet said they use the device to research health information or for health management tools.

This news should be positive for doctors, since it means people are becoming more proactive about their health. That should lead to an increase in preventive care and better success with many treatment programs.

Doctors can help their patients get even more out of their smartphones and tablets by researching mobile health apps and recommending them to patients when applicable.

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