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Study: Consumers Use Mobile Apps to Track Health, But Don’t Involve Docs

April 17, 2014
by Rajiv Leventhal
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While 70 percent of people use mobile apps on a daily basis to track calorie intake and monitor physical activities, only 40 percent share data and insights with their doctors, according to a new study by the Wellesley, Mass.-based mobile engagement provider Mobiquity.

The study, "Get Mobile, Get Healthy: the Appification of Health & Fitness," involved 1,000 consumers, and reveals the opportunity for healthcare professionals and organizations to leverage mobile to drive positive behavior change and healthier patient outcomes. In fact, 34 percent of mobile health and fitness app users said they would increase their use of apps if their doctors actively recommended it.

According to Mobiquity's research, 73 percent of people claim to be healthier by using a smartphone and apps to track their health and fitness. Fifty three percent, in fact, discovered they were eating more calories than they realized. Sixty-three percent intend to continue, and even increase, their mobile health tracking in the next five years. But it doesn't stop there: 55 percent of today's mobile health app users also plan to introduce wearable devices like pedometers, wristbands and smartwatches to their health monitoring in coming years.

Further, for many, using a smartphone to track their health and fitness is more important to them than using their phone for social networking (69 percent), mobile shopping (68 percent), listening to music (60 percent) and making/receiving phone calls (30 percent). And what's stopping people from using their health and fitness apps more? Doctor recommendations would be a big motivator, said 34 percent. Privacy was also a concern for 61 percent. But the chief reason people quit using these apps is simply because they forget—something that could and should be addressed by app developers to ensure health apps are less disposable, according to Mobiquity.

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