The number of Americans using mobile phones for health information or tools reached 95 million in 2013—up 27 percent from 75 million a year ago, according to a new study from Manhattan Research.
For many, smartphones have become an indispensable source of healthcare information—38 percent of online smartphone users agree that the device is “essential” for finding health and medical info, according to Cybercitizen Health U.S., which is Manhattan Research’s annual market research study.
The study found that consumers access health information on mobile phones at home, not just on the go, and that while adoption of mobile health apps from pharma companies is so far low, they are strongly influential for those users.
The study also shows that mobile health adoption, activities, and attitudes vary greatly among the patient audiences tracked, highlighting the need for marketers to understand mobile behavior by unique therapeutic segments.
- Online patient audiences who are most likely to be mobile health users:
- Cystic fibrosis patients
- Growth hormone deficiency patients
- Acne patients
- ADD/ADHD patients
- Hepatitis C patients
"Many pharma marketers still underestimate both the opportunity and complexity of the mobile channel,” Monique Levy, vice president of research at Manhattan Research, said in a study. “Many marketers will need to reset assumptions around when, where and how these devices are used for health. What’s clear is that patients are using these devices throughout the patient journey, for quick questions and deep research, and increasingly to actually manage their condition and care.”