Healthline released the results from a recent survey conducted among 3,679 Healthline.com readers during June 17-24, 2015. The survey covered topics such as innovations in digital health, security, impact of these tools on consumer health choices, as well as emerging alternatives to a visit to the doctor’s office.
Security is a concern for some
15% of consumers surveyed own a Fitbit or similar activity tracker.On one hand, 25% of users don’t believe their personal health data is secure on a Fitbit or a health tracking app, and another 45% are concerned that hackers may try to steal their personal health data. On the other hand, 15% of consumers surveyed own a Fitbit or similar activity tracker, 80% of which feel that the device keeps them motivated and on-track with their exercise routine. Almost half (48%) say it helps them better understand how active they are, and one-quarter (25%) say it helps them increase their level of activity.
More than half (52%) of respondents use at least one mobile health app, with most (49%) using up to four apps and the average being two apps. Of those that use mHealth apps, 33% have been using their preferred mobile app for three to eight months, with another third using it for less than three months. MyFitnessPal is the most commonly used app among consumers who use health apps (33%).
MyFitnessPal is the most commonly used app among consumers who use health apps.Sixty-three percent of app users claim their top mobile health app provides a moderate or significant benefit. However, 43% stopped using the app within six months, with the most common reason being “not making enough progress,” cited by 29 percent.
Mobile app prescribing is still in its infancy, with 4% of consumers saying their doctor recommended a mobile app to them, and an additional 2% reporting that an app was actually formally prescribed by their doctor. Of the apps recommended or prescribed by physicians, food logs and calorie counters rank highest at 34%, followed by pedometers or fitness trackers (24%), heart rate monitors (22%), blood sugar monitors (20%) and medication reminders (17%).
Nine percent of respondents report having used a telehealth service for a minor illness at some point since these services became commercially available. Of those trying out these services, 90% feel their experience was the same or better than that at a doctor’s office consultation. Surprisingly, 45% of telehealth users report that they were unaware of these types of services just two to three years ago.