Consumers are beginning to embrace mobile tools for heart health-but not enough, according to a January HealthMine survey. Said survey involved 501 consumers with known heart disease, 27 percent of whom are using an activity tracker. Of those that do have an activity tracker, only 16 percent say they are using it to manage their heart condition/risk; 74 percent of users from this group report the device is helping them cope with their heart condition.
According to the American Heart Association, 27 percent of Americans are living with some form of cardiovascular disease, and 47 percent have at least one of the three key risk factors for heart conditions: high blood pressure, high cholesterol or smoking. Mobile devices and apps can provide a convenient way to help track risk factors and disease, including tools for self-data collection, fitness, diet, and more.
Overall, HealthMine found that 31 percent of those with a heart condition/risk are using some type of mobile health tool to manage their condition/risk: 50 percent use an activity/fitness tracking device or app, 48 percent – blood pressure app, 47 percent – heart rate app, while food/nutrition app is used by 38 percent of users.
The survey also found that 20 percent of respondents received a fitness or health-related gift for the holidays, and 10 percent say they were gifted a wearable activity tracker.
Of the 69 percent consumers with heart problems who aren’t using mobile health tools to manage their condition/risk, 36 percent say they prefer “traditional” methods, 34 percent say they don’t know which device/app to use, 20 percent say they don’t own a mobile device, and 15 percent find mobile health tools too confusing.
HealthMine concludes that mHealth apps and devices can make a difference for people with heart disease.
“Millions of wearable fitness tracking devices will be incorporated into wellness programs over the next few years,” Bryce Williams, CEO and President of HealthMine, said in a statement. “But they need to tie into a larger, clinically-based strategy to help consumers know where they stand with their health, what they need to do and stay motivated to do it.”