The camel’s nose is under the tent. Maybe even the whole head at this point. That’s the take-away from a new survey by Ketchum about mobile technology for health and medical applications.
For the company’s new mHealth Monitor report, researchers polled a sampling of 2,000 people in the U.S. to find out about their attitudes and behaviors about using technology to manage their health. Some of their results are surprising, even to technology enthusiasts. For example, the study found that 1 in 4 of the subjects reported that they had sent a photo to a doctor by text or email to consult about a medical issue. Nearly 2 out of 3 (60%) have shared information with a healthcare professional via the Internet, using a smartphone, mobile app, or wearable device. That’s a significant penetration for this technology.
Not all of the news was good, however. 25% of those surveyed said that a health or fitness tracking app made them “feel bad.” (The report summary does not indicate if those bad feelings translated into behavioral changes, however.)
The report authors view mobile health (mHealth) products and services as a competitive advantage for practitioners in the near term, but that consumers will rapidly come to expect them very soon. The health and medical industries need to embrace technological innovation in spite of the challenges of privacy, data security, and interoperability of systems. A significant segment of consumers are eager to embrace the benefits.