Consumer use of mobile devices for healthcare continues to grow

The number of U.S. consumers ages 18 or older taking advantage of mobile resources for healthcare purposes continues to rise, according to New York City-based Manhattan Research. Roughly 75 million individuals are using mobile phones for health information and tools, 14 million more than last year. Meanwhile, consumers using tablets for healthcare activities ballooned to 29 million from 15 million last year.

In particular, the report highlights a trend involving older consumers and mobile technology use. According to the survey responses, almost half of all tablet users at or over the age of 55 take advantage of such tools with healthcare in mind. The announcement doesn't mention senior use of smartphones for healthcare purposes, although a paper that will be presented this month at Human Factors and Ergonomics Society's annual meeting finds that app designers need to do a better job of keeping the elderly in mind during development.

Overall, more than 8,700 U.S. adults were surveyed.

"Growing ownership of connected devices and the access to digital health tools and information they provide is helping to drive the broader shift from intermittent to continuous care," Monique Levy, vice president of research at Manhattan, said, according to the announcement. "This trend shows vast potential for changing key dynamics of healthcare delivery, including patient engagement, provider involvement, and how preventive care is incentivized."

In addition to Manhattan's survey, new research from Mountain View, Calif.-based firm Frost & Sullivan finds that technologies like electronic health records, remote monitoring and communications platforms all are helping to promote mHealth.

"Data generated by mHealth applications find maximum potential in monitoring and optimizing the healthcare delivery chain," Frost & Sullivan analyst Prasanna Vadhana Kannan said in an announcement. "Technology developers should focus on improving their understanding of this pattern so they can offer a compelling argument for the adoption of this technology."

To learn more
- check out the Manhattan Research announcement
- here's the Frost & Sullivan announcement

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