Majority of consumers will share health data, embrace wearable mHealth devices

Consumers are more than willing to share personal data--especially if done anonymously--for mHealth purposes, a new survey from Mavosky Health/Kelton finds.

Poll results reveal 90 percent of Americans are willing to share data on care and treatment research but the majority of respondents want some control and anonymity. Of the 90 percent willing to share, just 26 percent wouldn't share without anonymity.

When it comes to managing personal health, 81 percent would use a wearable health device, the survey finds, noting industry data shows fewer than 10 percent are currently using one.

Smartphones and tablets are getting more popular as healthcare info devices, nearly doubling in use compared to 2012. The PC, however, remains the primary tool for health data searches, even though its use is decreasing. Last year 83 percent of consumers polled used a PC; the number dropped to 69 percent this year.

The news comes as a steady stream of mobile healthcare apps and device tools are on the market and evolving well beyond the initial fitness bands that monitored activity. Today's tools serve as body fluid tests, can monitor blood sugar levels and are helping boost efficiency communications for healthcare providers.

"The on-the-go health information movement is integral to the care patients seek in addressing their medical interests," said Gil Bashe, executive VP president, practice director, Makovsky Health, in an announcement.

Smartphone use for health data jumped from six percent to 19 percent and tablets are gaining more attention. Just four percent used them in 2012--that number now stands at 11 percent.

"In this data, we see strong evidence that consumers are ready to take charge of their health," says Tom Bernthal, founder and CEO, Kelton Global, in the announcement.

When it comes to researching a healthcare issue, 35 percent trust a disease website sponsored by a pharma company, yet fewer would not visit a pharma-sponsored site for more information about a disease or medication. WebMD remains most popular, with Wikipedia and industry organizations, such as the American Cancer Society, close behind.

"When health concerns strike, people want information almost immediately. Our industry continues to place importance on the mobile user experience, as consumers increasingly use smartphones and are more receptive to information from pharmaceutical-sponsored sources than in years past," Bashe said.

For more information:
- read the announcement

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