More than one in four U.S. adults have used their mobile phones in the past year to find healthcare information, according to a summary of a survey of digital health trends.
Search for health information going mobile
Pharmaceutical and healthcare market researcher Manhattan Research, New York, made that claim based on its telephone survey of 8,745 U.S. adults during the third quarter of 2011.
At 26% of adults, the size of the market of mobile health information consumers is greater than twice what it was only a year ago when just 12% of survey respondents said they used their mobile devices for that purpose, according to a statement about the survey on the company's website.
Health information gathering—either via a search engine or perusing a health information news site or service—is the most popular mobile health activity, the researchers said, but mobile care management functions are on the increase. For example, 8% of mobile device users surveyed said they used their appliances for prescription drug refills or health reminder services, up from just 3% in a survey a year ago.
“The interesting part is when, how and from where mobile phones are being used,” said Monique Levy, vice president of research at Manhattan Research, in the news release. “Getting these details will impact the success of mobile investments in 2011 and 2012.”
Manhattan Research spokeswoman Maureen Malloy said the survey did not delve into the privacy implications of mobile search or what a proposed policy by the Federal Trade Commission that online marketers provide users the ability to opt out of online tracking might have on the mobile health industry.
At a privacy summit last week, FTC Chairman Jon Liebowitz said a majority of commissioners favor consumer choice when it comes to tracking where they've been and what they've seen online.
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