Mobile Healthcare: Consumers Ready For New Technologies

Con­sumers say they’re will­ing to try out inno­v­a­tive apps, tools, devices.

Pat Hong By Pat Hong from Linkdex. Join the discussion » 0 comments

Health­care as an indus­try has under­gone a great deal of change with the onset of dig­i­tal tech­nol­o­gy. Increas­ing­ly it is the per­son­al­iza­tion of ded­i­cat­ed health mon­i­tor­ing tools, par­tic­u­lar­ly on mobile devices, that is bring­ing inno­va­tion to both the health­care indus­try, and to mobile devices. A recent Har­ris Poll has revealed that U.S. con­sumers are ready to take on the tech­nol­o­gy.

Smart­phones have always been the Swiss Army knives of tech­nol­o­gy. Dou­bling up as portable cam­eras, music play­ers, GPS devices, and gen­er­al­ly peo­ple’s one-stop por­tals to the con­nect­ed world, there seems to be no lim­it to the func­tion and util­i­ty they bring to peo­ple’s lives.

A Har­ris Poll of 2,537 U.S. adults revealed that large majori­ties of con­sumers are ready to try out mobile health­care tech­nol­o­gy when it becomes avail­able. The pri­ma­ry fea­tures respon­dents were “very inter­est­ed” in includ­ed; mon­i­tor­ing or check­ing their blood pres­sure (with 48 per­cent say­ing they were very inter­est­ed in this fea­ture), and mon­i­tor­ing their heart and heart­beat for irreg­u­lar­i­ties (47 per­cent). An addi­tion­al 23 per­cent and 22 per­cent, respec­tive­ly, said that they were “some­what inter­est­ed” in these fea­tures.

Inter­est­ing­ly, the sen­ti­ment was shared not just among mil­len­ni­als, but through a whole cross sec­tion of soci­ety.

Mobile Healthcare Key Facts And Statistics

Below is an overview of key stats and find­ings from the report. It shows that large num­bers of U.S. con­sumers are very inter­est­ed in mobile health­care ser­vices and attach­ments.

  • Inter­est is par­tic­u­lar­ly strong for blood test­ing ser­vices (with 41 per­cent extreme­ly inter­est­ed and 21 per­cent some­what inter­est­ed).
  • Using mobile attach­ments to pho­to­graph a user’s eye, cornea, or reti­na to diag­nose eye prob­lems had a strong response (with 40 per­cent very inter­est­ed, and 23 per­cent some­what inter­est­ed).
  • Check­ing blood sug­ar or glu­cose lev­els received promis­ing respons­es (with 39 per­cent inter­est­ed, and 22 per­cent some­what inter­est­ed).
  • Mea­sur­ing lung func­tion was a fea­ture that 38 per­cent of respon­dents were very inter­est in, and 23 per­cent were some­what inter­est­ed in.
  • Diet track­ing had 36 per­cent of respon­dents very inter­est­ed, and 24 per­cent some­what inter­est­ed.

Mobile Healthcare Demographics

The key demo­graph­ics show that there is sig­nif­i­cant inter­est for mobile health­care from all sec­tors and seg­ments of soci­ety:

  • Track­ing phys­i­cal activ­i­ty gen­er­at­ed strong inter­est from 57 per­cent of Mil­len­ni­als, 45 per­cents of Gen Xers, 35 per­cent of Baby Boomers, and 25 of Matures.
  • Track­ing diet gen­er­at­ed strong inter­est from 50 per­cent of Mil­len­ni­als, 36 per­cent of Gen Xers, 28 per­cent of Baby Boomers, and 21 per­cent of Matures.
  • Diag­nos­ing eye prob­lems gen­er­at­ed strong inter­est from 49 per­cent of Mil­len­ni­als, 38 per­cent of Gen Xers, 34 per­cent of Baby Boomers, and 36 per­cent of Matures.
  • Mea­sur­ing lung func­tion gen­er­at­ed strong inter­est from 46 per­cent of Mil­len­ni­als, 35 per­cent of Gen Xers, 34 per­cent of Baby Boomers, and 34 per­cent of Matures.
  • Check­ing blood pres­sure gen­er­at­ed strong inter­est from 51 per­cent of men vs. 45 per­cent of women.
  • Con­duct­ing gen­er­al blood test­ing gen­er­at­ed strong inter­est from 45 per­cent of men vs. 38 per­cent of women.
  • Check­ing blood sug­ar or blood glu­cose lev­els gen­er­at­ed strong inter­est from 43 per­cent of men vs. 35 per­cent of women.
  • Men are also more like­ly than women to show a strong inter­est in mea­sur­ing lung func­tion at 41 per­cent of men vs. 35 per­cent of women.

Driving Demand For Mobile Healthcare

These are some pos­i­tive sta­tis­tics, but it seems the health­care indus­try isn’t mov­ing fast enough to meet con­sumer demand in mobile health ser­vices. A Deloitte report on “How mobile tech­nol­o­gy is trans­form­ing health care” explained how change is being dri­ven by con­sumer demand:

Con­sumers are dri­ving much of the demand for mHealth tech­nolo­gies and appli­ca­tions. Mobile apps are enhanc­ing over­all con­sumer engage­ment in health care by increas­ing the flow of infor­ma­tion; low­er­ing costs through bet­ter deci­sion-mak­ing, few­er in-per­son [health­care] vis­its, and greater adher­ence to treat­ment plans; and improv­ing sat­is­fac­tion with the ser­vice expe­ri­ence.”

For con­sumers, mobile health­care has the poten­tial to make lives eas­i­er, and offer faster access to health care and high-qual­i­ty, per­son­al­ized care. The pos­si­bil­i­ties are vir­tu­al­ly lim­it­less: mobile can be a means of com­mu­ni­ca­tion; a way to sync real-time infor­ma­tion and mes­sages; a remote mon­i­tor, or smart devices, that brings care into the com­fort of peo­ple’s own homes offer­ing a means to check up on patients remote­ly, and a warn­ing sys­tem if any­thing goes wrong. It can also be a means for health­care staff and patients to inter­act via video con­fer­ence allow­ing them to give advice, sup­port, or sim­ply to remind them to take their med­i­cine.

The mobile oppor­tu­ni­ties avail­able to the health­care indus­try are a lead­ing exam­ple of how tech­nol­o­gy and inno­va­tion can dis­rupt, and reform an indus­try. It pro­vides busi­ness­es to devel­op more per­son­al­ized rela­tion­ships with con­sumers, and enhance their expe­ri­ences of a brand’s prod­uct or ser­vices.

What’s unique to health­care is that more than any oth­er indus­try, con­sumers are ready to embrace change and inno­va­tion that the indus­try pro­vides, espe­cial­ly if it means improv­ing their own well­be­ing or that of their loved ones. After all, what’s more valu­able to con­sumers, and indeed any of us, than our health?

Do you work in the health­care indus­try? What change do you think mobile and tech­nol­o­gy will bring to the every­day lives of con­sumers.

Pat Hong

Written by Pat Hong

Editor at Linkdex/Inked, Linkdex

Pat covers the SEO industry, digital marketing trends, and anything and everything around Linkdex. He also authors Linkdex's data analysis and reports, analysing the state of search in various industries.

Inked is published by Linkdex, the SEO platform of choice for professional marketers.

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