Adults prefer tracking health data “in their heads” Over digital health with 1 in 5 Americans tracking health data with digital health tools according to recent Pew Report.
A national telephone survey conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project finds that 69% of U.S. adults keep track of at least one health indicator such as weight, diet, exercise routine, or symptom. Of those, half track “in their heads,” one-third keep notes on paper, and one in five use technology to keep tabs on their health status.
When the respondents were asked to think about the health indicator they pay the most attention to either for themselves or someone else, 49% of trackers in the general population say they do so “in their heads” with men being more likely to keep track in their heads than women. The report results are surprising given the growing availability of digital health tools available to the consumer to monitor and track their health. It also validates the challenges many digital health developers face when creating digital health tracking tools.
Another 34% of trackers in the general population say they track the data on paper, like in a notebook or journal as women are more likely than men to track health data using pencil and paper (40% vs. 28%) as are older adults (41% of those ages 65 and older, compared with 28% of those 18-29 years old). One in five trackers in the general population (21%) says they use some form of technology to track their health data, which matches the previous 2010 findings. Other key findings specific to the technology adoption of tracking include:
- 8% of trackers use a medical device, like a glucose meter
- 7% use an app or other tool on their mobile phone or device
- 5% use a spreadsheet
- 1% use a website or other online too
The results of the reported came from a nationwide survey of 3,014 adults living in the United States. Telephone interviews were conducted by landline (1,808) and cell phone (1,206, including 624 without a landline phone). The survey was conducted by Princeton Survey Research Associates International. Interviews were done in English and Spanish by Princeton Data Source from August 7 to September 6, 2012. Statistical results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies.
Click here to view/download the entire report.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project is an initiative of the Pew Research Center, a nonprofit “fact tank” that provides information on the issues, attitudes and trends shaping America and the world. The Project is nonpartisan and takes no position on policy issues. Support for the Project is provided by the Pew Charitable Trusts.