The majority of consumers (56%) have never used any type of mobile health tracking device, app or website, according to a recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive on behalf of Wellocracy. Wellocracy is a new initiative developed and run by the Center for Connected Health at Partners HealthCare in Boston. Wellocracy’s goal is to empower consumers to self-manage their health, create and maintain individual wellness goals and achieve a greater quality of life.
The survey, conducted online last week between October 17-21, 2013 among a nationally representative sample of 2,014 U.S. adults, provides new data related to the use of activity trackers, mobile apps and other tools to monitor health and wellness, including physical activity, nutrition and sleep.
Overall, the survey revealed extremely low numbers of mobile health adoption by consumers:
- 7% of adults aged 55 and over reported ever using a diet app and only 3% have used a fitness app on their phone
- The age group reporting the highest use of digital activity pedometers (19%) were 35-44 year olds
- Only 5% of adults aged 18 and over reported ever using a sleep tracker
- Younger adults, aged 18-34, were most likely to use diet (23%) or fitness apps (26%) on their phones
On the bright side, 65% believe that using a health tracking device, website or app would be beneficial, including helping them stay motivated to meet health and fitness goals (32%). Even more promising, over one-quarter believe it would provide accountability (31%) and help them stay in control of their health (27%).
The survey revealed that many Americans (48%) report that it is hard to stay motivated to live a healthy life, and only 22% are very confident in their ability to keep track of their own health.
Other key findings of the survey include:
- 86% believe that feeling informed about their own health is empowering
- 59% of women and 56% of men aged 35-44 reported that it is hard to stay motivated to live a healthy life, and about half (52% and 51%, respectively) wished they could make better use of technology to keep track of their health
- 55% of women and 49% of men aged 18-44 believe that easy tracking (including physical activity, calories and sleep) is essential to achieving health-related goals
- 48% of women and 42% of men aged 18-34 reported that encouragement from family and friends is essential
- 42% of women and only 20% of men aged 45-54 reported that support and tools from their healthcare provider is essential
- only 19% of women and 17% of men aged 35-44, and 25% of women and 21% of men aged 55 and over are very confident in their ability to keep track of their own health
For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.