American consumers are moving toward making mobile health applications a part of their regular routines to manage chronic conditions or daily health and fitness, according to a 2019 online survey conducted by Redox. Nearly one-third of respondents said they use or are open to using mobile apps to manage a condition or their fitness routines. Gen Xers (35- to 54-year-olds) are at the forefront of patients clamoring to take control and manage their health with mobile apps.
The survey of 1,019 American adults found that the Gen X group is 37% more likely than Gen Z (18- to 24-year-olds), 31% more likely than baby boomers (55+), and 4% more likely than Millennials (25- to 34-year-olds) to manage a medical condition with a mobile app. Gen X is 48% more likely than baby boomers, 15% more likely than Gen Z, and 7% more likely than Millennials to use a mobile app for health and fitness.
“In leading the adoption curve, it seems that Gen Xers are not only technically savvy but also highly engaged in their well-being to help ensure they can maintain good health for as long as possible. The survey shows that Gen Xers are most likely to use mobile apps to help them take care of their health,” said Niko Skievaski, Redox co-founder and president. “But over time, more consumers will start to become comfortable monitoring, managing, and sharing health information.
As apps become commonplace in a person’s lifestyle, their comfort and confidence with the technology only gets stronger. Once they’re convinced there’s value in using apps and that their data is secure, they’ll demand apps that can deliver benefits on important health issues – from chronic conditions to preventive healthcare.”
Mobile App Benefits and Concerns
Like the adoption curve that financial and retail applications experienced a decade ago, widespread support for mobile health apps may take some time as consumers gain confidence in their privacy and security features. Of the respondents not using mobile health apps, privacy and security is cited as the top reason.
Baby boomers are the most concerned about privacy and security, topping Millennials by 54% and Gen X by 23%. Gen X selected privacy and security as a primary reason 25% more than Millennials.
Conversely, 42% of respondents are willing to share their information with doctors and providers – with baby boomers 13% more willing than Millennials and 8% more willing than Gen X. And females are 18% more likely than males to share information across all generations.
When asked why mobile apps are helpful, the top responses are enhanced communication with doctors and providers and the ability to engage with their personal health.
“Consumers are open to the idea of using mobile apps for health purposes, and they recognize the value in connecting with their health providers to develop a holistic view of care,” Skievaski said. “As consumers gain confidence in using digital health technology, and the high-value apps rise to the top of the marketplace, adoption of mobile health apps will become a routine and an important part of many people’s health journey. The sooner consumers seize the power of digital technology, the better. And it will completely transform healthcare as we know it.”
Redox conducted this Google Consumer Survey in January 2019. Results are based on responses from 1,019 American adults, ages 18 and older.