US smartphone users eager for more mobile health technology: poll

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A new poll finds that the demand for mobile health technology in the US outpaces the supply.SAN FRANCISCO: American smartphone users are “extremely” eager to start using their smartphones and tablets to manage their health, a new poll says, but technology has a long way to go before it can meet the demand, according to a report.

survey released this week by Harris Interactive/HealthDay found that more than one-third of 2,050 adult respondents said that they are highly enthusiastic about using their smartphones for asking their doctors questions, receiving medical test results, or booking appointments.

“Similar numbers of respondents were eager to use mobile phones and tablets for actual health-care services — such as monitoring blood pressure or blood sugar, or even getting a diagnosis,” the report said. “Such phone and tablet apps are, however, either just getting off the ground or not yet on the market.”

“This poll shows us that the public is interested in using these apps,” Titus Schleyer, head of the Center for Biomedical Informatics at the Regenstrief Institute, based at Indiana University-Purdue University in the US, told HealthDay. “But the health-care system has to make it easier for them to do it.”

Survey findings also showed that younger adults are more excited about using their smartphones and tablets than older adults, with 38 percent of young people saying that they were interested in devices to help manage blood pressure, for example, the report noted.

However people were less enthused about receiving text “reminders” to help them exercise, take medications, or quit smoking, for example. Schleyer posits that this is likely because people don’t want to be nagged electronically, and that they “may feel there’s already too much digital information flying at them,” he said.

The poll about American’s behaviour of Smartphone usage was conducted between May 22 and 24.

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