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UK Doctors Hope for Mobile Growth Spurt

Patients slow to share mobile health data with physicians

May 14, 2015

UK doctors plan to leverage health data recorded via their patients’ smartphones in the future. However, for mobile health to take off, consumers will need to expand their openness to sharing information.

UK Healthcare Professionals Who Use Health Data Recorded via Their Patients' Smartphones, Jan 2015 (% of respondents)

Among UK healthcare professionals polled by Research Now in January 2015, nearly half (48.1%) intended to use health data recorded via their patients’ smartphones within five years, and one in 10 already did so. An additional 15.8% took a longer-term approach, planning to use such info within 10 years, while fewer than one-fifth had no interest in this becoming part of their work.

However, February 2015 survey results from Nuance suggested that when it came time to divulge health details, UK adult internet users likely weren’t pulling out their mobiles. Just 10.6% of respondents said they brought data from personal health monitoring devices to a physician visit, vs. nearly seven in 10 who approached this the old-school way: with a list of questions.

Figures released in October 2014 by Kantar Media estimated that the number of health and fitness wearable device and smartphone app users in Great Britain would nearly double this year, from 6.7 million to 13.1 million. High usage that will likely continue in the coming years presents doctors with a potential fountain of health data: Research Now respondents used smartphone health apps for everything from diet- and weight-related activities to tracking conditions, medication, sleep and stress. But first, physicians will need to convince consumers that sharing their mobile health info can help monitor trends and identify potential issues over time.

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