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New Gallup Survey Finds mHealth Adoption Possibly Hitting a Plateau

Published Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Roughly one in five Americans is now using an mHealth wearable, and that same percentage is using an mHealth app, according to a new survey from Gallup.

The survey, conducted in November and involving more than 1,000 respondents, also finds that 15 percent used to wear an mHealth device and 13 percent used to track data through an mHealth app. Combined with the number of people now using an mHealth wearable and/or tracking data, this means that roughly two-thirds of Americans have not yet tested the mHealth waters.

Some wonder if that percentage will ever decrease.

“Though Gallup's initial measure of usership of these products finds a substantial number of Americans using them, that's not to say that usership in the US is on the rise,” the organization said in a news release. “According to the International Data Corporation, the US market for wearable devices ‘saw its year-over-year growth decline 0.4 percent as it transitions from a market driven by new users to one that relies on replacement devices and upgrades.’”

Other results in the survey highlight the same pain points for mHealth adoption – namely, that those using mHealth devices and apps are often in relatively good health and financially stable and are using connected health to keep tabs on their lifestyle, while those with access issues and more daunting health concerns aren’t jumping on the bandwagon.

To wit, roughly half of the survey’s respondents who identify in the upper end of the income bracket either use mHealth or have used it in the past, while 33 percent of those identifying in the middle class and only a quarter of those in low-income households are using or have used the technology. And while mHealth adoption stands at about 35 percent of urban and suburban survey respondents, less than 30 percent hail from rural areas.

There are also age and gender variations. Adults younger than 55 are twice as likely to use or have used mHealth, the survey reported, as those older than 55, and women are more interested in using mHealth than men. As a result, roughly half of the women under 55 who took this survey said they use or have used mHealth – the highest percentage of the four categories – while men over age 55 are the least likely to use or have used the technology.

On a good note, those using mHealth are becoming happier with the results, potentially indicating the technology is getting better and is more apt to meet consumer expectations.

According to the survey, those now using mHealth wearables (85 percent) or mHealth apps (92 percent) found them to be very or somewhat helpful. Of past users, 64 percent said the devices were very or somewhat helpful, and 69 percent felt the same way about mHealth apps.