Half of mobile health app users are using fitness apps

By Jonah Comstock
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Citrix health app dataFifty-two percent of adult smartphone and tablet owners use their mobile health apps more now than they did when they first downloaded them, according to a recent survey of 1,000 US adults by Wakefield Research, commissioned by Citrix. Citrix released the survey data as well as a report on mobile traffic sourced from ByteMobile subscribers.

"The fitness category of mobile health apps tends to generate a higher network load than other mobile health apps, due to the periodic updating of the user’s status, such as a runner’s progress along a route," Citrix writes in the report. "We expect that activity trackers and other wearables such as the FitBit, Nike+, Pebble and Samsung Galaxy Gear smartwatch will generate ever greater network impact as they integrate more fitness and mobile health apps into their functionality."

Among ByteMobile subscribers, fitness and weight loss apps were by far the most popular downloads, followed by pregnancy and fertility apps. So far this year, 50 percent of mobile health app users were fitness app users, up from 39 percent in 2013. Citrix also published a list of the top 10 mobile health apps, ranked by the number of network-connected subscribers.

Almost a quarter of ByteMobile subscribers used Runtastic, the number one app on the list. In second place was MyFitnessPal, followed by RunKeeper, each scoring more than 15 percent of users.

Weight Watchers came in a distant fourth, followed by Nike+ and MapMyRun. Lose It! had only the ninth most subscribers, making it the only fitness app on the list to score below two women's health apps -- Pregnancy and Period Diary. Pregnancy app Baby Bump was the final app on the list.

Objective data on download and subscriber numbers for health apps can be hard to find. Last fall MobiHealthNews wrote about the self-reported download numbers of seven fitness apps. At that point, Runtastic reported 18 million registered users and 40 million downloads, nine times as many users as it had reported a year previously. MyFitnessPal, meanwhile, had 40 million users and RunKeeper had recently reported 22.5 million users.