Survey: Only 30 percent of insured consumers want to track health on a mobile device

By Jonah Comstock
Share
HealthMine's app HealthMine's app

A new survey of 1,200 consumers with either self- or employer-sponsored health insurance -- sponsored by HealthMine and conducted by Survey Sampling International -- indicates that interest in payer-led mobile health initiatives is still fairly low.

Although 89 percent of respondents use a smartphone, tablet, or both, only 30 percent of those surveyed said they would participate in a program offered by their wellness program that would require them to use a mobile app to track or monitor their health. And only 18 percent said they liked to learn health, wellness, and lifestyle information from a mobile app.

“Even though mobile applications have incredible potential to help consumers manage their health, they are still in the early stages of growth.” Bryce Williams, CEO and President of HealthMine, said in a statement. “As plan sponsors evaluate apps for their wellness programs, they should look for those that incorporate actionable clinical data and personalization to increase engagement. But we’re still waiting for the ultimate oxymoron: a ‘killer app’ for wellness.”

The survey also asked consumers what health purposes they already used mobile for. Fitness tracking and calorie counting/weight loss were the top two use cases, with 21 percent of respondents doing mobile fitness tracking and 16 percent counting calories on their phone in the past six months. Fourteen percent had used their phone for general health reference, 11 percent had used it for nutritional reference, and 9 percent had used an app for stress management.

Only 8 percent had used a doctor finder app in the past six months and only 8 percent had used a prescription drug reference app. Disease management and smoking cessation each polled at just 4 percent.

It's not that consumers aren't interested in employee-sponsored wellness at all: Another survey sponsored by HealthMine found that 71 percent of consumers want their employer or health plan to offer a program or a set of guidelines that helps them manage their health and 75 percent want their health plan or employer to offer incentives to help them improve their health.