Utilization of Smartphones to Access Health-related Information: A Descriptive Analysis (2010-2012)
Siddiqui, Fareeha Zahid
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Objective: To examine the extent to which smartphone utilization to access the internet and health-related information increased from 2010 to 2012, and how this utilization varies by demographics and type of chronic disease. Methods: Analysis was done on publicly available de-identified survey data obtained from the Pew Research Center. Three outcome variables were assessed by demographics and chronic disease: a) Cellphone use to access internet b) Cellphone use to look up health-related information and c) Cellphone with downloadable "apps" to help manage health. Results: Smartphone utilization to access the internet increased by 17.3% from 2010 to 2012 and smartphone utilization to access health-related information increased by 13.6%. Utilization of health management "apps" increased by 1.3%. Conclusions: Smartphone adoption and utilization for accessing health-related information seems to be increasing steadily; however, this increase is primarily happening in individuals from higher income brackets, those that are younger, and those living in urban/suburban areas. Without finding strategies to specifically target low-income, urban/rural, and elderly populations whilst facilitating increased health literacy, mHealth technology solutions run the risk of becoming an amenity available for the privileged few.
- Health services