By Katie Wike, contributing writer
The Pew Research Center reports 62 percent of smartphone users have used their mobile device to look up health information.
Americans have a reputation for being glued to their mobile devices, but just what are they looking up on their smartphones? The Pew Research Center used data from two recent surveys involving more than 5,000 individuals to determine smartphone search trends.
“Sixty-four percent of American adults now own a smartphone of some kind, up from 35 percent in the spring of 2011,” write the report’s author. “Nineteen percent of Americans rely to some degree on a smartphone for accessing online services and information and for staying connected to the world around them — either because they lack broadband at home, or because they have few options for online access other than their cell phone.”
iHealth Beat reports researchers also discovered:
- 77 percent of smartphone users between ages 18 and 29 used their phones to look up health information
- 68 percent of smartphone users between ages 30 and 49 looked up health information
- 39 percent of smartphone users age 50 and older looked up health information
According to MobiHealth News, young people use smartphones most often. About 85 percent of 18- to 29-year-olds own the devices and researchers also found that about 78 percent of all college graduates do. Income was also a factor in smartphone use:
- 63 percent of smartphone users with household annual incomes less than $30,000 used their phones to look up health information
- 59 percent of smartphone users with household annual incomes above $75,000 used their phones to look up health information
Earlier this year, Manhattan Research’s VP of Research, Monique Levy told providers that patients are using smartphones frequently. “They’re using it to look up lots of different things: Where is my doctor, what do I need to talk about, how do I prepare for the conversation? What is this drug, what are my choices? Why should I take an oral versus an injectable?” she said.