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Pew’s Mobile Health 2012

On November 8, the Pew Internet and American Life Project released Mobile Health 2012. This report gives us the latest findings on health information seeking by smartphone owners. Most notably, this report gives us data about the fast adoption of health apps by Latinos and African-Americans. These findings are the result of a nationwide telephone survey of 3,014 adults living in the United States. The survey was done in English and in Spanish, utilizing landline and cell phone connections.

Mobile Health 2012 finds that these groups of health consumers are more inclined to use their phones to look for health information: people who act as caregivers to others, people who went through a recent medical crisis and people who experienced a recent, significant change in their physical health.

These populations are more likely to use phones to find health information:

• 18-49 years old
• Blacks and Hispanics
• Household income exceeding $50,000
• At least some college education

These populations are more likely to download a health app onto their phones:

• 18-29 years old
• Women
• Whites and Blacks
• Household income exceeding $30,000
• At least some college education

Exercise, diet and weight control apps are the most popular. Other apps include those that track menstrual cycles, blood pressure, pregnancy, blood sugar or diabetes and medication. The WebMD app was listed by 4% of those with health apps on their phones.

Margot Malachowski
Health Literacy COI Leader

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