Mobile health may seem like old news, but smartphone use for health and fitness is still growing fast in 2021. There are more mobile device users and mHealth apps than ever before. Most smartphones owners have downloaded an mHealth app and nearly every physician brings a smartphone to work. In this world of healthcare on-the-go, here are 11 mobile health statistics that will surprise you.

Mobile health is increasingly accessible

1. 85% of American adults have a smartphone, according to Pew Research. Smartphone ownership has increased rapidly since 2011 (then 35%) and is even higher for young people. 95% of teens have access to a smartphone and roughly half say they’re online “almost constantly.”

2. There are over 350,000 mHealth apps available in major app stores, a number that includes medical as well as health and fitness apps. Available apps have roughly doubled since 2015 driven by increased smartphone adoption and ongoing heavy investment in the digital health market.

3. 87 million people in the US used a health or fitness app monthly in 2020. That’s about 30% of adult smartphone owners, a number that’s expected to remain relatively stable in the next three years.

Smartphones enable healthcare

4. Most smartphone users have used their device to gather health-related information. A Pew Research Center study cited that number at 62%, making mHealth a more common smartphone activity than online banking (57%), job searches (42%) or accessing school work or educational content (30%).

5. 90% of physicians already use smartphones at work, where they use it to access electronic health records, communicate with their team, reference information, or manage their schedule. New apps and services make it increasingly possible to use smartphones as a valuable clinical tool that frees up time to spend with patients.

6. Two-thirds of the largest US hospitals offer mobile health apps. While at first glance this sounds impressive, Accenture finds that providers pursuing mobile patient engagement are failing because apps offer poor user experience and functionality. Proprietary patient-centered apps have the potential to better align functionality with patient needs.

Patient engagement is often mobile

7. 43% of millennials prefer to access patient portals from their smartphone. Based on a 2014 Xerox study, this number is surely higher in 2021. Experts hope mobile access might boost actual portal use, which lingers between 15 and 30% despite nearly 90% of providers offering patient portals.

8. 74% of patients say using wearables and other mHealth tools helps them cope with and manage their conditions, according to the Boston Technology Corporation.

mHealth creates value and revenue

9. The mHealth apps market is valued at $47.7 billion in 2021 and projected to grow to $149 billion by 2028.

10. The market grew by 14.3% during 2020, spurred in part by COVID-19. The mobile health app market is estimated to witness a year-over-year growth of 17-18% in the next five years.

11. The biggest cost saving benefit from mHealth apps will be in reducing hospital costs by decreasing readmission rates and length of stay, and by assisting with patient compliance to medication plans.

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