Survey: 46 percent of clinicians plan to use health apps in practices by 2020

By Aditi Pai
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MySugrSome 46 percent of healthcare professionals want to introduce smartphone apps into their practice within the next five years, according to a survey conducted by market research company Research Now of 500 healthcare professionals and 1,000 health app users in the US.

Research Now defined healthcare professional as inclusive of doctors, nurses, and allied health professionals.

While 16 percent of healthcare professionals are currently using health apps in their practice, 19 percent of healthcare professionals do not expect to incorporate health apps into their practice in the next five year.

About 86 percent of healthcare professionals said they think health apps will help increase their understanding of a patient's conditions and 72 percent said they predict that patients who use health apps will take more responsibility for their health. About 50 percent of providers think health apps will make patient treatment more efficient and 46 percent said the apps will improve their relationships with patients. 

A large majority of healthcare professionals, 76 percent, said health apps would be helpful for patients with chronic conditions like diabetes or heart disease. Meanwhile, 61 percent of healthcare professionals said health apps could help patients who are at-risk for developing health issues, 55 percent said these apps could help people who are healthy, and 48 percent think health apps could potentially help patients who were recently discharged from a hospital.

The consumer health app portion of the survey found that while 96 percent of users surveyed said health apps could help improve their quality of life, only 37 percent of providers agreed. Sixty percent of consumers surveys said they use health apps to help them monitor activity and workouts, 53 percent use apps to motivate them to exercise, 49 percent record calorie intake, and 42 percent monitor weight loss. Just 30 percent use health apps to keep track of existing health conditions and 29 percent use apps to remind them to take medication. Thirty two percent of users said they share app-collected health data with their doctors.