Healthcare Technology Featured Article

December 07, 2012

An Amazing Device Changes the Way Consumers Get Medical Information

Well perhaps it isn’t all that amazing, but we can certainly say it is and remains top ranked! This should come as no surprise: In a study that included over 12 million users and looked at mobile behavior over the last two years, The Patient’s Guide reports that the number of consumers who use iPhones to gather medical information has increased a huge 94 percent from 2011 to 2012. The iPhone also topped the list of mobile devices used to seek medical information online with an overwhelming 41 percent of total mobile traffic for 2012. In fact, Apple’s iPhone, iPad and the still extant iPod respectively took the top three spots on The Patient’s Guide’s just compiled list of top 10 devices consumers use to track down medical and health information.

Based on these trends, Jasson Gilmore, CEO and co-founder of The Patient’s Guide, predicts that, “By 2014 the iPhone will surpass the desktop as the primary device for gathering health information.” The data for the study and report was compiled from mobile usage of over 30 medical websites. The study specifically targeted quantifying how large a trend is emerging toward using mobile computing for healthcare research vs. traditional desktop computing, and reviewed visitor behavior across those 30 health-related websites for mobile trends in locations throughout North America.

“Knowing that mobile activity has grown significantly over the past three years, we have paid close attention to the trends and patterns shaping the way consumers behave in this space,” continues Gilmore. “We have seen a sea change in the way consumers use mobile devices to research medical topics online. Physicians are now telling us it’s common to see patients who read out questions from their iPhones. From that standpoint, I think it’s a good thing as patients become more empowered and more knowledgeable through the use of mobile technology.”

A number of factors may continue to influence this trend, including government regulations and insurance reimbursements, as well as the evolution of mobile computing devices such as the new iPad mini. Mr. Gilmore expects the trend to continue, and says that “As health providers and institutions evaluate cost-saving measures, I think broader adoption of such devices may help in this effort in the same way electronic medical records have.”

Additional information on the report is available. The following graphic illustrates the key findings from the report.

Each month over one million visitors visit The Patient’s Guide, who’s mission is to provide the most accurate medical information available to enable consumers to make educated decisions about aesthetic and cosmetic treatments.

Edited by Brooke Neuman

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