Accenture: Health apps, wearables saw use double in past 2 years

LAS VEGAS — Two times the number of people use wearables and mobile apps today than did in 2014, according to a new Accenture survey. 
 
In 2016, 33% of those surveyed use mobile health apps, up from 16% in 2014, and 21% use wearables — an increase from the 9% who did in 2014. Among those who use health apps, 59% use apps geared toward fitness and 52% use diet and nutrition apps, while 36% use symptom checking apps and 28% use their provider’s patient portal app. Among those who use apps, 40% have shared that information with a doctor in the past year, and 90% say they’d be willing to do so, but only 63% would share that info with a health plan and 31% feel like sharing it with their employers. 
 
Alongside the rise in health apps and wearables, Accenture has noted an uptick in the popularity of telehealth. Accenture found more consumers who prefer virtual doctor appointments (29% compared to 23% in 2014) and strong numbers of people who think telehealth brings with it lower costs (58%), convenience (52%) and faster care access (42%). 
 
“Digital tools are empowering patients to take charge of their health and interact with the system on their own terms,” Dr. Kaveh Safavi, Accenture’s global health practice lead, said. “Healthcare providers will need to weave digital capabilities into the core of their business model so that it becomes embedded in everything they do.”
 
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