PwC: Americans would use mobile devices to track, monitor health

SAN DIEGO Three-in-10 Americans recently surveyed by PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute said they would use their cell or smart phone to track and monitor their personal health, and 40% would be willing to pay for a remote monitoring device that sends health information directly to their doctor.

The findings of the survey and new report, titled "Healthcare Unwired," were presented Wednesday by PricewaterhouseCoopers at the mHealth Initiative 2nd International mHealth Conference. According to the report, wireless technology, remote monitoring and mobile devices are changing the nature of health care, making it possible to deliver care anywhere in ways that are proving to reduce healthcare costs and keep people healthier.


PricewaterhouseCoopers' research included a nationwide survey of 2,000 consumers and 1,000 physicians regarding their use and preferences for remote and mobile health services and devices. The survey found:

  • 31% of consumers said they would be willing to incorporate an application into their existing cell phone or smart phone to be able track and monitor their personal health information;
  • 40% of consumers said they would be willing to pay for a device and a monthly subscription fee for a mobile phone application that would send text and e-mail reminders to take their medications, refill prescriptions or access their medical records and track their health;
  • 27% of consumers said they would find medication reminders sent via text to be helpful, and men are twice as likely as women to say they would use a mobile device for health-related reminders; 40% of consumers also would be willing to pay for a remote monitoring device and a monthly subscription that would send data, such as heart rate, blood pressure, blood sugar and weight, automatically to their doctor;
  • 56% of consumers said they like the idea of remote health care, and 41% would prefer to have more of their care delivered via mobile device;
  • 88% of physicians reported they would like their patients to be able to track and/or monitor their health at home, particularly their weight, blood sugar levels and vital signs; and
  • 57% of physicians said they would like to use remote devices to monitor the patients outside of the hospital.



PricewaterhouseCoopers' Health Research Institute estimated the annual consumer market for remote/mobile monitoring devices and services to fall between $7.7 billion and $43 billion, based on the range that consumers said they would be willing to pay.



"Remote and mobile technology is making it possible to move healthcare delivery outside the traditional settings of physician offices and hospitals to wherever patients are,” stated Daniel Garrett, leader of the health information technology practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers. “New consumer-oriented business models and technologies are emerging. Companies that will be well-positioned competitively are those that can integrate mobile health into healthcare delivery and create value in the health system by helping doctors and their patients better manage health and wellness through mass personalization."



"There are significant opportunities for physicians, hospitals, health insurers, pharmaceutical companies and medical device manufacturers to market and differentiate themselves using mobile health," Garrett added.


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