TORONTO, Sept. 23, 2017 : Thirty-two per cent of Canadian adults consult health apps on their mobile devices, but only 28 per cent of those in poor health do so. Meanwhile, 24 per cent of Canadians use smart connected devices to track health conditions or well-being, according to a new study funded by Canada Health Infoway (Infoway) and conducted in partnership with HEC Montreal and CEFRIO.
"The findings of the study demonstrate the opportunity Canadians have to be proactive in their overall wellness through the use of mobile apps and smart connected devices such as watches, wristbands or other wearables." said Michael Green, President and CEO, Canada Health Infoway.
The study examined results from a national survey of 4,109 Canadian adults, which sought to understand consumer use patterns for mobile apps and smart devices to monitor health and well-being. It is the first internationally comparable study of its kind, and the largest ever, world-wide.
"Results from the Diffusion of Mobile Health Apps and Smart Connected Devices in Canada study can be used to set the national baseline for future studies in mobile health apps and smart connected devices," said Guy Pare, Research Chair in Digital Health, HEC Montreal. "The study findings can also be used to help the health IT community better understand the current market in Canada to determine practical next steps for the industry."
The study found that Canadians using mobile apps or smart connected devices to track their health or well-being are typically:
•Younger adults between the ages of 18 and 30 (41 per cent);
•Employed (59 per cent);
•University educated (55 per cent);
•Make an annual family income of more than $80,000 (46 per cent);
•Not currently living with a chronic illness or condition (only 28% of Canadians that use mobile apps or smart connected devices to track their health or well-being report having a specific chronic illness or condition).
"Forty-two percent of users monitoring their health with smart connected devices and mobile apps find that they are better prepared to meet with their physician. It is in the interest of the Canadian health system to rapidly put in place the necessary frameworks in order to take advantage of this connected and informed user base and thus enhance the patient-doctor relationship," said Jacqueline Dube, President and General Manager, CEFRIO.
Nancy Huyck, who lives with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), is part of the 24 per cent of Canadians who use smart connected devices. Every morning, she uses equipment that measures and transmits her blood pressure, weight and oxygen levels to her care team so they can intervene early and avoid her making a trip to the hospital.
"I'm used to showing up at the emergency room or being admitted every couple of months," she said. "But I haven't seen the inside of a hospital or even a walk-in clinic since I started receiving in-home monitoring last spring."
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