Digital health solutions are improving patient health, surveys say

 In Medical Product Design

Digital health is allowing consumers to track, monitor and take control of their health every day. A recent survey by HealthMine indicates that these innovative health solutions are working. Of the digital health consumers surveyed, 76 percent responded that these innovative tools are improving their health. The March study surveyed 500 individuals who use mobile health tools such as fitness trackers and other devices. 

Everyday use
Nearly 60 percent of respondents use digital health tools at least once per day, showing that these tools are becoming an ingrained part of their lifestyles. Apps that track health data and provide instant feedback for users can help to prevent larger medical issues down the road. Preventative medicine has been a major component in today's health care strategies. The fact that users are taking the everyday approach, instead of just relying on these tools as treatments after the fact, is quite promising. 

"Health tracking tools have helped consumers lower medical costs."

Lowered health care costs
One of the most important ideas behind digital health initiatives is the lowering of health care costs. The HealthMine study indicates that this has been a success among consumers who took part in the survey: A promising 57 percent of digital health users responded that these health tracking tools have helped them to lower their medical costs. 

Growing usage
Medical Design Technology reported that PricewaterhouseCoopers predicted that by 2017, digital health apps will have been downloaded 1.7 billion times. Between Apple and Google's mobile stores, there are a combined 165,000 health-related apps. This is not including the smart watches and fitness tracking devices that are purchased every day. Even athletic apparel companies like Adidas and Under Armour are developing digital health devices to improve consumer health and reduce costs, because they see the fantastic opportunities. 

Caregiver apps
While consumers are seeing increased value in digital health devices, many caregivers have yet to adopt these tools for their practices. A recent study from Parks Associates indicates that although over a quarter of all U.S. caregivers are between the ages of 45 and 54, only 16 percent of caregiving mobile app users are part of this age group

However, Aditi Pai of Mobi Health News noted that same study shows that younger caregivers aged 18 to 24 are much more likely to be using digital health apps in their clinics. This is because the younger generation of caregivers is much more comfortable with mobile devices and Internet-connected tools. As this generation ages and younger generations become caregivers, the share of caregivers leveraging digital health tools is expected to grow. 

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