Last week the Pew Internet & American Life Project released their Mobile Health 2012 report indicating that smartphone owners are helping to drive the mobile health revolution. According to Pew's research, 52% of smartphone owners gather health information using their devices. Moreover, 19% of smartphone owners have downloaded at least one mobile health application.

Around the same time Pew was conducting its research, we at Enspektos, were also looking at mobile health activities among active digital health consumers via digihealth pulse.  These are people who use the Web, social media and have searched online for health content for themselves or others.  We asked our full population of study participants (as opposed to smartphone users vs. non-smartphone users) to tell us whether they ever downloaded mobile health applications from the Apple app store or another provider. We found that 35% of active digital health consumers have downloaded a mobile application.

Based on the data from both studies it's clear that mhealth adoption is popular among the general population as well as actively engaged digital health consumers. However, it's important to not just focus on the overall numbers.  Given that mhealth app use will only accelerate, we need to work harder to determine how to develop apps that truly support health and well-being, spark positive behavior change and are easy to use.  We have a golden opportunity while mhealth app adoption is still ramping up to lay the groundwork for success over the long term.

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If you're interested in learning more about what it takes to maximize success in mobile health check out the Insight Brief we put together.