Nov 13, 2014, 03:00 ET
NEW YORK, Nov. 13, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- While we may still be a few years away from the sort of technology Doctor McCoy used in "Star Trek" to gain instant access to all that ailed his patients, mobile apps and tools designed to work with smartphones and tablets for monitoring and measuring our health are cropping up in many corners of the healthcare world. This may seem a tad Orwellian to some, but a new survey suggests that Americans are ready to adopt some of these technological opportunities into their healthcare regime.
These are some of the results of The Harris Poll® of 2,537 U.S. adults surveyed online between August 13 and 18, 2014. (Full results, including data tables, available here)
Nearly half of Americans are extremely or very interested in being able to check their blood pressure (48%) or their heart and heartbeat for irregularities (47%) on their smartphone or tablet, with an additional 23% and 22%, respectively, saying they're somewhat interested. Perhaps the most common health application for mobile devices right now is the variety of apps and peripherals which can be used to track physical activity, and 43% of Americans say they're extremely or very interested in this (with an additional 25% somewhat interested).
Interest is also strong for general blood testing services (41% extremely/very interested and 21% somewhat interested); photographing one's eye, cornea, or retina to diagnose eye problems (40% and 23%); checking blood sugar or glucose levels (39%, 22%); measuring lung function (38%, 23%); and diet tracking (36%, 24%) via mobile devices.
Interest wanes somewhat when it comes to conducting urine tests (26% extremely/very, 19% somewhat) and checking stool samples (19%, 15%) via mobile devices, though clearly such applications are not without proponents.
Differences by generation and gender
Millennials are more likely than their elder counterparts to indicate being extremely or very interested in many of the services and applications evaluated, including:
- Tracking physical activity (57% Millennials vs. 45% Gen Xers, 35% Baby Boomers and 25% Matures),
- Tracking their diet (50% Millennials vs. 36% Gen Xers, 28% Baby Boomers and 21% Matures),
- Diagnosing eye problems (49% Millennials vs. 38% Gen Xers, 34% Baby Boomers and 36% Matures), and
- Measuring lung function (46% Millennials vs. 35% Gen Xers, 34% Baby Boomers and 34% Matures).
Meanwhile, blood seems to be a key word for men in particular, as males are more likely to be extremely or very interested in the ability to do each of the following via mobile devices:
- Check their blood pressure (51% men vs. 45% women),
- Conduct general blood testing (45% men vs. 38% women), and
- Check their blood sugar or blood glucose levels (43% men vs. 35% women).
Men are also more likely than women to show a strong interest in measuring lung function (41% men vs. 35% women) on smartphones or tablets.
Condition is key
Perhaps not surprisingly, interest for many of these technologies is especially high among those who have chronic or long lasting conditions for which monitoring such biometrics is key:
- Majorities of those diagnosed with high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease are extremely or very interested in checking their blood pressure on a smartphone or tables (60%, 59% and 56%, respectively).
- Similarly, over six in ten of those diagnosed with heart disease or obesity (63% each) show strong interest in being able to check their heart and heartbeat for irregularities via mobile device.
- Majorities of diabetics (57%) and those diagnosed with heart disease (56%) are extremely or very interested in being able to check their blood sugar or glucose level in this manner.
- Over half of those with heart disease (56%) show a strong of interest in the opportunity to conduct general blood testing in this manner.
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This Harris Poll was conducted online, in English, within the United States between August 13 and 18, 2014 among 2,537 adults (aged 18 and over). Figures for age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income were weighted where necessary to bring them into line with their actual proportions in the population. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for respondents' propensity to be online.
All sample surveys and polls, whether or not they use probability sampling, are subject to multiple sources of error which are most often not possible to quantify or estimate, including sampling error, coverage error, error associated with nonresponse, error associated with question wording and response options, and post-survey weighting and adjustments. Therefore, The Harris Poll avoids the words "margin of error" as they are misleading. All that can be calculated are different possible sampling errors with different probabilities for pure, unweighted, random samples with 100% response rates. These are only theoretical because no published polls come close to this ideal.
Respondents for this survey were selected from among those who have agreed to participate in Harris Poll surveys. The data have been weighted to reflect the composition of the adult population. Because the sample is based on those who agreed to participate in our panel, no estimates of theoretical sampling error can be calculated.
These statements conform to the principles of disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls.
The results of this Harris Poll may not be used in advertising, marketing or promotion without the prior written permission of The Harris Poll.
Product and brand names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.
The Harris Poll® #102, November 13, 2014
By Larry Shannon-Missal, Managing Editor, The Harris Poll
About The Harris Poll®
Begun in 1963, The Harris Poll is one of the longest running surveys measuring public opinion in the U.S. and is highly regarded throughout the world. The nationally representative polls, conducted primarily online, measure the knowledge, opinions, behaviors and motivations of the general public. New and trended polls on a wide variety of subjects including politics, the economy, healthcare, foreign affairs, science and technology, sports and entertainment, and lifestyles are published weekly. For more information, or to see other recent polls, visit the Harris Poll News Room.
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