December 4, 2013

Health and Technology in the U.S.

The Pew Research Center has released the fifth (and final) report in a series based on a September 2012 national survey sponsored by the California HealthCare Foundation.

Below are links to each report, along with short descriptions of the headline findings:

  1. Mobile Health: One in three cell phone owners have used their phone to look for health information; half of smartphone owners have done so. 19% of smartphone owners have downloaded a health app.
  2. Health Online: 59% of U.S. adults say they have looked online for information about a range of health topics in the past year. 35% of U.S. adults say they have gone online specifically to try to figure out what medical condition they or someone else might have.
  3. Tracking for Health: Seven in ten U.S. adults track a health indicator for themselves or a loved one and many say this activity has changed their overall approach to health. Technology plays a minor role.
  4. Family Caregivers are Wired for Health: 39% of U.S. adults report that they are caring for a loved one, either an adult or a child with serious health issues. Caregivers are heavy technology users and are much more likely than other adults to take part in a wide range of health-related activities.
  5. The Diagnosis Difference: 45% of U.S. adults report that they live with one or more chronic conditions. Many remain offline in an online world. However, many take their health decisions seriously—and are seriously social about gathering and sharing information, both online and offline.

In addition, Susannah Fox and Lee Rainie have given a series of talks based on this research:

As always, the Pew Internet: Health fact sheet is the quickest way to find our most-cited and up-to-date numbers on this topic.

Questions? Comments? Join the conversation on Susannah’s blog or on Twitter: @pewinternet, @susannahfox, @lrainie.