Everybody talks about mobile health. But who really uses it and how?

Hello Heart app that helps people manage their blood pressure reveals secret usage numbersWhen you imagine an early adopter, what type of user comes to mind? Most of us imagine a Millennial (18-34 years old), probably a college kid or a young professional that loves technology and manages all of his or her life from a mobile phone. Right? Well in digital health, the reality may be completely differentWho are the real users of the mobile health app industry — outside of the “fitness” app category? We put aside the assumptions and decided to analyze anonymized real data from the free Hello Heart App. The results may surprise you.AgeIt may not be a surprise that young adults are not the early adopters. When you’re young, you think you’re invincible and only think about the health of your heart when it feels like its breaking. But what may surprise you is that that the majority of users are significantly older! 90% of users are over 40 years old, many of them in their 50’s and 60’s.

Age groups using Hello Heart App

SexWhat about men vs. women? Men love their gadgets and in many cases embrace technology faster than women. They are also at higher risk for hypertension and heart disease as a demographic. So traditional wisdom says to expect that more men than women will use mobile health apps to manage their heart’s health right? Wrong! Over 70% of users of the Hello Heart app that choose to manage their blood pressure are women, not men. Kudos ladies, you are definitely leaders in digital health.

Percent Male vs Female using Hello Heart App

EngagementHow frequently do people use their digital health app? Apparently smartphones are an amazingly engaging way to track and manage your health. 65% of the users we tested have set up mobile reminders to help them track their blood pressure. Over 90% of the users that set reminders, wanted to check up on their health more than once a week. Most users track their blood pressure once a day but surprisingly, a large user segment (22%) do it 3 times a day!

Engagement using Hello Heart App

The tip of the icebergThe digital health revolution is just beginning. The market for non-fitness apps is rapidly growing and it will be interesting to see how this data evolves over time as the market matures. One thing we do know, armed with an iPhone and simple measuring devices, users can become experts on their own bodies and their own health. With this self-expertise, they can more easily change their life and maybe even save their life. In the case of heart disease, if you or someone you know are at risk (BTW that’s at least 30% of the US population), then start tracking your blood pressure today from your phone. It’s a lot easier and a lot more empowering than you think!

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