New research: Nearly half of boomers with smartphones surveyed likely to download a medical app

[This is a guest post by Suzie Mitchell about some new research they've just carried out into technology adoption by seniors. Suzie can be reached at suzie@mitchellpr.com or on twitter @suziemitchell. One question I had, based on this report, is why the use of apps is likely to dip in the middle income segment? Anyway, interesting stuff - Stephen.]

As Baby Boomers age, the road to chronic disease keeps getting shorter, but with the help of smartphone apps, they may be able to put up strong road blocks to diabetes and heart disease.

According to results in a recent Mitchell Poll, almost half (48%) of all Boomers with smartphones said they would be likely to download an app to monitor a specific medical condition like heart disease or diabetes.

This is good news for patients, physicians, insurance companies and mobile app developers.  This tells us that some Boomers are able to, and want to manage their chronic diseases.

The West Wireless Health Institute reports that more than 100 million people in the U.S. are living with at least one chronic condition.  Chronic diseases make up 75% of our healthcare system’s $2.3 trillion costs.  In fact, the Centers for Disease control predict one-third of American adults will develop diabetes by 2050.  Given the seriousness of the problem, our poll shows mobile apps may be part of the solution.

Some of the key findings of our national online poll of 600 smartphone users conducted in late June 2012 on Mobile Apps include:

  • Women (48%) and men (47%) are almost equally likely to download a medical monitoring app.

  • A majority (52%) of the 48-53 year-olds will download one health app compared to 47% of those are 54-60 and 42% who are 61-66.

Most users outside of Silicon Valley

Because developers are located in the Far West, they sometimes neglect other regions.  However, the greatest majority of potential users are Northeasterners (53%) with people in the Southwest (50%) a close second.  In the Midwest, 47% of Boomers with smartphone said they would download a medical monitoring app, followed by 46% in the South, 46% in the Mid-Atlantic and only 44% in the Far West.

Boomers at both ends of the income spectrum were most likely to download the apps.

  • 52% in the $25,000 to $50,999 income bracket

  • 51% in the $151,000 + income bracket

However, Boomers making $76,000 to $100,999 (43%) were less likely to download this type of app.

The Mitchell Poll was conducted by Mitchell Research & Communications, a national marketing research and public affairs company headquartered in Michigan.

Suzie Mitchell is Founder and CEO of Mitchell PR, a division of Mitchell Research & Communications.  She has more than 25 years experience marketing to Boomers.  Her practice is dedicated to helping companies bridge the technology gap with the Baby Boomer generation, primarily as it relates to combatting chronic diseases.  She blogs for AARP and writes “App of the Week.”  


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