The Pew Internet & American Life Project conducted a national telephone survey of 2,277 adults in May 2011 and found that 83% own some kind of cell phone. One-third of these cell phone users (35%) own a smartphone (iPhone, Android, Blackberry, Palm). These smartphone users utilize their mobile devices in new ways, incorporating them into their lives, accessing the Internet, sending photos and videos to others, going to twitter and engaging in video calls and chats.
Another study, by the consumer electronics Association, polled patients on their willingness to communicate with their providers using a smartphone or smartpad. In The New Role of Technology in Consumer Health and Wellness study, 36% of consumers say they want to be able to send information to their doctor wirelessly; 33% want to manage their health records online; and 32% want to have telehealth visits with their doctors for remotely based procedures and surgeries such as angiograms, head scans, CT scans, and skin cancer examinations.
Right now, consumers indicate that their favorite smartphone applications include: body weight scales, vital sign meters and gauges, devices that record and track fitness programs and nutrition. Some of the newest popular apps are cancer.net mobile for the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch which patients can use to manage their cancer treatments. (This app covers 120 cancer types); Asthma which is used to record asthma attacks, track medications and note triggers; pocket first aid which provides education and instructions on CPR, chocking, burns, diabetic emergencies. It can also track family medical information, and emergency contacts. There are apps for testing visibility; apps that provide clinical data and check medication interactions, and apps that provide explanations of medical terms.
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With the help of a smartphone, a software application and a portable device that reads a person’s heart rhythm, anyone can get an instant EKG reading on their phone screen.
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