The use of healthcare applications on mobile devices continues to have a growing impact on medical treatment as consumers are using mobile devices to take more responsibility for their own care.  Recently, digital marketing agency Digitas Health compiled data on the impact of mobile health care applications in “CONSUMER MOBILE HEALTH IMPACT ASSESSMENT: How the Use of Mobile Impacts Disease Treatment and Therapy.”  Digitas’ findings provide useful insight for marketers and health and wellness brands looking for new ways to effectively reach patients and their physicians with information on available treatment options.

Mobile devices are becoming a continuous part of the healthcare process and are being used by patients in both waiting rooms and exam rooms.  In fact, one in three patients surveyed claimed that either they or their physician used a mobile device in the exam room.  The study shows that patient use of mobile devices in treatment settings is greatly influenced by the use of mobile devices by their doctors.   Thus, according to Digitas, a physician’s use of a mobile device in the exam room correlated to a 30-50% increase in the patient’s use of a mobile device in a healthcare setting.  Patients use their mobile devices to access healthcare applications and thereby take control over their own treatment.  The study suggests that the greater the access a patient has to mobile devices, the more likely that patient is to be proactive in his or her own care.

Importantly, patient use of mobile devices was shown to have a significant impact on treatment decisions.  Patients surveyed were apparently 80% more likely to switch medications if they used their mobile device in the exam room, and were twice as likely to request specific medications.  All patients surveyed who used mobile devices in an exam room claimed that they would use a mobile application in their treatment if recommended by their physician. Comparatively, studies have shown that only two-thirds of patients fill drug prescriptions provided by their physician.  Digitas believes this is clear evidence that mobile devices empower patients and lead to more proactive patient self-care.

Mobile devices are changing medical treatment.  As the use of mobile devices in medical treatment becomes more prominent, the availability of mobile healthcare applications should correspondingly increase and provide health and wellness brands with valuable opportunities to better connect with patients and physicians.