(PRNewswire) In a study looking at mobile behavior over the last two years, The Patient's Guide, a leading on-line medical publisher, reports that consumers using their iPhone to gather medical information has increased 94 percent from 2011 to 2012. The iPhone also topped the list of mobile devices used to seek medical information on-line, with an overwhelming 41 percent of total mobile traffic for 2012. Based on these trends, Jasson Gilmore, CEO and Co-founder of The Patient's Guide predicts, "By 2014 the iPhone will surpass the desktop as the primary device for health information."
(For more data and comparisons see study's infographic at http://www.patientsguide.com/siri-md/).
"Knowing that mobile activity has grown significantly over the past three years, we have paid close attention to the trends and patterns shaping the way consumers behave in this space," said Gilmore. "We have seen a sea change in the way consumers use mobile devices to research medical topics online. Physicians are now telling us it's common to see a patient who's reading questions from their iPhones. From that standpoint, I think it's a good thing as patients become more empowered by mobile technology."
Newport Beach resident, Tracy Jones, credits her iPhone with helping her remember which questions to ask her cosmetic doctor when considering a body contouring treatment. "There were 3 different treatments I was considering, all in the $2,000 range. I felt I knew quite a bit about each, but I wanted to have specific questions ready, and having the website up on my phone during the consultation helped a lot."
A number of factors may continue to influence this trend, including government regulations and insurance reimbursements, as well as the evolution of mobile computing devices such as the new iPad mini. Mr. Gilmore expects the trend to continue, "I would anticipate mobile devices becoming the top device consumers will use to research health information by the end of next year. As health providers and institutions evaluate cost-saving measures, I think broader adoption of such devices may help in this effort in the same way electronic medical records have."