Almost 1/3 of Canadians are Using Mobile Apps to Monitor their Health

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Photo credit: 123rf.com

It comes as no surprise that an effective way to reach health-conscious Canadians is via health apps.  CEFRIO, the Research Chair in Digital Health and Canada Health Info Way released some interesting results in September 2017.  Here are some of their key findings;

In the first national study of its kind in Canada, and the largest ever world-wide, we now know that 32% of Canadians are using mobile apps to monitor certain aspects of their health.(1)

Canadians using the apps are typically younger, employed, university-educated, wealthier and are generally healthy.(1)

The most popular type of apps being used are those that track physical activity, nutrition, weight information and sleep.  Many of these apps are being used with a smartwatch.  The greatest motivator is that the users want to know themselves better and want to track changes.  The second greatest motivator is daily encouragement to reach personal goals.(1)

Here are the top 10 most downloaded free health apps on Google Play in Canada: (2)

  1. 7 FIT
  2. Carrot Rewards
  3. Headspace: Guided Meditation and Mindfulness
  4. Calm: Meditate, Sleep, Relax
  5. Calorie Counter: My Fitness Pal
  6. Shoppers Drug Mart
  7. Fitbit
  8. Period Tracker Flo, Ovulation & Pregnancy Calendar
  9. Lose Weight in 30 Days
  10. Google Fit – Fitness Tracking

 

Creating an app to help Canadians improve their health while promoting your product(s) and / or service(s) makes sense, as long as you provide value.  It cannot be an aggressive sales push or people will get turned off.  But beware, just because you created an amazing tool, it doesn’t mean that people will hear and know about it right away.  Just because you built it, it doesn’t mean they will come.  You will  have to promote it to draw people in.  There are lots of tools at your disposal to help you promote your app.  Forbes put together a list of 65 ideas to help you promote your app.(3)   Pick a few that you know you can excel at and focus on them consistently!

Let us know your experience with a health app, either as a manufacturer or client, in the comments below.

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Sources:

(1) “Diffusion of Smart Devices for Health in Canada” report, September 2017.  Download report here.

(2) Similar Web, Mobile App Ranking, Updated October 21 2017

(3) Forbes. 65 Simple Ways to Promote Your Mobile App.  Nov 7 2015.

Canadians Google for Symptoms of ..

Google doctor

Over the past year, when Canadians used Google to search for information about symptoms, here are the top 10 health conditions that they were looking for: (1)

  1. Cancer
  2. Pregnancy
  3. Flu
  4. Diabetes
  5. Anxiety
  6. Cold
  7. Menstruation
  8. Thyroid
  9. Depression
  10. Pneumonia

Google has also seen a rise over the past year from Canadian searches about symptoms for the following conditions: (1)

  1. Mumps (+500%)
  2. Food poison (+300%)
  3. Lyme disease (+200%)
  4. Norovirus (+200%)
  5. West nile virus (+120%)

 

Go ahead and search for information, but please beware of diagnosing yourself with the data that you find online.  In a head-to-head study where doctors were given the same medical history and symptom information as online symptom checkers, the doctor got the right diagnosis 72% of the time vs. only 34% for the online apps.(2)

Sources:  1) Google Trends.  2) JAMA Internal Medicine, online October 10, 2016.