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Canadians’ Use of Mobile Health Apps and Connected Devices to Support Health and Well-being Gaining Momentum

Posted on September 19, 2017 by Chad Leaver

Summer theatre festivals across the country attract Canadians and travellers alike to experience the performing arts. Recently, I took in Guys and Dolls — the classic musical at the Stratford festival in Ontario. The reviews were right – an absolute sensation! Spontaneous applause erupted frequently after incredible dance and musical numbers...and every time the audience applauded, I couldn’t help but notice the white-lights, like stars, that illuminated the auditorium. I realized these ‘stars’ (and there were many) were in fact smart connected devices — wearables like watches, wristbands or bracelets — which are used to track health and well-being biometric data.

smart watch and mobile appAre Canadians really tracking their health with smart connected wearable devices or with mobile apps on a smartphone or digital tablet? This question is what led our recent collaboration with a team of researchers at HEC Montréal and CEFRIO to launch Canada’s most robust population survey exploring this and other research questions.

The Diffusion of Mobile Health Apps and Smart Connected Devices in Canada Study report examines Canadians’ use and intentions for using mobile apps and connected smart devices to monitor health and well-being. It is the largest consumer study in Canada and worldwide to-date on this issue. A total of 4,109 Canadians completed the study questionnaire between January 11 and February 2, 2017.

In terms of Canadians’ use of mobile apps and connected devices for health and wellbeing: 32 per cent of Canadians said they have used one or more mobile apps on their smartphone or digital tablet to monitor aspects of their health in the previous three months. Approximately one in four Canadians (24 per cent) reported owning at least one smart connected device. Among those with a smart connected device — 88 per cent report having a smart watch, bracelet or wristband. Now, imagine a theatre with about one in four people wearing a smart connected device on their wrist… no wonder I saw constellations lighting up the theatre when people were clapping!

Please take the time to explore our full study report. Our findings offer particular value for health and wellness app developers and connected devices innovation centres, as well as healthcare organizations now poised to advance their mHealth strategies.

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author cleaverChad Leaver

Chad leads national research, evaluation and communication efforts for Infoway’s Evaluation Services and Consumer Health & Innovation investment portfolios.

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