Despite the health care industry’s eagerness to adopt new mobile health technologies, consumer enthusiasm for and usage of new health information tools has been slow to grow, reports a new survey.
Blue Chip Marketing Worldwide’s mobile health care technology survey found that although 98% of patients in the survey used smartphones to make their phone calls, only 26% of users actually visit health-related web sites. Further still, only 18% reported downloading health-related mobile apps and only 8% of patients spent time using online health communities.
Just last week, Pfizer shut down recruitment for a completely virtual trial of its approved overactive bladder drug, Detrol, because it was unable to rally enough patients to take part in the trial with online and social tools.
Neil Weisman, of Blue Chip Patient Recruitment, suggests that Pfizer’s failure may have been due to a disconnect in tactics, in that the targeted demographic, elderly women, are not early adopters for such new technology.
“[Pfizer’s recruiting failure] was just a miss with the target. It’s like they were putting the tactics ahead of understanding the demographic,” says Weisman.
Despite the hesitation of consumers and patients to fully transition to mobile health technologies, physicians and clinical trial coordinators seem primed to make the transition to mobile health care technologies, Blue Chip says.
“They want the technology, they’re eager because these things can help them do their job more efficiently,” said Weisman at the Drug Information Association’s recent annual meeting in Philadelphia. “They’re in a position where they have to multitask, they have to do a lot of things every day, and if there was a sponsor that could provide tools to make their lives easier, whether a smartphone, a laptop or a tablet, that’s a home run.”
The foundation for a successful transition to mobile health technologies exists, but the field remains in its infancy, Blue Chip concludes.