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Poll: Health App Use Low Among Older Adults

Younger respondents (ages 50 to 64 years) more likely than those 65 years and older to have ever used a health app

TUESDAY, Feb. 15, 2022 (HealthDay News) — Three in 10 older adults use at least one mobile health app, according to the results of the latest University of Michigan National Poll on Healthy Aging.

Pearl Lee, M.D., from the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation in Ann Arbor, and colleagues conducted an online and over-the-phone survey in August 2021 that included 2,110 adults aged 50 to 80 years.

According to the results of the survey, more than half of older adults (56 percent) have never used a health app. Younger respondents (ages 50 to 64 years) were more likely than those 65 years and older to have ever used a health app (49 versus 38 percent). Top health apps used included those for exercise (34 percent), nutrition (22 percent), weight loss (20 percent), and sleep (17 percent). There were disparities in the use of mobile health apps by income and education level, with those having an annual household income of ≥$100,000 more likely to use health apps versus those with a household income of <$30,000 (43 versus 15 percent). Similarly, individuals with at least a bachelor's degree reported higher use than those with a high school degree or less (40 versus 17 percent).

“Now that most older adults have at least one mobile device, health-related apps can provide an opportunity to support their health-related behaviors, manage their conditions, and improve health outcomes,” Lee said in a statement.

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