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Health in the Palm of Your Hand

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17 percent of cell phone users have used their cell phone to look up health or medical information, according to a study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project. That number may seem low, seeing as apps and smartphones are all the rage, but the key to this statistic is who makes up that 17 percent.

The study finds that traditionally underserved populations—a priority audience for many public health campaigns—are using mobile phones to access health information:

  • African American cell owners are more likely than other racial and ethnic groups to use mobile health apps
  • 1 in 4 Latino cell phone users are looking for health information on their mobile device—a much greater rate than other groups
  • Nearly 1 in 3 cell owners ages 18-29 have used their phone to look up health or medical information
  • Urban cell phone users are more likely than suburban and rural users to gather health information via their mobile device

These findings support CommunicateHealth’s work to advocate for mobile-friendly Web sites as a key health literacy practice for reaching traditionally underserved populations.

View the full report at: http://pewinternet.org/Reports/2010/Mobile-Health-2010.aspx

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