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Oct 19, 2017,  by Allianz Partners Business Insights

One-third of Canadians track their health on mobile apps

A study financed by Canada Health Infoway shows that 32% of Canadian adults use e-health applications on their smartphones, although this figure drops to 28% of those who actually have health problems.

Canada Health Infoway, in conjunction with the HEC Montreal Business School and the CEFRIO Research Institute, has financed a study which shows that almost a quarter of Canadians (24%) use connected devices to track their well-being and health. The aim of the study was to analyse the data from a national survey carried out on 4,109 adults in order to better identify tendencies in terms of the usage of applications for smartphones and tracking devices for well-being and health. The enquiry is the first of its kind in the world, according to Indexsante.


Study to better understand the Canadian market


"The conclusions of this study show that Canadians can play an active role in maintaining their general well-being by using apps for mobiles devices and connected objects such as watches, bracelets and other clothing accessories," said Michael Green, President and CEO of Canada Health Infoway.

"The results of the study entitled ‘Diffusion of smart devices for health in Canada’ can serve as a starting point to set up studies on mobile apps and connected devices. The conclusions of the study can also help the health-related IT community to better understand the current Canadian market, to determine the next stages that the industry will have to face," said Guy Paré, Research Chair in Digital Health at HEC Montreal.


Young healthy Canadian graduates particularly keen


According to the study, Canadians who use smartphone applications or connected devices to monitor their well-being and/or their health primarily correspond to the following profile: young adults aged between 18–30 (41%), employed (59%), with a university degree (55%), an annual family income over 80,000 dollars (46%) and not suffering from a chronic illness or condition (only 28% of Canadians using connected devices or smartphone applications to track their well-being and/or health said that they were suffering from a chronic illness or condition).


The advantages of connected care


"42% of users who track their health and well-being using a connected device or apps for mobiles say that they feel better prepared for their visits to the doctor," said a delighted Jacqueline Dubé, President and General Manager of the CEFRIO. "It is in the interests of the healthcare network to rapidly implement the structures required to benefit from the advantages that can be gained via this particular connected and well-informed group of users, and at the same time improve the relationship between doctors and their patients."

Speaking of patients, Nancy Huyck, who is suffering from a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, uses connected equipment to send her blood pressure, weight and oxygen levels to her team of carers. "I used to go to the emergency department or have to be admitted to hospital around every two months," she explained, "but since I started remote monitoring from home last spring, I haven’t had to go back to hospital or even go to a clinic except when I’ve had scheduled appointments."



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