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Today is World Health Day, and MEF, the Mobile Ecosystem Forum, has published its mHealth and Wearables Report 2015.  Supported by AVG Technologies, the survey canvassed 15,000 mobile consumers in 15 countries across five continents, to analyse understanding, usage and attitudes to the new technologies and apps. The report is completely free to download – take a look at this mini-infographic with some of the key findings:

mhealth infograph

The survey found that adoption of health and fitness apps globally has grown year on year by more than a third, from 11 to 15 per cent of consumers worldwide confirming that they use them on a regular basis. Similarly, the use of medical apps has grown by a fifth from 8 to 10 per cent. Women are the most enthusiastic users. They’re 50 per cent more likely to use health and fitness apps and a third more likely to use medical apps.

At a country level:

  • South Africans are keenest on health and fitness apps (22 per cent vs the global average of 15 per cent), while Nigerian mobile media users are most likely to use medical apps (usage has more than doubled in a year from 7-17 per cent).
  • More than half of mobile users use apps to relax or train their mind. A fifth use apps to help them manage their weight.
  • In Qatar and Saudi Arabia more than half of consumers have seen mHealth in action and in the UAE it’s almost two-thirds.

Rimma Perelmuter, CEO at MEF said: “mHealth and wearable devices represent a significant opportunity for growth and collaboration across sectors of the mobile ecosystem. New technologies and innovative apps are improving consumers’ lives; facilitating fitness and wellbeing whilst providing greater access to essential & state-of-the-art healthcare. As the report confirms, adoption of mHealth services is accelerated in growth markets such as Indonesia, Nigeria and South Africa.

At the same time, the emergence of these exciting new sectors while delivering many benefits for businesses and consumers, also creates risks and responsibilities. The information collected by these apps and devices is by its very nature both personal and extremely sensitive, calling for the industry to be vigilant when rolling out such services.”

Trust is cited as the largest single obstacle to growth in the mobile content and commerce industry with 40 per cent of respondents indicating that a lack of trust is the number one factor that prevents them from downloading items more often.

Download the full MEF Global mHealth and Wearables Report 2015