The U.S. is facing a serious health care challenge. Nearly half (45%) of U.S. adults are living with at least one chronic condition and many more people are struggling to maintain a healthy weight.
We are also presented with a set of opportunities:
- Clinicians continue to be a dominant source of health information, along with broadcast media, the internet, family members, friends, and community groups.
- 91% of U.S. adults own a cell phone. Even 78% of U.S. adults living with chronic conditions own a cell phone. 63% of adult cell owners now use their phones to go online.
- 8 in 10 U.S. adults have access to the internet and, of those, 7 in 10 use social networking sites.
- 7 in 10 U.S. adults track some aspect of health, either their own or someone they care for, and tracking has been shown to improve health. 81% of U.S. adults living with 2+ chronic conditions track health indicators.
- Half of all health trackers use informal means, keeping notes just “in their heads,” for example. Those who use formal means, such as pencil and paper or some form of technology, are more likely to report that tracking has had an impact on their health.
What if we could increase the overlap between these two huge circles — all the people who are struggling to regain or maintain their health and all the people who have the technology at their fingertips to do a better job at it?
A Healthy America is a new program aimed at these questions, launching today at the Institute of Medicine.
For more background on the data I will share at today’s event, please see:
A 2008 Pew Research Center report which focused on Latinos and where they got information about health and health care within the past year:
- 83% of Latinos named television, radio, newspapers, magazines or the internet as a source.
- 71% of Latinos reported that medical professionals were a source.
- 70% of Latinos said they obtained health information from family and friends, or churches and community groups.
- Television is the dominant media source for Latinos and 64% reported that the health information that they obtained from the media led them to change their diet or exercise regimes.