According to a Pew study released this morning, a large percentage of Americans are using technology (smartphone apps, spreadsheets, websites etc.) to monitor their health--more evidence that eHealth and autoanalytics will be an industry to watch this year. 

The study surveyed 3,014 adults living in the United States, and of the 69 percent of respondents who said they track their health, 21 percent use some form of technology to do so. Additionally, one in five smartphone owners has a health app on his or her phone. Of these smartphone health trackers, 16 percent were 18-29 year-olds and just 1 percent were 65 or older.

 “When is there going to be a shift from people using mobile devices for entertainment to people using these devices for health?” Susannah Fox, an associate director of the Pew Research Center’s Internet, told Inc.. “We’re still just at the beginning.”

The eHealth space has been buzzing with activity recently, as start-ups rush to create apps that use autoanalytics to track physical and emotional well-being. Runkeeper, for example, measure a runner's distance and speed, Fitbit tracks the number of steps taken and calories burned in a day, and emWave Personal Stress Reliever monitors heart beat variability.

Matthew Holt, the co-chairman of Health 2.0, which keeps a database of health technology companies, told the New York Times that he estimates there are nearly 13,000 health and fitness apps currently available, with the number of self-tracking products and services growing the fastest.

Surprisingly, 49 percent of Americans track their health "in their heads," or mentally take notes each time they weigh themselves on a scale, take the stairs, or move up or down a dress size.

Jan 28, 2013