28% use internet, mobile apps as primary sources of health information

American consumers are becoming increasingly dependent on technology for self-care, care information and communication with providers, according to a UnitedHealthcare's 2017 Consumer Sentiment Survey.

The survey, which included the responses of 1,006 adults, provides insights into how consumers utilize technology in regard to their health. Findings include:

  • 28 percent of Americans use the internet or mobile apps as their primary source of information on specific health conditions, symptoms and diseases, an increase of 3 percent from last year.
  • 36 percent of millennials and 20 percent of baby boomers use the internet or mobile apps as their primary source of health information.
  • 45 percent of Americans prefer an in-person consultation with physicians, a 3 percent decrease from last year.
  • 32 percent of respondents using the internet of mobile apps to compare healthcare services.
  • 44 percent of millennials shop for healthcare services online.
  • 80 percent of Americans using the internet or mobile apps for comparison shopping reported the experience as “very helpful” or “somewhat helpful.”
  • 42 percent of Americans reported being “likely” to use telehealth services in the future; 46 percent said they were “unlikely.”
  • Respondents listed improving access to care as the biggest benefit to using telehealth, followed by convenience and cost.