By the Numbers: The Digital Health Consumer

Consumers are becoming increasingly engaged in managing their own health care and are turning to digital tools to help them. In fact, according to a recent Pew Research study, 62 percent of people have used their smartphone in the last year to search for health information. And The Accenture 2016 Consumer Survey on Patient Engagement reported that the number of consumers who use mobile health apps increased from 16 percent in 2014 to 33 percent in 2016.

To better understand how CVS Health’s apps and digital tools can help our patients and customers on their path to better health, we conducted a public opinion poll with 2,000 registered voters. Here are a few of the insights:

Privacy Remains a Concern, Apps Seen as More Secure

Security was a major concern for respondents, 93 percent of whom think it’s important to find more secure ways to share personal information. Specifically, 64 percent of respondents expressed worry that their personal information, including name and date of birth, could be overheard at the pharmacy when picking up a prescription. The majority (64 percent) felt that non-verbal and digital channels could be an important step in protecting personal information.

Convenience is Important

We know that consumers value convenience when it comes to their health. However, more female than male respondents think a secure mobile app payment option is “convenient” (78 percent female vs. 72 percent male).

Convenient mobile tools can also translate to good health habits, especially for younger consumers. Our survey showed that 18-44 year olds are significantly more likely to fill their prescription if they receive automatic reminders on their mobile phone upon entering the pharmacy/retail store (53 percent for 18-29 year olds and 46 percent for 30-44 year olds; 35% for respondents overall).

Offering Digital Solutions

We work to connect people to the services they need with innovative digital resources, including digital pharmacy tools to help make medication adherence easier and more convenient, as well as text message and email alerts for prescription pick up, refill reminders and notices about issues related to prescriptions (e.g., insurance, inventory). The CVS Pharmacy app also offers mobile prescription pickup for convenience and privacy. Instead of verbally sharing information, the app uses a scannable barcode to identify the patient and his or her medications.