Health care industry professionals are waking up to the value of apps that can improve the health of their patients and the operating performance of their clinics.

This is the big picture outcome of a study by Research Now, which queried health care professionals and health app users to determine where the industry might be headed. They based their results on responses to questions about whether these folks have integrated smartphone technology in their medical practices, whether they found it beneficial and where they believed the smartphone's greatest potential resided. They were asked to list the apps they use as well.

Among the major findings:

  • 46 percent of health care professionals say they'll introduce mobile apps to their practice in the next five years.

  • 19 percent of health care professionals say they'll never use apps in their business.

  • 86 percent of health care professionals believe that health apps will increase their knowledge of patients' conditions.

  • 72 percent of health care professionals believe that health apps will encourage patients to take more responsibility for their health.

Other findings by type of question included:

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.