Your patients increasingly are relying on their cell phones and wireless Internet via laptop computers instead of landlines and Internet connections via desktop computers.
Six in 10 American adults now go online wirelessly using either a mobile phone or a laptop with a wireless Internet connection (versus 51 percent in 2009), according to a recent telephone survey of 2,252 American adults by the Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project. The report also found that the use of non-voice data applications on cell phones has grown over the past year.
Compared with a similar point in 2009, cell phone owners are now more likely to use their mobile phones to:
• Take pictures (76 percent versus 66 percent)
• Send or receive text messages (72 percent versus 65 percent)
• Access the Internet (38 percent versus 25 percent)
• Send or receive email (34 percent versus 25 percent)
• Play games (34 percent versus 27 percent)
• Record a video (34 percent versus 19 percent)
• Play music (33 percent versus 21 percent)
• Send or receive instant messages (30 percent versus 20 percent).
"The growing functionality of mobile phones makes them ever-more powerful devices for on-the-go communications and computing," said Aaron Smith, research specialist and the author of the Pew Internet Project report. "Cell phones have become for many owners an all-purpose chat-text-gaming-photo-sharing media hub that is an essential utility for work and a really fancy toy for fun."
Among other findings of the survey:
• More than half (54 percent) of mobile phone owners participating in the survey said they have used their phone to send someone a photo or video, 20 percent reported watching a video on their phone, and 15 percent said they have posted a photo or video online from their mobile device.
• More than half of cell phone Internet users (55 percent) participating in the survey said they go online from their mobile phone every day.
• Most wireless laptop users participating in the survey said they go online wirelessly at home, and six in 10 wireless laptop users said they go online from multiple locations. Twenty percent of participants said they do so from home, work, and somewhere other than home or work.
• Fifty-five percent of those participating in the survey own a laptop computer, and 62 percent own a desktop machine.
Demographically, the survey found:
• Cell phone ownership is higher among African-Americans and Latinos than among whites (87 percent versus 80 percent), and African-American and Latino cell phone owners use a greater range of their phones’ features compared with white mobile phone users.
• Adults aged 18 to 29 years are avid users of mobile data applications, but adults aged 30 to 49 years are gaining fast. Adults in this older age group are significantly more likely to use their mobile device to send text messages, access the Internet, take pictures, record videos, use email or instant messaging, and play music in 2010 than they were in 2009.
(c) Medical Economics 2010