The company Airship has published new data on the popularity of wellbeing apps in the U.K. (of which there are a wide range). One of the key findings from the data shows that 8 in 10 people now rely on mobile apps to take care of their health, particularly mental health wellbeing apps.
The data is drawn from a recent survey. The survey was conducted in January 2023 among 4,000 consumers, age 18 and older in the U.K., U.S., and France.
The survey reveals the different reasons as to why consumers are attracted to health related apps on smartphones or wearable devices. Fitness remains a strong motivator, but apps are also used for a wider range of health needs. These reasons include staying connected with family and friends (26 percent), improve their sleep (19 percent) and monitor their diet (15 percent).
In terms of types of apps, mental health apps are growing in popularity. In particular, the data highlights that 23 percent of people in the U.K. seem eager to switch off from the “always-on” culture: either to limit their screen time (14 percent) or avoid distracting interruptions (9 percent). In conjunction, 11 percent of U.K. respondents use meditation apps.
Other key findings from the data analysis include the fact that the U.K. is trailing other countries in using wellbeing apps. This is borne out by the finding that Around 78 percent of U.K. consumers use these apps, compared to over 80 percent in both the U.S. and France.
Another finding is with a demographic deficit. Here, older generations appear to be missing out on the benefits of digital health applications. In contrast, just 22 percent of Gen X (and 42 percent of Baby Boomers) are not relying on well-being apps. In general, 28 percent of the youngest generations use meditation apps, compared to 17 percent of the older generations.
With younger people, a lack of access for advertisers is an issue. Younger generations are increasingly relying on apps to block disruptions or limit their screen time. This creates a challenge for mobile marketers who wish to target these age groups.
Gen Z and millennials in the U.K. lead in using apps to limit their screen time and avoid interruptions at 33 percent and 31 percent respectively, compared to only 20 percent of Gen X and 11 percent of boomers.
Other reasons for low take-up in some areas are attributed to a lack of education, awareness or trust. Each of these creates a barrier. In addition, cost remains the main barrier for users with low incomes to adopt well-being apps.