Apps - User Retention Stats
The standard expected rate of usage for health-related self-management apps, particularly apps designed to help manage Type 2 diabetes, is between 4 weeks and 12 months. The standard retention rate of mHealth apps in general is at 7% with more than 50,000 active users.
USAGE FOR HEALTH-RELATED SELF-MANAGEMENT APPS (DIABETES)
- STANDARD EXPECTED RATE OF USAGE
• In a study to evaluate Type 2 diabetes apps such as BlueStar, mDiab, Health Coach, Gather Health, and WellTang, participants used the apps up to 12 months.
• According to the American Diabetes Association (ADA), it is recommended for patients to use diabetes mobile applications for at least a couple of weeks before deciding whether it will work for them or not.
• In understanding the app evaluation process, registered testers should use the diabetes apps for four weeks and answer several criteria using a questionnaire. The results of the questionnaires will be reviewed and discussed during a final conference call.
- STANDARD RETENTION RATE OF DIABETES APPS AND MHEALTH APPS IN GENERAL
• WellDoc’s work with payers includes the PCMH demonstration with Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield New Jersey. They found that patients who use the BlueStar app and stick with it see results. Out of 89 patients with Type 2 diabetes, 86% used the app and filed a smart report with their doctor.
• There are only 7% of mHealth apps with more than 50,000 active users according to data from mHealth Developer Economics Research. Majority of these apps provide solutions for running, exercising, managing diabetes, improving women’s health or losing weight.
• According to a study done by PWC, two-thirds of people who downloaded a mobile health (mHealth) app used it only once. The low retention rate could stem from the incorrect use of the application.
• In a study called “Effect of self-monitoring on long-term patient engagement with mobile health applications”, it was found that 44% of the users had abandoned the app after one month.
- FREQUENCY OF USE OF THE APPS
• Patients who use BlueStar app logged in an average of 6.5 a week.
• According to a study called “Popular Diabetes Apps and the Impact of Diabetes App Use on Self-Care Behavior”, patients of Type 2 diabetes either use mobile apps daily (28.6%), monthly (1.4%), weekly (5.7%), a few days a week (12.4%), every time they eat (45%), only when needing guidance (3.3%), or never (3.3%).
1) OTHER STATISTICS
• Type 2 diabetes patients find mobile apps to be extremely useful (26.3%), very useful (36.4%), somewhat useful (29.7%), not very useful (5.3%), or not at all useful (2.4%).
• There are 51.9% Type 2 diabetes patients who are interested in using a smartphone app to assist with their diabetes management.
2) APP USAGE FOR MOBILE APPS DESIGNED FOR DIABETES SELF-MANAGEMENT:
• Type 2 diabetes patients use apps mainly for tracking blood glucose (56.6%), blood pressure (51.9%), and food calories (48.1%).
• Among the 217 respondents, 106, or 48.8%, will continue using the app while 111, or 51.2%, will not continue using the app. The reasons for not using the app included not being interested (33.3%), the app's lack of awareness (46.8%), the inability to access it on a smartphone (10.8%), the lack of patients' access to the internet (7.2%), and the app being expensive (9%).
3) TYPE 2 DIABETES SELF-MANAGEMENT APPS:
• BlueStar Diabetes — This app is free to download and is available on Apple and Android OS. It was rated 85/100, which was the highest score of the apps that were used by patients. The FDA cleared BlueStar as a non-prescription device due to its low risk in 2017.
• mDiab — mDiab Lite (free) and mDiab are available on Apple and Android OS. For both mDiab Lite and mDiab, the user can track blood glucose, HbA1c, medication, physical activity, and weight. mDiab Lite scored a 47.5/100 and mDiab scored a 48.3/100. They both fall into the “not acceptable” usability category.
• NexJ Connected Wellness Platform: Health Coach + [NexJ] — This app is available on Apple and Android OS. It requires a prescription from a doctor to create an account. It allows the user to track blood glucose, HbA1c, carbohydrates, medication, physical activity, and weight.
• Gather Health — This app is available on Apple and Android OS. It requires a prescription from a doctor to create an account. The app allows users to track blood glucose, HbA1c, medications use, physical activity, and weight. [source 1]
• WellTang — This app is available in the Apple App Store and is only accessible by scanning a QR code on the WellTang website. The app is available in English and can help users track their blood glucose, HbA1c, meals and carbohydrates, medication use, physical activity, and weight.