Attitude - mHealth Apps and Users' Insights: An Empirical Approach to Understand the Antecedents of Attitudes towards mHealth Applications


Mobile health apps are a solution to make people more self-sufficient with their health in relation to their lifestyle or medical needs. The mobile health landscape is growing, but still its usage rate is rather low. Since the attitude towards mhealth apps has not been extensively studied so far, we conducted a multi-method approach study in Germany. To understand people’s needs, preferences and attitudes towards mhealth applications on the one hand and the antecedents of people’s attitudes towards mhealth applications on the other hand, we chose a user-centered approach. To get first insights into users’ needs and attitudes, we conducted two focus groups (N=11). Topics such as privacy concerns, data sharing and app functions have emerged as key issues. Quantitatively, we operationalized the collected key topics as well as users’ attributes and personal health attitudes. We collected 132 complete responses from originally 180 responses. We used partially-least squares structural equation modeling to identify the antecedents of attitudes towards mhealth applications. Results indicate that time saving and daily life facilitating functions are favored app features. Further, we found advantages (e.g. drink reminder) and disadvantages (e.g. data collection). Gender and age effects could be detected regarding health literacy, privacy concerns, and data sharing. Older participants are more cautious and reserved with the usage of health apps. Women in general show a higher health-literacy. eHealth literacy and intention to share data were identified as being the strongest influence on a positive attitude towards mhealth apps. To ensure that mhealth apps further enjoy a rising popularity, it is important to meet the users’ concerns about privacy and help them to acquire eHealth literacy.

In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Ageing Well and e-Health (ICT4AWE 2019)