Now that 85% of U.S. adults own a cell phone—and half (53%) of those are smartphone owners—information is available wherever and whenever people need it.

According to a survey conducted Aug. 7-Sept. 6, 31% of cell phone owners say they use their phone to look for health or medical information online. That is up from 17% of cell phone owners in September 2010.

Smartphone owners lead this activity: 52% have used their phone to search for health information, compared with 6% of other cell phone owners.
Among all cell phone owners, some demographic groups are more likely than others to look for health information on their phones: Latinos, African Americans, those between the ages of 18 and 49, and college graduates.

Mobile health information also seems to appeal to certain groups of health consumers: caregivers, people who went through a recent medical crisis, and those who experienced a recent, significant change in their physical health and health habits such as gaining or losing a lot of weight, becoming pregnant, or quitting smoking. Read More

Russell Heimlich  is a former web developer at Pew Research Center.