Health Informatics News

Mobile Health Apps – Consumer Use Limited

According to a new report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, few health-related mobile applications have gained popularity among consumers.


“For the study, researchers examined about 16,275 mobile apps that they determined had "genuine" health content for consumers (Comstock, MobiHealthNews, 10/30).”


Read more on the study at:

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  • This was an interesting report because it confirmed that about half of consumer health apps have fewer than 500 downloads and that 5 apps account for 15% of all downloads. They point out that ideally, apps should inform, instruct, track and alert patients. They suggest that there is room for developers to close the loop between clinicans and patients. In other words, if a patient has heart failure, the ideal app would educate the patient about this condition, instruct them when they are not doing well, track their vital signs and symptoms and alert them when they need to make a change, etc. In addition, an intelligent app would archive data for research.

    There was an article published last week by the Commonwealth Fund entitled Clinical Management Apps: Creating Partnerships Between Providers a... They suggest that apps may help connect patients better with their clinicians but they also point out health app limitations.

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