Mobile Healthcare Apps Fail First Checkup, But Future Is Bright

As the use of smartphones and tablets continues to rise, mobile healthcare applications have started to gain momentum as a method to enhance patient care, especially in the past year. Yet mobile apps recently failed their first checkup on usability and function.  Even with this failing grade, enthusiasm for mobile health is still great and explosive growth is predicted in the coming years. The recent research gained from the grading process may be extremely beneficial in shedding light on the best direction to move forward with mobile apps in the near future.

Mobile health is defined by the The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as “the use of mobile and wireless devices to improve health outcomes, healthcare services, and health research.”  Chances are you’ve already used a mobile device to manage some aspect of your health, whether it be a calorie counter, an exercise tracker, or a sleep monitoring app.

According to GlobalData, approximately 70% of available healthcare apps are consumer focused, while the remaining 30% are designed for medical professionals – the latter of which are typically more sophisticated and can offer clinicians access to patient information and the ability to conduct further analysis such as creating 3D anatomical models.

With more than 40,000 mobile health apps available today, the question becomes about the quality of the app.  With that in mind, according to Allied Health World, the FDA has now become involved in mobile health apps “and requires that any medical app company making a health claim seek FDA approval.” This may create a new level of complexity, ultimately increasing the cost and time it will take to bring new and useful mobile health apps specifically designed to manage patient care to market.

View this infographic that provides an excellent overview of smartphones and mobile health. Then let us know what you think.

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