Commentary

Would You Recommend This App?

According to industry estimates, 500 million smartphone owners worldwide use at least one health or wellness app. Within the next three years, 50% of the more than 3 billion smartphone and tablet users will have downloaded mobile health apps.

With more than 100,000 apps available to consumers, the health and wellness market is becoming the fastest-growing app category. The FDA is working on guidelines that will help regulate apps that are used as medical devices, but most consumer apps on the market will fall outside of those guidelines. On top of this, every consumer health/fitness website seems to have its own list of the “best” health apps.

To address this, HealthTap surveyed over 500,000 physicians to get their recommendations on a wide range of available health apps. The resulting lists give both physicians and patients a guide to reliable apps that have been approved by physicians. Having a list like this is important for physicians who prescribe apps as well as for patients who are looking for a good health/wellness app on their own.

Apps were evaluated for the following:

  • Medical accuracy
  • Effectiveness
  • Ease of use
  • Validity

Top 10 Health Apps for Android

1. Weight Watchers Mobile (Weight Watchers International)

2. White Noise Lite (TMSoft)

3. Lose It! (FitNow)

4. First Aid (American Red Cross)

5. RunKeeper – GPS Track Run Walk (FitnessKeeper)

6. Emergency First Aid/Treatment (Phoneflips)

7. Instant Heart Rate (Azumio)

8. Fooducate – Healthy Food Diet (Fooducate)

9. Glucose Buddy – Diabetes Log (Azumio)

10. Pocket First Aid & CPR (Jive Media)

Top Health Apps for iOS

1. Calorie Counter and Diet Tracker (MyFitnessPal.com)

2. Weight Watchers Mobile (Weight Watchers International)

3. Lose It! (FitNow)

4. White Noise Lite (TMSoft)

5. First Aid (American Red Cross)

6. Runkeeper (FitnessKeeper)

7. Stroke Riskometer (Autel)

8. Emergency First Aid & Treatment Guide (Phoneflips)

9. Instant Heart Rate (Azumio)

10. Fooducate (Foducate)

Using apps to foster patient engagement

A good, reliable health app that both physicians and their patients can trust is invaluable in the quality of data it can provide, and how that data can be shared and used.

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