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What do mHealth Apps offer?

The majority of Americans own a smartphone, meaning more people have the technical ability to use mHealth. Many Apps are available to download for free or at a minimal cost. Health Apps are convenient. You can use them on-the-go.

What do mHealth Apps offer?

Certain health Apps are informative and educational. They offer users information about their body, their conditions, or the latest research.

mHealth Apps sometimes offer the community. Users can connect with others suffering from the same. The exchange of patients' journeys and information can help a lot in different ways. MHealth can encourage healthy behavior. It starts with reminders of taking the prescribed drugs or exercising regularly and ends with communication and advice from a therapist or personal coach.

However, users should choose their health App cautiously. A study published in the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension found that only a small fraction of the top 107 apps using the terms "hypertension" and "high blood pressure" were developed by health care agencies. Before downloading, it is always useful to get valid information about the App. Do the developers explain how exactly their mHealth App operates? Is the App labeled for "recreational purposes only"? Who developed the App, and what do the users say (reviews)?

Furthermore, many users are worried about their privacy. Some Apps use users' e-mail addresses and personal data for further purposes. There is only one way to avoid unpleasant surprises regarding privacy. Users need to read privacy policy explanations carefully. These typically explain what personal information is collected and if data is shared with or sold to third parties and why. Some authors claim that paid apps pose less risk to users' privacy because they do not rely on advertisers to make money.

To sum up, it is important to exercise common sense when using mobile health apps. Read the App description, try to understand who this App was designed for. Visit the software developer website and see are the health care professionals in their team. Be sure to see any privacy policies to see how personal data may be used and whether the App has been approved or is regulated by the FDA. Read the disclaimers, if any, to find out if the App is intended for medical, entertainment, or recreational use.


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