Health Information Exchange Featured Article

July 30, 2012

Time Could be Right for Mobile Health Apps for Smartphones

The smartphone has changed our day-to-day lives in a lot of little ways. A smartphone armed with an Android or Apple operating system can do even more. Mobile applications that can help you balance your checkbook, log your latest workout, and watch television have all come out in the last couple of years. Quite a few mobile applications are geared for entertainment, such as the massive library of games the Apple app store contains. A move towards making apps that actually help us do our jobs and communicate better is gaining steam as more people adopt iPhones and Android devices.

In that vein, a new survey by industry analyst Parks Associates has found that a full quarter of all people who use a smartphone would like to see an application that allows them to communicate better with their doctor. Research analyst Jennifer Kent recently presented her firm’s research at the fourth annual  mHealth World Congress event on July 26th. Among the research, Kent unveiled a whole host of people who would like a mobile application that could help them with various medical issues. 

According to the survey, almost 30 percent of respondents who are mobile phone users that have serious medical conditions say they would be able to monitor and handle their issues better if a mobile app was available that would help. The research also indicates that that as many as 20 percent of all smartphone users would like some kind of mobile medicine application. Most of those people would like something that would allow them to talk to their doctor or at least leave a message for a medical professional that they could then use later on. 

The desire to have a mobile application that comes on their smartphone does not trump most people’s need to be thrifty. The firm’s research indicates that a good majority of those who participated in the survey would not pay for an app that costs more than $3.00. The creation of an app could boost medical research using a mobile phone. Currently, less than 20 percent use their smartphone to look for health information.

Edited by Brooke Neuman