More and more of us are opting for smartphones with large screens, which allow easy use of the web and access to many types of apps, over basic cell phones (also known as feature phones) that are primarily used for voice calls and texting.
And while game apps are the big money makers, there remains a place for care management programs designed to help us improve our health. Since Apple’s App Store launched in mid-2008, consumers have downloaded an astonishing 4 billion apps. The six top app stores, including Apple’s, have more than 300,000 apps available for free or for purchase. And there are more than 10,000 health and medical-related apps for smartphones that can help users manage different aspects of their health through mobile health, or mHealth, applications.
Nevertheless, we need to bring everything together and make it convenient for the health plan member and the provider with whom information sharing is critical.
The main issue, as it so often is in healthcare, is fragmentation. While you can get an app to help you train like a Navy SEAL, count calories, and even triage acute health symptoms yourself, you must use separate mHealth applications for each.