Friday, September 14, 2012

Rise of the health apps

Where do you go for your health information? Maybe you have a medical dictionary, or follow the health stories in the newspapers. Now that the smartphone era has really arrived – and the mobile web begins to overtake the desktop web – there has been a massive change in the way we access information. With all the various app stores that have grown up over the last few years, there’s now a bewildering array of health apps available. Everything from aerobic exercise workouts to teeth brushing guides, there is pretty much an app for everything these days.

And it’s not just health apps for those looking to keep fit or find out more about a specific condition – there are now tablet apps designed by and for health professionals too.

But how successful are health apps? While just about everyone has played Angry Birds on their smartphone, it seems that health apps might still have a way to go before they’re being used by a majority of smartphone owners. A report in the social media and tech news site Mashable published in July gave some interesting stats on the use of health apps. Interestingly, while 88% of people in the States have a mobile phone, only 10% of people have actually downloaded health apps, according to the article.

This may well just be down to the fact that these apps are relatively new, and it may take time before more people become aware of them and try them out. There’s also the obvious fact that apps are going to become more and more sophisticated in time to come, so it’s likely that we will see a step change in the use of this type of app going forward.

Do you use health apps? Let us know in the comments.

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