10 iPhone Healthcare, Fitness Apps That Actually Work - InformationWeek
IoT
IoT
Healthcare // Mobile & Wireless
News
9/28/2015
07:05 AM
Kelly Sheridan
Kelly Sheridan
Slideshows
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
Google+
RSS
E-Mail
50%
50%
RELATED EVENTS
7 Key Cloud Security Trends Shaping 2017 & Beyond
Dec 15, 2016
Cloud computing is enabling business transformation as organizations accelerate time to market and ...Read More>>

10 iPhone Healthcare, Fitness Apps That Actually Work

Some health apps for the iPhone are beneficial and others merely for fun. How to tell them apart and choose apps that will work for you.
Previous
1 of 11
Next

(Image: Ymgerman/iStockphoto)

(Image: Ymgerman/iStockphoto)

It's time to reconsider our mobile health apps.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) defines mobile medical apps as "medical devices that are mobile apps, meet the definition of a medical device and are an accessory to a regulated medical device or transform a mobile platform into a regulated medical device."

Many of the health offerings in mobile app stores claim to monitor data like heart rate, blood pressure, quality of sleep, and cholesterol levels. They boast of capabilities to predict strokes and diagnose cancer. They tell us how long we exercise and the amount of calories burned.

Thousands of apps promise to transform your smartphone into a medical device. Many of them sound too good to be true -- because they are.

More than 40,000 health care apps are available on Apple's US App Store, reports the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics (download required). Of these, only 16,275 are directly linked to patient care. The rest provide information that does little to improve health and wellness.

[In pictures: How technology is slowly killing us all.]

In some cases a relatively useless app will cost a few dollars at most. The danger lies in apps that lack support to back up their medical claims and can cause legitimate harm to their users. One example is Instant Blood Pressure, which once promised to use the iPhone's microphone and camera to measure blood pressure.

Before it was recently removed, the app was one of the top-grossing offerings in the App store and received thousands of reviews from people who used it to measure blood pressure. The problem? There was no literature to back up the app; even the founder and CEO of the company that built it could not explain how it worked.

By 2017, mobile market research firm Research2guidance states the market for mobile health (mHealth) apps will reach $26 billion, reports the New York Times. Millions of people will rely on their smartphones as mobile health tools.

Before you download or use a health app, take the time to explore the developer's website for information on testing and for explanations to prove its legitimacy. To save you some time, we selected a few apps that can legitimately help you live a healthier life. Have you used any of these? Do you have your own favorites? Feel free to add them in the comments.

Kelly is an associate editor for InformationWeek. She most recently reported on financial tech for Insurance & Technology, before which she was a staff writer for InformationWeek and InformationWeek Education. When she's not catching up on the latest in tech, Kelly enjoys ... View Full Bio

Previous
1 of 11
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
Michelle
50%
50%
Michelle,
User Rank: Ninja
9/29/2015 | 2:30:53 PM
Doc in the phone
I was most impressed with the telemedicine app, Doctor on Demand. The current cost per visit is very low - near many insurance co-pay prices. I can't wait to see what this looks like in 5 to 10 years.
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Top IT Trends to Watch in Financial Services
IT pros at banks, investment houses, insurance companies, and other financial services organizations are focused on a range of issues, from peer-to-peer lending to cybersecurity to performance, agility, and compliance. It all matters.
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on InformationWeek.com for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the InformationWeek.com editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll