Health Apps Top 165,000 in U.S., Report Says

Smartphone users have more than 165,000 apps available to help them stay healthy or monitor a medical condition, but only three dozen account for nearly half of all downloads, according to a new report. Most apps focus on fitness or wellness by helping the user do things like count calories or track steps walked. Doctors and other care providers also are taking a growing interest in using apps to help patients, but concerns about a lack of research and data protection are limiting wider use of the technology, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

Even so, health app use is shifting from being a novelty to more of a core part of care for many people, said Murray Aitken, the institute’s executive director. The institute, which sells software that ranks apps, analyzed more than 26,000 available in the United States through Apple or Android app stores. Its analysis, announced Thursday, doesn’t count apps available through other venues like health care systems. Some apps are designed for specific medical conditions such as TouchChat, which aims to help patients with autism, Down syndrome, or other conditions communicate. Calorie Counter also is among those most frequently recommended by doctors, along with the weight-loss app Lose It.

Source/more: Denver Post

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