100 patient groups from around the world appraise health apps

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Health apps are a technological revolution. They act as a powerful resource to help the patients in whom you are interested manage their medical condition, treatment, and care. 

Health apps remind patients to take their treatment properly, ensuring that medicines work to best effect. Apps track symptoms, and provide information about diseases, medicines, and medical devices.

Many health apps are free, making them accessible to even the poorer and more vulnerable patients. 

This is not a ‘standard’ report on health apps. Rather, the report is a mapping exercise that shows how and why currently-available health apps can be used to support patients’ self-management of their own medical conditions.

 The report identifies 6 major health challenges that patients face in their everyday lives: ·        Making sure that their treatment and care is appropriate. ·        Lifestyle factors—notably nutrition and diet. ·        Coping with daily living. ·        Coping with travel. ·        Interacting with carers, family, friends (and providing support for carers, family, friends). ·        Coping with society at large.

 100 patient groups from 21 countries around the world and from different disease areas/disabilities volunteer (in an online questionnaire) the health apps that the patients with whom they are familiar find most useful in self-managing medical conditions. A total of some 60 different health apps are named by patient groups. The patient groups specify why patients find these apps useful in self-management. The patient groups also estimate the percentage of patients who use each type of app.

The specific-disease health apps listed in the report are associated with the following 18 medical conditions, disabilities, health areas, etc:

ADHD   Allergy   Alzheimer’s disease   Aphasia   Cancer (non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma)   Circulatory disease  Diabetes   Epilepsy   Fertility   Haemophilia   Hearing loss   Learning disabilities   Mental health   Obesity Pain   Respiratory   Sleep   Smoking cessation

The report organises health apps into 34 categories (eg glucose monitors; blood pressure monitors; fitness trackers; specific disease-based apps that provide medical information, etc).

These 34 categories of health app are analysed to see how they help patients cope with the above-listed 6 health challenges. (The report is therefore something of a ‘grid for health’.)

The report leaves the reader with the undoubted impression that health apps are an important technology which can readily help patients live with their medical conditions.

 Finally, the 100 patient groups highlight what they believe will have to change in the world of health apps in the future if health apps are to remain relevant to society in the context of patients’ self-management of chronic conditions. The patient groups identify a number of hurdles for health apps, and suggest how the hurdles could be overcome.

For more about this report, email report@patient-view.com, or telephone 0044-(0)1547-520-965 (contacts are Alexandra Wyke and/or Clive Nead)