Wellness vs. Medical Apps
August 14, 2013
By Christopher Burrow, MD, EVP Medical Affairs, Humetrix

There are well over than 40,000 health care apps (http://bit.ly/13Re448) available in mobile marketplaces and many claim that these apps have the potential to revolutionize health care. The fact is that the large majority of these apps are wellness apps that may be incredibly useful to certain users, but likely won’t do much to improve the care of patients suffering from many chronic conditions. We need to bump up the proportion of apps that are focused on improving the health care of Americans suffering from chronic disease in order to significantly impact the country’s overall health.

At Humetrix, we develop apps that are about giving patients the ability to share and view relevant health data – so that they improve the patient-physician communication and in turn, improve the patient’s health. Our development process is focused both on the provider and the patient. And the good news is that an emerging group of app developers are focusing on the patient as well – and developing apps that help bring real value to patients trying to navigate the healthcare system and become actively involved in managing their conditions in a more equal partnership with their physicians.This is happening as part of the Blue Button movement which is all about giving patients not only access to their health data but also the practical and innovative tools needed to make the best use of the information. This second patient-focused wave of our national conversion from paper to digital health data is a highly significant moment and one that should receive the emphasis that it deserves from the Healthcare IT industry, physicians, and public and private payers.

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