mHealth – Lifestyle vs Health Management
In some respects the market is already saturated with mHealth apps – some 165,000 over a year ago according to Medscape. But there is a wealth of difference between ‘lifestyle’ apps, those that might tell you the changes in your weight, exercise patterns and even blood pressure, and apps that will help you and your doctor manage your chronic disease or other acute condition. To me the lifestyle app is a sort of “Take two aspirin (use this app) and come back to me in a month and we’ll see how things are” as opposed to the health management app “Rather than admit you into hospital for the close monitoring you need, let’s try to manage this from the comfort of your own home”. According to the latest HealthMine Survey, only 7% of those surveyed use a health management app. Health apps are no different to any app – the basic model is free, the model that really works and adds value costs. It’s a simple as that! But when compared to the traditional approach to chronic disease management, the financial cost is nominal and the improved patient outcomes assured. And it really should be as simple as that.