The rate at which mobile health care apps are introduced into the app stores of the world is accelerating very quickly.
According to the latest industry data available, there are presently 31,000 health, fitness, and medical related apps on the market today.
But not all are of value or potentially even safe. A new report from Health Leaders Media explores this persistent concern in the medical community.
“There are hundreds of apps that really work and are completely legitimate,” explains Mark Anderson, CEO of The AC Group, a healthcare IT consulting firm. “But there are also a lot of apps manufactured by snake oil salesmen who promote them with a lot of misleading information.”
Like the early days of the Internet—when dozens of new websites popped up every day—the healthcare app industry is a boomtown generating hundreds of new apps each month with most designed for use on mobile devices. According to Washington, D.C.-based eHealth Initiative, the number of smart phone apps increased 120% during the past year.
“We know they [healthcare apps] hold great promise,” says Jason Goldwater, VP of Programs and research for the eHealth Initiative. “But in most cases, there’s not enough data on sustained success to know which ones really work.”
Although patients, physicians, and the vast mHealth community are profoundly optimistic about the future of health apps, issues ranging from regulation to oversight continue to loom large over the entire mHealth app market.