How Are Health and Medical Apps for Smartphones Changing Healthcare?

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The potential for mobile health in general is huge because health as our sergeant general says is where we live, work, play and pray. It's largely outside of the doctors office. So if we can have an app that helps us do the right thing through the day, choose the right foods to eat, take the extra steps through the day, take our medications.

That does move the needle on personal behavior, fosters good behavior, and then outcomes and drives costs of the system. The challenge with apps today is that people download them once and they don't use them over a sustained period of time. So apps are not as well designed as need to be, I think people would like them to be, because they download them, but they are just not fun.

So a lot of this involves, and I used the word design several times in our conversation, we need to make health a lot more fun and engaging than it has been and that's when gamification, games coming into play for a lot of people for whom apps are more fun. So there's a kid's app in health called Zamzee which gets kids off of their various handheld games and into the basket ball court and outside and rewards them through badges and other virtual gifts to do physical activities.

And so games could be appropriate in many health situations and have been proven to be and we are going to see more gamification in health but right now there's again the hype cycle I mentioned earlier with sensors with apps. There's a lot of hype about apps, people download them, don't use them, I do.

I pick and choose and I've gotten rid of quite a few that I've downloaded that haven't been too engaging to use.