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Quantity and Quality of Health-related Smartphone Apps

The increasing number of health-related smartphone apps has health professionals growing more concerned about the quality of the information provided.

As the number of health-related smartphone applications continues to rise, so does concern from physicians about the reliability of the information the apps provide and the impact that the information could have on patients, according to an article in the Los Angeles Times.

According to the Times, a review in March by mobilehealthnews found that there are now close to 6,000 consumer health apps, and their quick accessibility and availability has physicians concerned.

"The consumer health app market is still a very immature market with a lot of things being thrown out there," said Kevin Patrick, adjunct professor, family and preventive medicine, UC San Diego and editor, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, adding that generally, “the apps have not been subjected to clinical trials that would show that they are effective in changing health behaviors, a claim of much of the marketing surrounding some health apps.”

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