Take your health selfie

Apple_-_iOS_8_-_HealthIn healthcare marketing, we try to empower people to take control of their health by making healthy choices, seeing their doctor regularly, and exercising regularly. These choices alone do not ensure that people with become an active participant in their own health. There are tens of thousands of smartphone and tablet apps that allow people to measure their steps, track their cycling route, log their food in take and chart their weight loss. Creating a fun and often interactive way for people see their results will help them to get excited about their health.

Apple’s announcement its WWDC 2014 (68:29) was an exciting next step in connecting you to your health. With HealthKit, not only will the iOS 8 bring with it new ways to see your health in living color, the technology will allow other app developers to improve their products. Yes, storing your health information on your device carries with it some privacy concerns, but Apple as improved security as well. HealthKit will allow the data housed in your existing health apps to be integrated, providing you with a more complete picture of your health. The additional security measures allow you to choose the information you want to share with third-party apps like Fitbit and FuelBand. And as electronic medical records become the standard in hospitals through the U.S. and beyond, having portable health information will streamline the care people receive, no matter if they are in their hometown hospital or one thousands of miles away. Apps, like the Mayo Clinic app, will have the ability to send information directly to their healthcare provider, which will improve  a patient’s overall care.

With the Affordable Care Act, hospitals now more than ever are charged with ensuring the health of their communities. Regular health assessments must be conducted to identify opportunities to improve the overall health and wellness in their area. Decreasing obesity rates and the incidence of type 2 diabetes are two important focuses that could benefit from the use of HealthKit and other wellness apps. Empowering people to take charge of their health is critical the transformation of the health of our nation. Want to see how the 40,000+ apps help people live healthier lives? Check out the recent study conducted by IMS Institute in Healthcare Informatics.

Why not let your smartphone help you maintain your health selfie? It could be the best picture you ever take.

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2 comments

  1. This is a growing epidemic by far. When Nike came out with the shoe that synced with your iPod to track your miles and match the music played was a huge hit. Now, apps as you discussed are growing every day and so are the gadgets to go along with them – fit bits are huge right now. I wonder if there is data to show if consumer’s are having healthier check-ups at the doctors? And if so, would this relate back to this “health selfie” trend as media continues to emerge and the health craze continues to grow?

  2. Laura,

    I know MapMyRun has helped me stay on track with my exercise routine. And, I know a lot of people who have used Lose it! to help them shed a few unwanted pounds.

    According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s Web site, 500 million smartphone users worldwide will be using a healthcare application by 2015, and by 2018, 50 percent of the more than 3.4 billion smartphone and tablet users will have downloaded mobile health applications.

    The FDA is also not sitting on the sidelines. It is ensuring the programs out there are not scamming or hurting consumers. The organization issued the Mobile Medical Applications Guidance for Industry and Food and Drug Administration Staff on Sept. 25, 2013, which explains the agency’s oversight of mobile and medical apps as devices and its focus only the apps that present a greater risk to patients if they don’t work as intended and on apps that cause smartphones (or other mobile platforms) to impact the functionality or performance of traditional medical devices.

    I sometimes get frustrated with how much time I waste on the more meaningless sides of technology (games, photos, etc.). So, it’s certainly promising that technology also has a positive effect on our lives.

    -Josiah

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