#health apps
17 October 2019
Julianna Sykutera

How many health apps are there 2019?

If you finally decided to take care of your health, you’re doing that in most suitable time. 2019 has a lot to offer considering over 318 000 health apps available on the market. You can choose from fitness classes to sleep monitoring and even try out one of the medical mobile apps to make an appointment. The apps are subtle reminders, engaged coaches and useful information providers which will assist you in your life. 

The health apps market 

With the rise of awareness of global obesity percentage, cholesterol diseases and many difficulties coming from the lazy lifestyle, it’s no surprise that people became more interested in their health. The latest report shows that about 34% of adult people use mobile health apps to monitor their heart rate and exercise. Most common parameters monitored by the users are weight, diet, heart rate and sleep. Nowadays, apart from smartphones, you can use wearable health-tracking devices. The companies such as Apple, Fitbit or Garmin introduced to the market many comfortable to wear products that measure your sports performance and health details. Of course, there is also plenty of applications ready to try them out on Google Play and App Store. Let’s take a look at the most innovative health tracking assistants from the list.  

Mental health

You can’t call yourself a healthy person if your mind suffers from the daily stress you experience. Whether it’s stress caused by your work or coming from tough situations from your life you have to find a minute to calm down and breathe. Headspace is a meditation app that will teach you how to meditate and reach the mindfulness techniques. The app helps in curing insomnia, stress disorders, and anxiety. Considering statistics it is something that a lot of us need today. In the U.S anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness. They affect 40 million adults (age 18 and older) every year. Headspace includes also emergency SOS calm sessions for those experiencing a panic attack. People can practice choosing a 10-day beginner’s course (free one!). What’s more, on the home page every 24 hours there is a new meditation session to try out. 

Sleep tracking

Putting every effort to sleep better is just as important as your mental health. Nowadays there is a lot of apps offering sleep level monitoring. Among them, there is Sleep++. The app allows you to track your sleep, measuring the duration and the quality of it. It works automatically when you put on your Apple Watch. In the morning you receive a full report with the analysis of your nighttime routine. You can save your morning summary to use the data in other health apps. The app is free, however, made for IOS system only which is by far the biggest minus of it. About 42% of people (mostly young) use an app for sleep tracking which shows that it’s an important activity. Knowing the quality of your sleep, introduce changes to your life to simply benefit your rest. 

Healthy eating habits

Usually people pay attention to the amount of food they eat and mind their meal-time. MyFitnessPal takes a step further with an option to scan products. It provides you information about the inside of your food. How much sugar is with your favorite chocolate bar? Is that product gluten free or contains lactose? The app knows the nutrition facts of more than 6 millions products and dishes. It counts calories you intake during a day and helps you lose weight by monitoring what comes into your stomach. According to a report from the IFIC Foundation and the American Heart Association, 95% of Americans actually want to buy healthy food. However, only 28% of those people say it’s easy to find it. People become confused by reading the information on the products so using MyFitnessPal can help them in their fit journey. What’s more, using the app you can also monitor your water intake to see if your organism is well hydrated. If your main goal is to lose weight you can also check out My Plate Calorie Counter

Fitness apps

Fitness apps have a goal to make you feel like you were on personal training while exercising at home. Among competitors, FIIT made it really good. After signing up you receive a heart-monitoring chest strap which is integrated with the app to monitor your workout. The interactive fitness classes are divided into cardio, strength and rebalance. You can connect FIIT to your tv or download it on your mobile device (works on Android and IOS). After the workout, you are provided with stats displaying the level of your effort and general performance. Knowing your condition you can set up a goal and the app will help you achieve it. The membership will cost you £20,0 monthly, £45,0 quarterly or £120,0 yearly. A subscription is a good option considering fitness app as people pay only for time when they use it (here you can read more about the subscription-based business model). 

What about the healthcare industry? 

According to HealthWorks Collective, 52% of smartphone users collect health-associated information on their devices. What’s more, 33% of people use a mobile app or health tracking device to monitor their health. It’s the first sign showing that introducing the technology into med life is an idea supported by people. The fact that using a smartphone you can have an appointment with your doctor without leaving home is something that many appreciate. It is the way Telehealth apps work. They allow you to call your doctor and share camera while discussing your current condition or the treatment plan. There are also other innovative solutions found on the market. Temptraq is a small patch that fits under the arm and tracks the temperature of a sleeping child. It sends the data through the cloud to a mobile app and this way informs parents if the child has a fever. Another would be AbilifyMycite. It’s a small ingestible sensor embedded in the pill. A patient swallows it and when it hits the stomach it sends information to the app. It is used when treating mental illness where the selection of medication is often very difficult. 

How can technology improve the healthcare system?

First of all, it eases the tracking of personal data. Let’s say you’re allergic to penicillin or other commonly used drugs. When there is such information in your online chart you have better chances of having no complications during surgery or treatment. The doctors will have access to your medical interview that will help them save your life in case of you being not able to communicate. Also, the online chart would reduce the time spent in the doctor’s office. There is no need to conduct a standard interview, having all the necessary information. What’s more, patients would write down emergency contacts in case of death threatening situations. Going further, introducing health apps into healthcare system would definitely improve the work of doctors. It would improve communication between two different specialists. Sending the data to another hospital, would serve as a decision-support tool. Not to mention the fact, that in situations when a patient or a doctor is not able to meet, a house call appointment will spare both time and money. Telehealth apps reduce hospital readmissions, improve patient results and reduce ER costs as was found out in the review of The Department of Health and Human Services.

Is anyone interested?

The global market of mobile medical apps in 2018 was valued at around $8 billion but the estimation is that it will grow up to $111,1 billion by 2025. It is a significant increase that despite being just a prediction shows the growing popularity of the apps. In 2018 among Americans, there was 75% of people who stated that they use health tools to manage their health condition. When it comes to developing medical apps for clinics, the patients’ requirements are clear. They expect to have online access to medical records, the ability to book, change or cancel appointments, and the option to receive a prescription refilled electronically. Well, that would help a lot. The general response to the idea of creating the app is quite good since people know exactly what they need. There are also some of the hospitals in America that have already had the technology introduced to their treating program. However, the total number of apps offered was found to be only 205 which stands for about 3% of healthcare facilities in the U.S. Even though the offer is quite small those hospitals experience patient satisfaction on a great level.

The willingness to create a solution

What is worth to mention is also the motivation to create such applications. Knowing that there is still more to improve in the healthcare system, young people want to invent an app that would meet the expectations. There is a gap in the market that serves as an incredible opportunity for startups. The interest in health-oriented solutions is big enough to notice even a small prototype of such a product. What’s more, healthcare facilities have started adopting IoT (the Internet of Things) apps at an unprecedented rate. This way more developers become interested in improving the level of healthcare available in their countries. 

Ending, the health apps have proven to be a relief for people fighting with losing weight, improving mood and productivity but also for those curing the stress evoked disorders. The popularity of medical health solutions is increasing. It makes this sector of the market a golden cave for startups and developers. Technologies based on the cloud are becoming the norm so 2019 will definitely bring us more innovations that will only make our lives better.

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