Health applications are mobile apps for patients that collect and store user data, ranging from sleep and weight to exercise and mental wellness. They are also designed to connect patients with insurers and physicians. Many also include reminders and electronic payments.
While health applications are a promising development in the world of health technology, it is important to note that their success will depend on the ability of users to effectively utilize them. In addition, users should also be aware of security and privacy issues associated with health applications.
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Researchers have found that most apps send personal information over the internet without encrypting it. Furthermore, a large percentage of data collection operations were conducted on behalf of third party services. In fact, 95% of health applications carried at least one security risk.
In order to be effective, health applications must be trusted to collect, analyze, and use user data safely and securely. This includes the right to authorize access, the right to opt-in or opt-out, the right to restrict or delete personal information, and the right to limit the sharing of user data.
The ability to collect and store user data digitally is a significant advantage for health apps. It helps to streamline the health care process. In addition, it can reduce the burden on the patient and health care provider.
Some of the more popular health apps include WebMD, which provides medical reminders and research treatments, and Headspace, which offers guided meditation courses. Others offer disease-specific functions, such as Generis, which provides health tips and community support for diabetes.