Over 165,000 health care apps available in US: Report
Sept.17, New York: Smartphone users now have more than 165,000 apps available to help them stay healthy or monitor a medical condition, a new report said.
The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics said in a report that most apps focus on fitness or wellness by helping the user do things like count calories or track steps walked.
Doctors and other care providers also are taking a growing interest in using apps to help patients, but concerns about a lack of research and data protection are limiting wider use of the technology.
The institute, which sells software that ranks apps, analyzed more than 26,000 available in the United States through either Apple or Android app stores. Its analysis, released Thursday, doesn't count apps available through other venues like health care systems.
It found that the number of health-related apps for the iOS operating system used by iPhones has more than doubled in just two years to about 90,000.
Most of the apps in its study are free. The most popular, or those with more than 10 million downloads, include MyFitnessPal's Calorie Counter and an exercise tracker from Endomondo. At the other end, 40 percent of apps available in the U.S. market have less than 5,000 downloads.
Some apps are designed for specific medical conditions like TouchChat, which aims to help patients with autism, Down syndrome or other conditions communicate, the report said.
Calorie Counter also is among those most frequently recommended by doctors, along with the weight-loss app Lose It, the report informed.
The Oslo Times