A health app is a piece of smartphone software that purports to offer the user some health benefit. Many of these apps are aimed at people with diagnoses; for example, they teach the correct use of an asthma inhaler or collect blood pressure results by syncing wirelessly with a blood pressure monitor. But many are aimed at people with no diagnosis: for example, apps that allow users to track their calorie intake and exercise, or even their sleep patterns.
Some apps have the potential to encourage healthier habits and are accessible to most people, writes Iltifat Husain, but Des Spence notes the lack of any evidence of effectiveness and the potential for encouraging unnecessary anxiety.
Can healthy people benefit from health apps?