Even while we wait on the Apple Watch, thousands of apps that claim to keep you healthy have already been made available since Apple introduced the iOS 8 Health app, but it has been difficult to figure out which apps really help you with your health – until now…
Top 100 health apps
HealthTap asked over half a million doctors to assess health-related apps on both iOS and Android, and today released its first annual report on the top 100 health and medical apps as recommended by doctors. Apps were also broken down into categories for this list.
I’ve written extensively on the topic of m-health and think HealthTap’s work will make it much easier for us to figure out which health apps might actually be good for our health.
Thousands of apps claim to help you stay healthy, but it has been a challenge figuring out which ones you really can trust, in the absence of any medically qualified vetting service.
Also read: The easy way to use Apple’s iOS 8 Health app
This is a particular concern because: "More and more care will be delivered outside hospitals and clinics," said Ovum's lead Healthcare & Life Sciences analyst, Charlotte Davies – and mobile devices, and health apps, will be critical to this, which means we should be equipped to make the right choices.
Vetted by professionals
The US FDA is slowly understanding the importance of this, but HealthTap is already there:
“Health is the fastest growing of all app categories, and the number of health and fitness apps has more than doubled over the last 2 years. With over 100,000 health apps in the Apple App Store and in Google Play, finding the right health app is a daunting task,” HealthTap CEO, Ron Gutman, said in a press release.
“Until now, there’s been no way for people to tell if an app is medically accurate and helpful, if it promotes ideas that have no medical foundation, or even if it is harmful,” said Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge, HealthTap’s Chief Medical Officer.
HealthTap offers a range of mobile solutions to connect patients with doctors to get health advice, consultations and app recommendations via AppRx. HealthTap’s content is curated and rated by the company’s network of over 65,000 doctors, who were asked to contribute to the report along with over 500,000 others.
HealthTap hasn’t said how many doctors contributed, but the large sample group suggests the findings are credible. Doctors were asked to assess the solutions using consistent criteria.
“For several years, HealthTap has received a significant amount of feedback from users informing us that they are confused by the deluge of app choices available to them,” Gutman says. “Many doctors have also told us they’d like to learn which apps their peers recommend and use in their practices.”
It is interesting that so many of the apps recommended by the doctors are less widely known – this is critically important as it suggests some of the apps we are familiar with aren’t delivering what they promise, while some less well known solutions might.
I welcome HealthTap’s attempt to add professional medical insights to help guide consumers through the challenge of trying to figure out which apps are good for them.
I imagine this kind of professional medical peer-based review will eventually become part of any reputable app stores, but now, thanks to HealthTap, you have some idea of which apps are good for you.
I’ve listed the top three iOS apps by category on the next page.
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