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Report: Minority of mobile-phone health apps useful

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This Commonwealth Fund report looks at how to develop a system for evaluating patient engagement, quality and safety of mobile health applications.

The fund said: “Through a systematic search of iOS (Apple) and Android app stores and an analysis of apps targeting individuals with chronic illnesses, we assessed the degree to which apps are likely to be useful in patient engagement efforts. ”

It concludes: “Using a framework that considers the engagement, quality, and safety of mobile apps is critical for stakeholders to identify trustworthy apps that serve the needs of high-need, high-cost populations. While apps have tremendous potential to engage high-need, high-cost populations, a minority of patient-facing health applications on both the Apple and Android stores appear likely to be useful to patients. An evaluation of 143 apps targeting high-need, high-cost patients using the framework proposed in this brief has been completed and results are forthcoming.”

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