Morning Report

Healthcare Apps to Recommend to Patients

Arefa Cassoobhoy, MD, MPH


December 01, 2017

Hello. I'm Dr Arefa Cassoobhoy, a practicing internist, Medscape advisor, and senior medical director for WebMD. Welcome to Morning Report, our 1-minute news story for primary care.

Rating the Healthcare Apps

New apps for health and disease are coming on the market every day and now number more than 300,000. There are so many of them that clinicians might have a hard time deciding which to recommend to their patients.

A new study aims to help by rating the best healthcare apps. The authors identified top apps by looking at 571 published studies, including randomized trials.

Highly rated apps fall into two categories of interest to clinicians. The first is prevention and wellness, and includes apps for exercise, weight management, stress, and smoking cessation. The top disease-management apps include those for cancer, diabetes, hypertension, and asthma. Other notable apps cover atrial fibrillation, cardiac rehab, and substance abuse.

Here's a list and links to the most highly clinically rated apps (Tables 1 and 2). Apps might not work for everyone, but the digital health movement suggests that they have a role for some of your patients and may make your life easier by helping your patients to better manage their health.

Table 1. Top Clinically Rated Apps for Wellness and Prevention

Category App Maker
Exercise FitBit FitBit
Healthy eating and weight management Noom Coach: Health and Weight Noom
Stress management Headspace Headspace
Smoking cessation Clickotine Click Therapeutics
Alcohol moderation Drinkaware Drinkaware Trust
Source: IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science

Table 2. Top Clinically Rated Apps for Condition Management

Condition App Maker
Alcohol and substance abuse Pear reSet Pear Therapeutics
Diabetes prevention Omada Omada Health
Diabetes BlueStar Diabetes WellDoc
Atrial fibrillation screening and dysrhythmias Kardia AliveCor
Hypertension Twine-Collaborative Care Twine Health
Cardiac rehabilitation Healarium (Mayo Clinic Instance) Apollo Medical Holdings
Cancer MoovCare Sivan Innovations
Asthma Propeller Health Reciprocal Labs dba Propeller Health
Source: IQVIA Institute for Human Data Science

Follow Dr Cassoobhoy on Twitter at @ArefaMD


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