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‘Practical’ health apps most popular

24 October 2012

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Patients view health apps that allow them to make GP appointments the most popular of their kind, a survey claims.

A YouGov poll of 1200 smartphone and tablet users found health apps that manage practical aspects of healthcare or health emergencies are most popular among patients.

More than one in four (42%) of those surveyed said they would most like an app that could make GP appointments, followed by an app that could access test results (31%) and one that would allow a patient to view their medical records (30%).

The survey also suggests there is “far less interest” in health apps that monitor (12%) or manage long-term health conditions (9%).

Emma Sinden, head of corporate and technology at Ruder Finn – who commissioned the survey – said the findings counter the assumption that health apps will “automatically” help reduce health costs and improve long-term monitoring services.
“The primary message [of our findings] is that anyone looking to develop mHealth applications needs to put simplicity and ease of use at the heart of their design,” she said.

“In healthcare, the complex regulatory environment means that the focus can get taken away from the basics. The report suggests that if we want people to actually use the apps that are being built usability has to come first.”