Health Apps Not Used to Full Potential by Users

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You may have downloaded your share of health apps but how often do you use them? Not much, according to results of a national online survey conducted by researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center. And that’s a shame, because apps can be a cost effective and fun way to stay on top of your health game.

According to the survey, more than have of 1,604 smartphone users downloaded a health-related app. More than 50 percent said the apps were beneficial and had improved their health but forty-six percent said they no longer used their downloaded applications. The reasons cited for lack of use varied from cost, privacy concerns, the requirement of filling out information daily, and disinterest. The study appears in the Journal of Medical Internet Research.

Researchers, like study Senior Investigator and NYU Langone Epidemiologist Dustin Duncan, ScD, find these results troubling, as apps provide economical ways to encourage the population to be active and make positive diet choices.

“Smartphone applications have tremendous potential to help market healthy lifestyle habits to people who may be harder to reach in other ways, especially minorities, and those with lower incomes and serious health problems,” he points out. Research is continuing to see how apps can become more engaging and attractive, particularly to older users.

If you’re looking for an app to help you stay on track, check out 5 of our favorite health apps for fall.

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