80% of health apps tested sharing sensitive health information

Privacy Policies of Android Diabetes Apps and Sharing of Health Information

diabete-apps image
81% of diabetes apps do not have privacy policies available before a user download the app.

Study overview

Privacy Policies of Android Diabetes Apps and Sharing of Health Information, JAMA. 2016;315(10):1051-1052. doi:10.1001/jama.2015.19426, March 8, 2016.

This march 2016 study examines the privacy risks and the relationship between privacy disclosures and practices of health apps.

Mobile health apps can help individuals manage chronic health conditions. One-fifth of smartphone owners had health apps in 2012, and 7% of primary care physicians recommended a health app. The US Food and Drug Administration has approved the prescription of some apps.

Health Apps May Share Your Data, Study Finds, livescience, March 08, 2016.

Health apps can transmit sensitive medical data, including disease status and medication compliance. Privacy risks and the relationship between privacy disclosures and practices of health apps are understudied.

Once sensitive medical information is leaked, then the consumer has totally lost control over it and they can never take it back

said Sarah Blenner, a co-author of the study.

How Android is Transforming the Medical Devices Market, infographic

Android-based medical devices have recently seen a big surge in adoption

How the Android platform is influencing healthcare using new technologies and apps.

This infographic explains the key trends in the Android OS medical devices market and where embedded healthcare technology is headed.

Medical-Apps-Market infographic
This infographic explains the key trends in the Android OS medical devices market and where embedded healthcare technology is headed.
Sources and more information

How Period Trackers have changed Girl Culture

Our Bodies, Our Apps: For the Love of Period-Trackers

image of girl-and-phone
Period-tracking apps are exactly what they sound like — simple menstrual calendars that help you keep track of monthly cycles as well as symptoms like mood fluctuations or headaches. Summer Skyes 11

My 18-year-old daughter knows exactly when it will be that time of the month. Since June, she’s been plugging the dates of her menstrual cycle into a popular period tracking app, and has it programmed to send her an alert every month, two days before her next period is due.

There are over 200 different period tracker apps to choose from, and they are immensely popular.

Continue reading:

  • How Period Trackers Have Changed Girl Culture,
    nytimes, NOVEMBER 12, 2015
  • Our Bodies, Our Apps: For the Love of Period-Trackers,
    nytimes, JANUARY 23, 2014.
Some suggestions…

How Does Google Plan to Transform Healthcare?

Is Google reaching for the moon when it comes to healthcare innovation?

Forget the “sky’s the limit”, Google is reaching for the moon when it comes to healthcare innovation…

Sources and more information

Do People Trust Telemedicine?

Could telemedicine be the future of U.S. healthcare?

Do-People-Trust-Telemedicine infographic
Approximately 75 percent of patients reported they either would not trust a diagnosis made via telemedicine, or would trust this method less than an in-doctor visit, according to a recent nationwide study.

The infographic shown below illustrates the key findings of a recent nationwide study conducted by TechnologyAdvice Research.

Sources and more information

Dr Now smartphone app connects you with qualified UK GPs through remote video consultation

Dr Now: the smartphone app that puts you in touch with a GP – for a fee

doctor-video image
New health apps exploit gaps in overstretched NHS by offering subscribers virtual consultation with a GP.

A UK tech firm is offering video consultations with doctors via mobile phone. The revolutionary Dr Now(®) platform connects patients with qualified GPs through remote video consultation to “give them the medical diagnosis they need, when they need it“.

The Dr Now website, which boasts it is the world’s first website to diagnose and deliver medicine, even has a corporate page that lets businesses calculate potential cost savings, based on the number of staff and average salary. It is in discussions with several big pharmaceutical companies.

Sources and more information

  • Dr Now: the smartphone app that puts you in touch with a GP – for a fee, theguardian, 2 August 2015.
  • Find the app on iTunes and GooglePlay.

The Mobile Health Industry is Booming, Infographic

The use of modern technologies for health-related applications is on the rise

Mobile-health-industry
The Mobile and Wearable Sensor Industry Projections, Mobile Health Sensor Abilities, Function of Current Mobile Health Sensors, Benefits of Mobile Health Sensors, Future Innovations.

The use of modern technologies for health-related applications is on the rise. The continued miniaturization of components and reduced manufacturing costs are helping to push mobile health into the mainstream. Indeed, the industry is projected to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years.

Sources and more information

Medicine side effects reporting app

Download the Yellow Card smartphone app here

yellow-card-app
Fifty years on from its inception, the Yellow Card Scheme is moving into the digital age through a free-access mobile app launched 14 July by Life Sciences Minister, Mr George Freeman MP. This is the only health app that allows patients, carers and healthcare professionals to report medicine side effects directly to the Yellow Card Scheme.

The Yellow Card is a free smartphone app for reporting suspected side effects (or adverse drug reactions) to the UK’s Yellow Card Scheme. Created in collaboration with the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the UK government medicines watchdog, the Yellow Card Smartphone App is the only health app that allows you to report medicine side effects directly to the Yellow Card Scheme to help the MHRA ensure they are acceptably safe for patients. Users can select specific medicines or vaccines to track and receive news and alerts about them.

Yellow Card Smartphone App Key Features

  • provide a convenient alternative to using paper Yellow Card forms or the Yellow Card website
  • the app is free to use for everyone on iOS and Android
  • is easy to use for reporting side effects directly to the Yellow Card Scheme
  • enables users to:
    • create a ‘watch list’ of medications to receive official news and alerts on
    • view numbers of Yellow Cards received by MHRA for medicines of interest
    • see immediate response that shows Yellow Card has been accepted
    • submit updates to Yellow Cards already submitted
    • view previous Yellow Cards submitted through the app
Mick Foy, Group Manager for MHRA’s Vigilance and Risk Management of medicines division said:

The contribution of patients, careers and healthcare professionals alike in reporting suspected side effects to the Yellow Card Scheme is vital. The evidence helps MHRA detect safety issues and take the necessary action to keep the public safe.

Moving Yellow Card onto a mobile app is a logical progression in this digital age, allowing us to build on the existing website to improve user engagement.
It offers some good functionality to access further safety information, and it will continue to evolve over the course of the WEB-RADR project based on user feedback. “

Life Sciences Minister George Freeman MP commented:

The Yellow Card Scheme has played a vital role in the safety of medicines for the last 50 years and the launch of this new mobile app brings it into the 21st century.

By making the scheme accessible to researchers, healthcare professionals and millions of patients, it will not only improve the safety of reporting but ultimately better protect people’s health and support research in the NHS. “

More info and videos
  • Download the free app on iTunes and GooglePlay to easily report drug side effects directly to the Yellow Card Scheme via your cell phone or tablet.
  • Digital evolution for ground-breaking Yellow Card Scheme,
    GOV.UK press release, 14 July 2015.

Download the Yellow Card smartphone free app

George Freeman talks about the benefits of the new health app from the UK MHRA

In this video published by MHRAgovuk on 14 Jul 2015 , George Freeman talks about the benefits of the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency new Yellow Card free app.

More info and videos
  • The new Yellow Card smartphone app supplements an existing one-stop website and is the only app that allows patients, carers and healthcare professionals to report medicine side effects directly to the Yellow Card Scheme to help MHRA ensure they are acceptably safe for patients. Users can select specific medicines or vaccines to track and receive news and alerts about them.
  • Download the free app on iTunes and GooglePlay.
  • Digital evolution for ground-breaking Yellow Card Scheme,
    GOV.UK press release, 14 July 2015.
  • Watch more research videos on our YouTube channel.

Health apps benefits and disadvantages for healthy people

Can healthy people benefit from health apps?

cell-phone-wth-apps
Some apps have the potential to encourage healthier habits and are accessible to most people, writes Iltifat Husain, but Des Spence notes the lack of any evidence of effectiveness and the potential for encouraging unnecessary anxiety.

What is the harm in health apps – none, right? And surely they can only be good at enhancing healthy behaviors? Or:

  • are there too many apps of too little value?
  • are there lots of potential for otherwise healthy people to get unhealthily worried – obsessed even – about their normal health?.

Press Play > to listen to the recording.

Sources and more information

  • Can healthy people benefit from health apps?, BMJ 2015;350:h1887, 14 April 2015.
  • What is the point of health apps when we are healthy?, medicalnewstoday, Wednesday 15 April 2015.
  • Report Questions Whether Health Apps Benefit Healthy People, nytimes, APRIL 14, 2015.
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