A cornucopia of appy items!

Abilitynet’s top ten apps

When so many items that present themselves for publication are in one way or another pushing a commercial angle, it is so nice to be able to highlight a completely altruistic listing of apps aimed specifically at helping disabled people.

It would clearly be wrong to deprive Abilitynet’s website of the traffic, so rather than list the apps, we will merely comment that they seem very well chosen to cover as wide a range of disabilities as possible. The presence on the list of a number of widely used apps underlines the oft-made observation that if you design something with disabilities in mind, it is easier for everyone to use.

Distimo app analytics

For those wanting to explore the success of their apps and what works in terms of promotion, or who are interested in app download ranking, Distimo has a hugely impressive website, well worth exploring as everything is free.

The absence of much info on health and wellbeing apps is notable though, perhaps because Distimo’s measurement technology appears to work only on major app stores, whereas many health apps, in particular are downloaded directly from individual websites.

Patients more enthusiastic about apps than doctors

Further evidence that doctors still need to see evidence on cost effectiveness before recommending medical apps more widely comes from this piece in Health Data Management. which suggests that patients are much keener on health-related apps than doctors.

A new survey of 1,000 consumers who use or plan to use health and fitness mobile apps found:

…that while 70 percent of respondents use apps on a daily basis to track calorie intake and monitor physical activities, just 40 percent actually share their data and insights with their doctors. What’s more, 34 percent of mobile health and fitness app users in the survey indicated that they would increase their use of apps if their physicians actively recommended them.

Clearly all is not well as they also quote a 2013 survey of 2,000 U.S. patients by healthcare marketing and advertising agency Digitas Health that found:

… that 90 percent of patients would accept the offer of a mobile app, while only 66 percent of respondents would accept prescription medicine from their doctor.

There’s much more interesting, and disturbing material in the article, including the risks obviously of patients preferring (often uncertified) websites over (appropriately certified) physicians. Well worth a read.

Wayra winners

Two recent healthcare startups recently that won places at the next round of Wayra, the start-up accelerator sponsored by Telefonica/O2. One that covers an often neglected app topic is Virtually Free, a suite of apps to improve emotional health. (The second, Geneix, got off to a bad start with this editor with the statement “We take a co-creation and user-centered approach to design and UX” however the accompanying short video is so good at explaining how they are pioneering personalised medicine that they were almost forgiven.).

Building an app business

For anyone enthused by the last item to get building their own app business, Developer Economics has an excellent summary of the challenges of building an app business that ought to be prescribed to anyone suffering from rose-tinted spectacle syndrome.

In search of a few good apps

This viewpoint article in the Journal of the American Medical Association makes some strong points about the importance of bringing order to the certification of medical apps, and the importance of gathering evidence on their effectiveness. Indeed it very much echoes the conclusion of the recent Royal Society of Medicine event summarised earlier today on this site.

Hat tip to Prof Mike Short for material used in this round-up.

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