Mobile apps in practice
Individuals interested in caring for themselves are more likely to use mobile health apps than are individuals less involved in their health. One of the most dominant factors leading patients to adopt health technologies is their level of health consciousness.15 Clinicians see all types of patients at different levels regarding their health and engagement with healthy lifestyles.
The use of mobile apps might be a new way to approach some client populations. To help clinicians get started with reputable evidence-based mobile health apps, they might first turn to the CDC. The CDC has a variety of mobile health apps on a variety of platforms such as iOS, Android, and Microsoft Windows 8 that can be downloaded for free (cdc.gov/mobile/mobileapp.html).28
The CDC website breaks down the mobile health apps into two categories of consumer/general health apps and health care/clinician apps. The consumer mobile heath apps cover a variety of health-related areas, such as healthy eating while traveling, flu information, healthy swimming, chronic disease prevention, and the main agency CDC mobile app.
Though the overall number of apps is very limited through the CDC, the main agency CDC mobile app provides health information such as articles, “Disease of the Week,” prevention tips, important timely updates on health, and access to social media to share with others. The Health-e-Cards mobile app is a mobile version of the CDC’s Health-e-Cards’ website.29
This app allows the user to share health tips with others and features updates that coincide with health events throughout the year such as American Heart Month, flu season, and the Great American Smokeout. Table 2 highlights a few of the CDC consumer mobile apps.
TABLE 2: CDC consumer mobile apps for health care28
The CDC clinician apps are geared toward health professionals and can be used in the clinical setting. These apps focus on the latest information and include treatment for influenza, tuberculosis, eligibility criteria for contraception, and vaccine schedules.