Research: mHealth Tools Have not Been Fully Studied | Healthcare Informatics Magazine | Health IT | Information Technology Skip to content Skip to navigation

Research: mHealth Tools Have not Been Fully Studied

August 18, 2015
by Rajiv Leventhal
| Reprints

While smartphone apps and wearable sensors have the potential to help people make healthier lifestyle choices, evidence of these mHealth tools being effective for or reducing risk factors for heart disease and stroke is limited, according to new research.

These findings are according to a scientific statement from the American Heart Association, published in the association’s journal Circulation. The new statement reviewed the small body of published, peer-reviewed studies about the effectiveness of mobile health technologies for managing weight, increasing physical activity, quitting smoking and controlling high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.

“The fact that mobile health technologies haven’t been fully studied doesn’t mean that they are not effective. Self-monitoring is one of the core strategies for changing cardiovascular health behaviors. If a mobile health technology, such as a smartphone app for self-monitoring diet, weight or physical activity, is helping you improve your behavior, then stick with it,” said Lora E. Burke, Ph.D., lead author of the statement and professor of nursing and epidemiology at the University of Pittsburgh.

Currently, one in five American adults use some technology to track health data and the most popular health apps downloaded are related to exercise, counting steps, or heart rate. The mHealth technologies examined in the statement correspond to the goals in the American Heart Association’s Life’s Simple 7, which are seven simple ways to improve your heart health—eating better, being more active, managing your weight, avoiding tobacco smoke, reducing blood sugar, and controlling both cholesterol and blood pressure.

Currently, there is little or no U.S.-based mHealth technology research on diabetes, blood pressure or cholesterol management. Statement authors reviewed mHealth randomized clinical trials and meta-analyses from the last decade. Most mHealth technology studies were short-term and limited in size. “Nevertheless, don’t dismiss the possibility that these devices and apps can help you be heart healthy,” Burke said.

Get the latest information on Health IT and attend other valuable sessions at this two-day Summit providing healthcare leaders with educational content, insightful debate and dialogue on the future of healthcare and technology.

Learn More

Topics

Comments

Most of the fitness apps proves beneficial for making people more healthy .In this digital world we find lot of fitness gadgets that helps people to track their health related information.

News

Healthcare Execs Anticipate High Cost Returns from Predictive Analytics Use

Healthcare executives are dedicating budget to predictive analytics, and are forecasting significant cost savings in return, according to new research from the Illinois-based Society of Actuaries.

Adam Boehler Tapped by Azar to Serve as Senior Value-Based Care Advisor

Adam Boehler, currently director of CMMI, has also been named the senior advisor for value-based transformation and innovation, HHS Secretary Alex Azar announced.

Vivli Launches Clinical Research Data-Sharing Platform

On July 19 a new global data-sharing and analytics platform called Vivli was unveiled. The nonprofit group’s mission is to promote, coordinate and facilitate scientific sharing and reuse of clinical research data.

Survey: More Effective IT Needed to Improve Patient Safety

In a Health Catalyst survey, physicians, nurses and healthcare executives said ineffective information technology, and the lack of real-time warnings for possible harm events, are key obstacles to achieving their organizations' patient safety goals.

Physicians Still Reluctant to Embrace Virtual Tech, Survey Finds

While consumers and physicians agree that virtual healthcare holds great promise for transforming care delivery, physicians still remain reluctant to embrace the technologies, according to a new Deloitte Center for Health Solutions survey.

Geisinger, AstraZeneca Partner on Asthma App Suite

Geisinger has partnered with pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca to create a suite of products that integrate into the electronic health record and engage asthma patients and their providers in co-managing the disease.