To succeed, mobile medical apps will have to integrate with healthcare platforms and Electronic Medical Records software as well as engage consumers’ sense of fun. Last week’s mHealth World Congress, held in Boston, had several sessions in which the future of mobile apps was discussed.
Such apps must be able to integrate with other devices, including medical devices, and also with EMRs. They will need to provide meaningful data to healthcare providers to help improve clinical outcomes. Some at the conference feel that, in order to truly succeed, apps aimed at consumers must tap into behavior change, as personal decisions are currently the leading cause of death in the United States. Others believe that keeping consumers interested and engaged, via social media and gaming, is key. Successful apps mentioned during the sessions focused on using mobile health tools and platforms to reach a target population, compel them to manage and improve their lifestyles and personal behaviors, and then reward them at milestone events or results.