Health Experts Claim That Mobile Health Apps Are Useless

With all of today’s technology, it is not unusual that there are plenty of health apps being launched globally. All of these apps vary when it comes to their purposes. Some are used for fitness activity tracking, some are calorie checkers, some monitor respiratory diseases, and some even help spot mental illness. You can simply go to the Apple App Store, or the Google Play Store and you will find thousands of different apps.

Most health experts agree that these digital applications can never be a replacement for a qualified, well-trained health service provider.

Apparently there are nearly 1,500 apps out there that claim to check if you are suffering from depression. According to health experts, when used properly, apps can give you information or help monitor diet and health parameters at best. But if these claim to diagnose an illness, there are some serious medico-legal issues in making such a claim. Let alone the risk of acting on information learned from that diagnosis without the guidance of a Health Professional.

According to Dr. Vipul Gupta, head of the Neurovascular Intervention Centre at Medanta-The Medicity Hospital, “Apps may guide a patient to consult an appropriate doctor. However, an app by itself is not adequate to make a diagnosis. Diagnosis of a medical condition is made by detailed history and examination followed by investigations. This expertise is gained after several years of training and a digital app is not a replacement at all.”
Before using an app and trusting it, there are a set of questions you need to ask yourself first:

  • Is the app accredited by an agency or has the process been standardized by any council?
  • Are the people behind the apps are health care providers?
  • Have double-blind clinical trials been performed on these apps for approval?
  • And do these prepare users for emergency situations?

These tools may sometimes help point you in the right direction. They may allow you to make decisions or help make you aware of things you had not known before.
But let’s be clear: health care apps may be used as tools to track activity or calories but when they claim to replace your Health Care Provider they often overstep their mission. Health cannot be assured by answering a few questions in an app and getting an instant diagnosis.
Check with a professional for more guidance on information you learn from your apps.

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