Research on Health Apps - Request for Input/Suggestion RRS feed

  • Question

  • As part of my research I am examining the factors that drive consumers to adopt and continue to use Health apps. 

    Given the wide variety of apps, from Calorie tracking apps to Heart rate monitors to Health record apps, I am trying to narrow down on to the "core features" that are a must for any health app. I believe the perspective of app developers in particular will be very valuable to help me move forward.

    Could you please share your thoughts on what are some of the "core features" that are a must in any Health and Wellness app ?

    Thank You


    • Edited by Sankar09 Thursday, April 11, 2013 6:13 PM
    Thursday, April 11, 2013 6:00 PM

All replies

  • This is a longer discussion than it fits in the context of this forum, so I will try to give you a condensed version, which we can expand elsewhere if necessary.

    In order to be as generic as possible while maintaining focus on the HealthVault (this much we do owe to the host of this forum), instead of Health or Wellness apps (which are really two sides of the same coin) I will use the term HealthVault apps.

    The key feature of any HealthVault app is its usefulness to all parties that this application connects. Note that this brings the attribute "connectivity" to absolute forefront. While HealthVault stores patients data only the application that creates and manages such data has to be used by more than one "class" of users. By "class" I mean groups of people that are patients, patients family members, Care Managers, Physicians, Nurses, Health Insurance company staff, etc. 

    The very first type of such application was known as Health Record Bank (see Shared Care Plan application that my company created for Whatcom County WA citizens). This application is clearly very patient centric, meaning that the application is completely focused on patients. All the data maintained by this application is owned by patients, and since the application is hosted as a community service, just like power, gas or water distribution service, patients do not have to ask anyone for the permission to take their data elsewhere or share the data with anyone. 

    Since patient entered data are not nearly sufficient to make such Health Record Bank of any real interest, we added several important "data channels", all of which are originated at entities like hospitals, labs, clinics, state owned repositories with vaccination records etc. All these channels are feeding data into patients HealthVault records, which are further managed by the Health Record Bank in the name of its clients - the patients.

    Now, there is a number of attributes that make this application useful

    • To patients that can aggregate all of their health data provided by all of patients healthcare providers.
    • To physicians because patients can grant access to this data to their health providers. As a consequence you have a new feature never before existing in US healthcare - healthcare workers can see patients aggregated data, regardless of the likely fact that physician A and physician B work for two different employers that see each other as competitors. Stated more emphatically - because of HealthVault that offers common data access with de-facto standard "schema", patients are in the charge of allowing all of their health providers to collaborate. This is clearly the first and very strong step towards "accountable care" where the patients are subjects after so many years of being subjects.

    I have just touched the surface here - and likely wrote a post that is too long :-)


    Monday, April 15, 2013 1:58 AM