Extreme smartphone use can certainly lead to strained eyes and stiff necks. That’s the bad news. The good news? The mobile device you just can’t live without can also help facilitate better health in new, more convenient ways than ever before.
How? The rise of mobile health apps and other tools. There are currently about 40,000 mobile health apps available for tablets and smartphones, and over 500 health projects worldwide that have a mobile emphasis.
That’s according to the online health care education portal AlliedHealthWorld.com, which pulled information from a variety of sources around the web to show just how much of a positive impact smartphones can have on our well-being.
In fact, if you use exercise apps such as Runkeeper, access health records electronically or participate in wellness gamification programs, you may already be experiencing mobile’s health benefits without even realizing it. One analysis indicates that the number of people who downloaded a mobile health app in 2012 will nearly double to 247 million from last year. What can those apps do? Diet, exercise, sleep and blood pressure are just a few of the many areas covered.
All that usage is leading to mainstream recognition, too. The United States Food and Drug Administration last year began paving the way for mobile apps that ensure health claims pass an approval process before becoming available to the consumer market.
For more on how smartphones and mobile technology are changing health care, check out the infographic.