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mHealth’s Meteoric Rise Needs Careful Watching

The estimated number of available mobile health (mHealth) apps has exponentially increased to approximately 325 000, and this is on the rise.

These apps range from symptom checkers, self-monitoring, remote monitoring, adherence and rehabilitation facilitators, to the management of clinical and financial records, and health care professional finders. With the potential ability of health apps (known as digital therapeutics) to increase awareness, improve prevention, aid diagnosis and assist in disease management being game-changing.

Although the medical community as a whole generally accepts the use of these apps as part of a broader clinical toolkit, many are slow in their utilisation or recommendation to patients. Many note, with 30-day retention rates of only 59% across all prescribed mHealth apps, the long-term effectiveness is also under scrutiny.

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