Monday, 3 March 2014

My Health Apps

We wrote about the European Directory of Health Apps on this blog back in October 2012 as we noticed what an excellent resource of health apps it was and that there was a real gap in knowledge in this area. Since then the NHS have pooled together their own, smaller collection of recommended Apps. Working at ScHARR we're very interested in the use of technologies for health care as part of our research programmes, we've even got a section who focus specifically on the topic of research into rehabilitation and assistive technologies

Web and mobile health technologies are heavily focused in the teaching carried out by members of Information Resources, especially myself, Claire Beecroft, Angie Rees and Louise Preston. So I was especially pleased to find out via a comment on our blog by Alex W that the site and Apps had been updated. I'm taking a guess that Alex W is in fact Alexandra Wyke from Patient View who oversee My Health Apps. The PDF document is now a website in its own right and can easily be browsed by one of 11 categories. Each app is recommended to the site by consumers, patients, carers, patient groups and charities. They are rated on the site with the highest rating being five hearts and the ratings explained below.

Helps you control your condition /keep you healthy 
Is trustworthy 
Is easy for you to use 
Allows you to network with people like you / who understand you 
Can be used regularly

Alex explained in her comments how the site had evolved:

1. All of the initial 307 apps appearing on the site have been selected by 456 distinct patient groups, disability groups or empowered consumers as their favourite apps. The reviews from these groups are supplied for each app, as well as weblinks to the groups themselves.

2. unique ‘heart’-rating system. The health apps on the site have been allocated ‘heart’ ratings, according to the extent that each app exhibits 5 consumer/patient needs (weighted according to level of importance). These 5 qualities are attributes that patients and the public look for from their health apps, as determined by a 2013 PatientView study of 250 patient, disability and consumer groups from 16 countries around the world. People’s requirements from health are:• Give people more control over their condition (or keep them healthy)• Easy to use• Can be used regularly• Allow networking with other people like them (or with people who understand them)• Trustworthy.

27 of the 307 health apps included in the initial version of the website gain a top ‘heart’ rating of 5 out of 5. is opening with 307 featured apps. This number will be increased every month to include other favourite apps from patient groups, disability groups or empowered consumers

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