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Health Apps Not Popular among US Consumers

Update Date: Jan 28, 2013 07:38 AM EST

Many smartphone manufacturing companies are including software in their phones to control various aspects of a person's health; however, very few people use them, according a latest study.

The study, led by Susannah Fox of the Pew Research Center, found that a sparse 7 percent of the people surveyed manage their health by using these health apps in smartphones. These apps assist in weight management by a regular track of diet, weight and exercise routine.

The recent advanced versions of these health apps can manage weight, monitor blood pressure, different schedules of pregnancy, as well as the health regime of a diabetic which includes monitoring blood sugar level and regular reminders of the medicines to be taken.

"There's still a low uptake in terms of apps and technology. It is surprising, we've been looking at health apps since 2010, and health app uptake has been essentially flat for three years. There's a proliferation of choices, and consumers are being faced with a food court of options. What we see is that consumers are losing their appetite," Fox said to AFP.

The researchers found that regular use of the health apps actually helps in monitoring health; however, while 19 percent consumers downloaded health apps, they were not always utilized for monitoring a particular health problem.

Among the health apps downloaded, exercise, diet and weight features are at the top. Out of the people who use the health apps, 38 percent use it to monitor their exercise, 31 percent use it for diet control and 12 percent use it for weight tracking.

"People are reporting that tracking as an activity is having an impact. But I can't make a judgment on whether it's better to use paper and pencil or an app," Fox added.

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