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Patient adoption of mHealth: Use, evidence and remaining barriers to mainstream acceptance

The availability of consumer apps continues to grow, particularly in the area of healthcare apps. Commonly referred to as mHealth apps, these apps assist consumers in self-management of overall wellness, disease prevention and disease management. Recognition of the importance of patients taking an active and informed role in their own healthcare has fueled this growth. The proliferation of smart phones and consumer interest in taking a more active role in their health, presents a significant opportunity to leverage mHealth apps in innovative ways. This is especially true as improvements are made in the connectivity aspects of mHealth apps both in how data is compiled and how it is connected back to healthcare providers. This report provides an update to the analysis of the mHealth app landscape published by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics in 2013. The primary focus of this report is on the consumer or patient use of mHealth apps. The mHealth app availability and usage information is focused on apps available to the general public that support everyday healthcare management in conjunction with their healthcare provider. While the information is agnostic to geographic boundaries, this report is primarily focused on the U.S. healthcare system.