Mobile health apps mostly a success story in Europe

The European mHealth market is booming, with more than 97,000 health apps already on the market, and many more to come, speakers reported at this week's European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG) in Bad Hofgastein, Austria.

The mobile applications are generally aimed at helping users track their health parameters and provide basic information and guidance on how to live a healthier life. A recent market research report by Research2Guidance said the market for healthy apps is poised to grow significantly, with the top 10 mobile health apps generating up to 4 million free and 300,000 paid downloads per day, experts said at the meeting. By 2017, nearly half of all mobile users will have downloaded mHealth apps, they said.

However, if mHealth is to reach its full potential, there will need to be more trust in the technologies, and that will require standards for data management and delivery of information to consumers, experts said.

In its eHealth Action Plan 2012-2020, the European Commission has recognized the potential of apps, and the potential risks and benefits to public health, vowing to clarify the regulatory and legal framework for the introduction of apps.

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