1932

Abstract

Mobile health applications (apps) have transformed the possibilities for health promotion and disease self-management; however, their promise is not fully realized owing to their reliance on commercial ecosystems for development and distribution. This review provides an overview of the types of mobile health apps and describes key stakeholders in terms of how apps are used, developed, and regulated. I outline key challenges facing consumers, public health professionals, and policy makers in evaluating the quality of health apps and summarize what is known about the impact of apps on health outcomes and health equity. I suggest that factors within the wider mobile ecosystem largely define the impact of health apps and, most notably, practices around the collection and commercialization of user data. Finally, I suggest that upstream public health strategies, grounded in an understanding of corporate influences on health, are necessary to promote healthy digital environments in which mobile health app innovation can flourish.

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2022-04-05
2024-06-22
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