Smart Phone Health Applications

Smart Phone Health Applications

Gül Seçkin, Eva Kahana
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 8
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch073
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In an era when there are nearly 332 million mobile phone users in the United States, and 5.6 billion worldwide, it is important to explore the clinical, research, and health implications of smartphone technology for personal and public health (Salehan & Negahban, 2011; Abroms, Padmanabhan, Thaweethai, & Phillips, 2011). Existing research suggest that mobile phones can be an effective platform to influence users' health decisions, and be utilized as an effective tool in promoting behavioral change (e.g., smoking cessation, weight loss, STD prevention, exercise and physical activity).The purpose of this article is to review literature that examined the use of mobile phones and smartphone health applications as mobile platforms for delivery of personalized care at the patients' convenience in support for chronic illness management and health promotion.
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The operation of American health care is changing drastically as a consequence of the widespread adoption of mobile phones and rapid proliferation of digital health applications on smartphones. The Pew Internet and American Life Project indicate 90% of US adults had a cell phone and nearly 60% had a smartphone in January of 2014. Another Pew report also indicate that 80%of US adults used text messaging in 2012. The use of mobile phones permeates all age groups, cultures, and socioeconomic backgrounds, which makes it the most equitable technology. Consequently, there has been a growing interest among academic researchers in applying mobile phone technology to health care and empowering users to take control and play an active role in managing their own health.

Among the earliest pioneers (generally those scholars who published 2010 or before) in this field of research are: (1) Dr. Jennifer R. Shapiro, at the University of North Carolina, whose research focused on the use of text messaging for self-monitoring health behaviors in children, with a specific focus on increasing physical activity, and decreasing sugar-sweetened beverage consumption and screen time) (2) Dr. Mihail Cocosila at Athabasca University, Canada who examined effectiveness of text messaging for improving healthy behavior with a focus on adherence to taking vitamin C pill every day for one month for preventive purposes (3) Dr. Alexander G. Logan at the University of Toronto, whose research investigated mobile phone-based remote patient monitoring system for management of hypertension in diabetic patients (4) Dr. Michelle J. Freedman at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, whose research investigated whether cell phones could be used to record experiences of cocaine cravings with homeless crack cocaine-addicted adults in treatment (5) Dr. Suk-Il Kim at the Catholic University, South Korea whose research focused on evaluating whether text messaging intervention would help to decrease body weight and keep blood glucose concentrations close to normal range (6) Dr. Joseph Puccio at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles, whose research investigated effectiveness of a free phone call reminders to assist HIV-infected adolescents and young adults to adhere with HIV medications and (7) Dr. Andrew Farmer at the University of Oxford, whose research investigated transmission of glucose level data and feedback to and from a mobile phone as a means of supporting people with diabetes in the self-management of their condition.

Key Terms in this Chapter

MHealth: Medical and public health practice supported by mobile devices, such as mobile phones, patient monitoring devices, personal digital assistants, and other wireless devices.

Application: Wireless platforms for delivery of personalized care on smart phones for chronic illness management and health promotion.

Digital: Electronic processing of data and/or information.

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