There are literally tens of thousands of health, fitness, wellness and medical apps in smartphone stores, from diet tracking to asthma monitoring to smoking cessation, and everything in between. The myriad selection can baffle a techie, let alone a Boomer or senior or trying to find an app to monitor their health. There has been no screening process for these apps—until now.

New App Store for Health Apps

Happtique, a mobile health application store and total app management solution, is developing an App Certification Program for medical, health, and fitness apps. The company states that the “purpose of the program is to help users identify apps that meet high operability, privacy, and security standards and are based on reliable content.”

In a few months Happtique plans to unveil its App Certification Program for medical, health, and fitness apps.  Each app will be certified based on operability, privacy and security, and content. The apps will first be reviewed for technical standards (by technologists) and then for content standards, Tammy Lewis, Happtique’s Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer, explained.  Content reviewers will range from physicians and nurses to nurse practitioners. 

“All of the apps that meet Happtique’s certification’s standards will receive a recognizable 'seal,' similar to the Good Housekeeping seal of approval,” Lewis said.

Since one in ten Americans suffers from a chronic disease, having a one-stop medical and wellness app store is a welcome addition to patient health management. In the meantime, consumers can still visit the Happtique App store and find thousands of apps in easy to find categories and subcategories.

  • Apps are categorized first by “Apps for Professionals by Topic,” “Apps by (Medical) Profession” and by “Apps for Consumers & Patients”
  • Under “Apps for Consumers & Patients” the app categories include Addictions, Alternative Care, Asthma, Cancer, Cosmetic  Surgery, Dental Health, Digestive Health, Diabetes, Eyes and Vision, Medications, Men’s Health, Mental Health, Rehab, Senior Health, Sex, Weight Management and FDA approved apps. 
  • A few categories have subcategories. For example, Addictions is broken down into Alcohol Abuse, Drug Abuse, Gambling, Eating Disorders and Smoking Cessation.
  • There are a total of 330 categories.

These health, wellness and medical apps are taking center stage as America begins to adopt phases of the Affordable Health Care Act. In the past few months I’ve attended a Mobile Health Care Summit in Washington, DC and the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where the conversation focused on how doctors and hospitals need to involve patients more in managing their own health care. Mobile apps are one example of how patients can be more engaged.

Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project released a report in November, 2012 reporting that half of all smartphone owners use their devices to get health information. Additionally, one-fifth of smartphone owners have health apps. According to the study, the percentage of users of mobile health care apps has doubled since 2010.

We’re certain to see more doctors asking us to use mobile devices and email them our data.  And patients who want to advocate for remote health are encouraged to start the conversation with their physicians.