We wrote about mHealth (mobile health) technologies a lot in 2014, often focusing on mHealth apps for smartphones and tablets. From opportunities for rural health care access to questions about medical record privacy, mHealth apps are changing the way medicine is practiced. At the beginning of 2015 there are more than 100,000 published mHealth apps for iOS and Android, designed for both patients and physicians, and serving a variety of functions. So how do we make sense of them all?

research2guidance, a market research company, recently released their fourth annual study on mHealth app publishing, which lists the most popular types of mHealth app by category. Based on their report and data for app downloads across platforms like iOS, Android and Google Play, here are five of the most popular mHealth apps for patients in 2015, including one from each of r2g’s top five categories:

  1. Fitbit

The biggest group (30%) of published mHealth apps are fitness trackers or exercise guides. Fitbit is leading the market with an app that allows you to track all-day activity, record workouts, log food, and even record sleep. It comes free and works on its own or connected with Fitbit’s custom line of activity trackers.

  1. Personal Health Assistant and Caregiver Support

The second largest group (16%) is medical reference apps, which provide information about drugs, diseases and symptoms, and give advice on what to do if you’re experiencing pain. An interesting version of this is Personal Health Assistant and Caregiver Support, a free app connected to a fee-based service. The app connects you to a personal health assistant who supports all your health care needs, from medical questions to insurance problems and doctor searches.

  1. MINDBODY Connect

Wellness is nearly tied in popularity with medical reference apps, making up 15% of mHealth apps. Wellness apps summarize all kinds of relaxation solutions, yoga instructions and beauty tips. MINDBODY Connect is sort of like Yelp for wellness; it finds and books wellness appointments and classes at more than ten thousand businesses, allowing you to share reviews, consolidate your accounts, and pay online.

  1. Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal

Nutrition apps (7%) help users keep track of diet and inform them about vitamins, calories and fat content. MyFitnessPal’s popular app boasts the largest food database, allowing you to enter food and recipes manually or by scanning a barcode. While the app tracks all major nutrients, it also records exercise and is marketed primarily as a weight loss app.

  1. Smart Blood Pressure Tracker

Finally, medical condition management apps (6%) track and share users’ health parameters or provide information on a specific health condition (diabetes, obesity, heart failure). A popular example is Smart Blood Pressure Tracker, an app that allows you to record, track, analyze and share your blood pressure information via the cloud, text message, or Healthvault.

While Mobius Health shares some features with this last category, it actually falls into one of r2g’s smallest categories, “remote consultation and monitoring,” which currently comprises only 0.6% of mHealth apps. However, r2g’s report says the market is changing. The next 5 years will see a decline in fitness apps, with more opportunities for those that offer remote monitoring and consultation.

Comments are closed.