Consumer Software

Definition

Digital and mobile technologies used by or for consumers to improve health care delivery and outcomes. 

Rationale

Consumer software runs mostly on hand-held devices (e.g., smartphones and tablets, but not limited to immobile computers), can inform doctors about patients’ environment and behaviors, allows for more real-time health care delivery, and provides doctors with personalized data that can inform future treatments and eventually be aggregated for more population-level analysis. Translational science needs more evidence-based methods/interventions on the interaction of treatments and patient behavior and consumer software can potentially provide the data necessary to create those methods/interventions.

Guidance

Advice from authors on searching for information:

Ratings and the number of reviews on search engines and app stores can provide a rough estimate of the impact and quality of the software should it appear on these services.  

Resources & Data

Organizations, repositories, websites, and other sources where you can find more information:

Local

  • Mercy Hospital’s Virtual Health Center. Telecommunications center at Mercy Hospital in St. Louis. Provides care to patients through online sources and has a center dedicated to innovative care, physician training, and testing new products. 

General

  • Health 2.0. Promotes new health care technologies through conferences, code-a-thons, and challenges. The Market Intel Health 2.0 Source database tracks products according to categories such as consumer facing, professional facing, patient-provider communication, etc. Access to the database requires a subscription. 
  • HealthIT.gov. Provides national guidelines and standards for treating and creating studies utilizing smart-phones and mobile devices. This website provides HIPPA standards, examples of national privacy frameworks for health records and information protection, and lists current laws in place to protect that information. 
  • Mobile Applications. Android Apps on Google Play, iTunes free and paid apps (Apple device required for full search), and Windows Phone Apps can be searched for a wide range of general medical (i.e. WebMD, medical records tracking, health tracking) or condition-specific (i.e. diabetes, heart rate monitors) mobile applications.

Data Limitations

Challenges you may encounter while searching for information:

Depending on the software platform, there may not be any data on utilizing it in studies or testing with patients.  

Publications

Articles, books, and other publications in translational science using the indicator:

Case Studies

Print Friendly, PDF & Email