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., smart phones 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 for to create those methods/interventions.

Guidance

Advice from authors on searching for information:

Ratings and number of reviews on search engines and app stores can provide a rough estimate of 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 PlayiTunes 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:

Caburnay CA, Graff K, Harris JK, et al. Evaluating diabetes mobile applications for health literate designs and functionality, 2014. Prev Chronic Dis. 2015; 12:140433. doi: 10.5888/pcd12.140433.

Ginossar T, Shah SF, West AJ, et al. Content, usability, and utilization of plain language in breast cancer mobile phone apps: A systematic analysis. JMIR MhealthUhealth. 2017; 5(3): e20. doi: 10.2196/mhealth.7073.

Ortiz E, Clancy CM, AHRQ. Use of information technology to improve the quality of health care in the United States. Health Serv Res. 2003 Apr; 38(2): xi-xxii. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.00127.

Ozdalga E, Ozdalga A, Ahuja N. The smartphone in medicine: a review of current and potential use among physicians and students. J Med Internet Res. 2012 Sep;14(5): e128. doi: 10.2196/jmir.1994.

Case Studies

Content coming soon!

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