There are wildly successful apps for mapping, sending e-mail, and catapulting birds. Why aren’t there any for health care?
Geoffrey Clapp thinks a mobile app can make health care better—so much so, in fact, that his upcoming app is called just that: Better.
The app is being tested at the Mayo Clinic, which is an investor in Clapp’s startup, and is slated to launch in October. It aims to let people use a smartphone to reach a doctor, find a diagnosis, or keep track of their medical records. Storing personal medical data and using health-tracking features will be free, but users will be charged monthly fees for instant access to nurses and health coaches.
Better, also the name of the company, is among a slew of health and fitness companies concentrating on the mobile Internet market. So far, however, health apps have failed to take off. To the disappointment of “e-health” advocates who hope to see such apps transform the medical landscape, the number of Americans using technology to track their health or fitness didn’t change between 2010 and early 2013, according to data from the Pew Internet & American Life Project.