Are Apps the Best way to Teach People About Health Risks?

We live in a world where technology has the ability to influence what we think and do on a daily basis – there’s no doubt about that. But while smartphones are being used for everything from taking photos to proposing to your significant other, medical experts are looking towards app development as a way to educate and inform people on important health concerns.

Although app-based awareness campaigns are not commonplace as of yet, there are a few recent examples that suggest people respond positively to these initiatives. In 2014, an app called the Stroke Riskometer was released, which told people their risk of having a stroke in the next 5-10 years by getting them to answer a few simple questions. The results were incredible, with major organisations throughout the world supporting its campaign and American doctors voting it the number 1 medical conditions app worldwide. Even more importantly, the app shifted the focus from prevention strategies for high-risk people to prevention for people at any age or risk category. With the prevalence of strokes increasing worldwide, successfully engaging people in learning about their own risk-factors proved to be a big step in the right direction.

Not only are apps a good way to engage a population, but they suit the changing world of medicine perfectly. New information and prevention strategies are always being formulated when it comes to high-risk conditions such as cardiovascular disease, so apps are the perfect way to keep up with this. After all, when people are armed with outdated or incorrect information, it puts them at risk. When all the information is stored on an app, however, the information can be continuously updated and communicated with the smartphone owner, ensuring that they are always in the know.

In an increasingly digitised world, it seems only fitting that health awareness campaigns will continue to grow more and more traction via technological innovation. Ultimately, if it gets people engaged and interested in their own health and wellbeing, it can only be a positive step in the right direction.

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