Are health apps good for your health? Have your say

The Consumers Health Forum today introduces an innovative online mechanism to gauge community trust in health apps, the rapidly growing component of modern health care.

Australia’s Health Panel is CHF’s new online platform which will survey consumers on the health issues that matter. The first Panel project is a survey asking participants to rate who they would trust to give them sound advice about health apps and their views on whether the Federal Government should be regulating them.

To do the survey go to:

The CEO of the Consumers Health Forum, Leanne Wells, said it was appropriate that health apps should be the inaugural topic of Australia’s Health Panel.

“The thousands of health apps already on the world market are offering potential benefits of instant diagnosis, treatment and wellbeing awareness for millions of people,” Ms Wells said.

“This first Australia’s Health Panel is focusing on questions of consumer trust in those promoting or advising on apps, whether it be an app store, a doctor, a friend or indeed the government.

“The survey asks whether the government should have a system rating apps for accuracy and effectiveness.

“These are questions which relate to an important and growing reality of modern health:  consumer-centred care where increasingly the individual plays a big part in decision-making but nonetheless relies on the health professional for the right guidance.

“Informed health advice is essential.  We are still coming to terms with the risks or even prevalence of wrong, misleading or intrusive elements of these apps which can range from wearables monitoring your glucose levels and blood pressure via your phone to apps advising on issues ranging from personal mental health to weight loss.

“Apps and their impact on people’s health experience is developing so rapidly it is difficult to assess the value and risks involved, let alone ensure there is effective and independent regulation.

“The Australia’s Health Panel is a vital step forward by CHF to engage with the community and to assess what really matters to them.

“This survey will provide the first measure of its kind in Australia to assess the level of confidence consumers have in advice about the technology that seems destined to become an ever more important and complex element of the health system.

“This is not an issue that is going away any time soon and we need to ensure that we are spurring the best evidence-based and effective outcomes,” Ms Wells said.


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Mark Metherell
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