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Tips for Selecting a Digital Health App

To help achieve fitness and health goals, Canadians are coming to rely on various health technologies to track their progress. With so many tools and apps available it is important to choose ones that make sense for you.

Dr. Kendall Ho, Professor with University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Medicine is leading development of digital emergency medicine.  He often prescribes apps for his patients and has provided five tips that will make it easier to choose the best health app for you.

  1. Your Condition: Apps can be great for many purposes, such as tracking symptoms, managing chronic conditions or measuring fitness goals. Talk to your health care provider about how you’d like to use an app — to ensure it’s a good fit for your condition and wellness goals.
  2. Ease of Use: Unless it is easy to use, you won’t end up using it. Consider the amount of information you’re required to enter, how often you have to enter information and if calendar reminders are available.
  3. Effectiveness: Do your research! Guidance from your health care provider, and reviews from other users can be insightful, especially from someone with the same health condition or goal.
  4. Privacy: You’ll want the information you enter to remain confidential. It’s critical to research understand the privacy policies for apps and the companies behind them, and to also know the privacy settings on your smartphone. Also remember, like any technology, apps can be vulnerable to hacking, so consider the information you are sharing.
  5. Safe: Some apps provide advice that may not take into account your medical history or conditions. A member of your health care team can provide valuable insights on this advice to ensure it’s tailored for you.

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