This month’s mobile health apps round-up features news of a 25% increase in the use of health apps and Garmin launching a wellbeing app for employees.

Use of health apps ‘explodes’ during coronavirus

App evaluation company ORCHA has reported an “explosion” of digital healthcare tools since the outbreak of Covid-19.

Since the start of the pandemic there has been an 25% rise in health app downloads, totally five million downloads a day.

Key findings of the Covid-19 Digital Health Trends report:

  • Downloads of apps supporting consumers with mental health needs increased by nearly 200% from summer 2019 to summer 2020
  • Downloads of those supporting consumers with diets and weight loss rose by a massive 1294% from mid-2019 to mid-2020
  • And downloads of apps helping consumers manage their diabetes rose by 482%

Liz Ashall-Payne, chief executive of ORCHA, said: “Covid-19 has seen a massive upsurge in the use of health apps. Using our ORCHA app libraries, thousands of GPs and health teams are now recommending apps – more than ever before.

“With NICE having introduced guidance on digital health, 2021 will be the year when health and care staff embrace the full potential of apps – and it goes way beyond video conferencing.

“We will start to see digital approaches being integrated into care pathways. For example, an app like FibriCheck will allow patients to check their heart rhythms, using a medically certified system. They’ll be able to detect arrhythmias and avoid complications like stroke.

“Another example, Vinehealth, which is approved by the NHS, helps cancer patients understand their treatment – and evidence shows that this leads to less emergency room visits.”

JotForm launches app for safe collection of patient data

Online form builder JotForm has launched JotForm Health app – a tool that allows healthcare providers to securely collect medical data anywhere.

The JotForm Health app is an extension of JotForm’s web-based online form builder. Once a form is submitted through the app, JotForm automatically encrypts the data, guaranteeing the privacy of health information.

Aytekin Tank, founder and chief executive of JotForm, said: “From frontline workers screening for Covid-19 to local governments collecting vaccine registrations, the JotForm Health app removes barriers to information collection.

“It empowers doctors, nurses, and other frontline workers to gather important data on- or offline from any device.

“The pandemic has revealed inefficiencies in traditional ways of collecting data, and the JotForm Health app is an elegant solution. It helps with conducting Covid tests, doing effective contact tracing, and rolling out the vaccines.”

The app is includes on and offline data collection, an e-signature field, team collaboration functions and is HIPAA compliant.

Garmin introduces health and wellbeing app for employees

Fitness tech company Garmin has introduced a health and wellbeing app for its 800 employees to support them during the pandemic.

The app will be available from January 2021 and offers a range of personalised and interactive health plans, such as stress and heart rate advice.

Employees will also have access to podcasts, videos and articles to help them better manage their fitness, Employee Benefits reported.

Jörn Watzke, senior director global business development at Garmin Health, said: “Finding new and impactful ways to maintain a healthy workforce is a challenge, and even more so when teams are working remotely or in different countries, so to find the right solution for this was critical to us.

“Alongside having a platform that delivers a seamless user experience, it also creates bespoke, engaging and differentiated content that will truly help our employees to meet and exceed their health and wellbeing goals.”