Heart disease is a serious problem. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it's responsible for over a half-million deaths in the United States each year. Also known as cardiovascular disease, it's a chronic ailment that's characterized by damage or dysfunction to the heart and its vessels. A new study, however, has found that mobile health apps can help adults who've been diagnosed with heart disease.
What Are Mobile Health Apps?
Mobile health apps are smartphone and tablet apps that are designed, in some way, to help users manage and improve their health. They are available for Android and Apple mobile devices. Some mobile health apps are free, whereas others are paid. Regardless, all of them are designed to help users manage and improve their health.
Common features of mobile health apps include the following:
- Track calorie intake
- Track number of steps taken in a day
- Heart rate measurement
- Medication reminder notifications
- Look up medical conditions and their associated symptoms
- Track sleeping habits
Study Sheds Light Into Heart Health Benefits of Mobile Health Apps
According to a new study published by the American Heart Association's (AHA's) Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes journal, mobile health apps can encourage heart disease sufferers to make smarter choices regarding their diets and lifestyles.
Mobile health apps have become increasingly popular in recent years. "Over the last decade, mobile health technology, especially the wearable technology and mobile health application markets, has grown substantially," wrote the study's lead researcher and author. The rise of mobile devices has paved the way for mobile health apps, which are directly improving the lives of individuals with heart disease.
How can mobile health apps benefit adults with heart disease exactly? As previously mentioned, they offer health-oriented tracking features. Adults suffering from heart disease can use a mobile health app to track how many steps they take per day. Lack of physical activity, of course, is a prime risk factor for heart disease. Adults who spent little or no time exercising are more likely to suffer from complications associated with heart disease than their active counterparts. With a mobile health app, users can make sure they are getting enough physical activity in their daily lives by tracking the number of steps they take.
Mobile health apps can also help users make smarter dieting choices. Poor dieting is another risk factor for heart disease. Using a mobile health app, though, heart disease sufferers can choose healthy, low-sodium foods that promote a healthy heart.