The best health apps of 2014 have been named from a survey conducted by more than 65,000 physicians from around the United States.
HealthTap, an organization working to connect patients with healthcare providers through the use of smartphones and computer technology, developed the new list. The company claims this is the first major ranking of health apps based on the opinions of professional doctors.
The AppRx report developed by the organization ranked the top 100 healthcare apps available for iOS and Android systems. They also examined the most popular applications in 30 specific categories, including pregnancy, heart health, and weight loss.
"On HealthTap, we regularly survey the millions of people who come to us looking for trusted health information, including on what new ways doctors can be helpful to them. We've received a significant amount of feedback from our users, telling us that they're confused by the deluge of app choices available to them," Ron Gutman, founder and CEO of HealthTap, said.
Apps are playing an increasingly-important role in how many people learn about medicine, and take care of their own health. Doctors are also getting into the game, recommending that patients utilize apps to help them with health needs. Health is currently the fastest-growing category of all apps, with more than 100,000 different applications available in Google Play and the Apple App Store.
Health applications can be judged, in part, from user reviews available while browsing choices. However, these lack professional advice from trained physicians.
"HealthTap invited all verified U.S.-licensed doctors in good standing to review, organize, and recommend apps on HealthTap. All doctors in the HealthTap Medical Expert Network were eligible and invited to participate, and over 500,000 additional doctors from HealthTap's extended referral network were invited to sign up and become verified to recommend apps," HealthTap company officials stated.
First Aid from the American Red Cross was one of the top-ranked Android apps, along with BabyBump for pregnant users, My Baby Today for those with children, Glucose Buddy for diabetics, and Fooducate for dietary information.
Apple users should look to Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker by MyFitnessPal for dietary assistance, the report recommends. Pregnancy Tracker is the top choice for expectant mothers, as is KidsDoc for parents looking for pediatric information. Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock was ranked high in the Sleep & Dreams category, as Stroke Riskometer took top honors among all apps in the Medical Conditions category for iOS.
HealthTap will be re-assessing apps each year, and will release a new report on an annual basis, the company announced.