Methodist Debakey Cardiovasc J. 2020 Oct-Dec;16(4):291-295. doi: 10.14797/mdcj-16-4-291.
The evolution of technology makes it likely that a large number of people will invest in and use health-related mobile applications and wearable devices. Yet the question remains: Do these technology-based interventions modify health behavior and improve health…and are we getting our money’s worth? The vast majority of studies concerning health-related apps and wearable devices have small sample sizes and short time spans of 6 months or less, so it is not clear if these durations were determined by lack of consistent use over time. Furthermore, many of the most popular applications have not been subjected to randomized trials. Overall, the small demonstrated improvements in outcomes are often associated with professional involvement from clinicians, coaches, or diabetes educators provided in conjunction with use of mobile health (mHealth) platforms. This paper explores the use of mHealth technologies that address cardiovascular disease/prevention (eg, diabetes, diet, physical activity, and associated weight loss) and discusses the lack of adequate evidence to support even minimal patient investment in mobile applications or wearable devices at this time.