Will an App a Day Keep the Doctor Away?

Brainstorm Magazine, 2019

Posted: 20 Aug 2019

See all articles by Ma'n H. Zawati

Ma'n H. Zawati

McGill University - Centre of Genomics and Policy

Date Written: August 16, 2019


Will an app a day keep the doctor away? In principle, the answer to this question should be no. However, with mobile health applications (applications developed on mobile devices to collect, store, and share health information) quickly proliferating on digital platforms, the answer to this question must be nuanced to account for the increasing variety of existing smartphone tools available to the public. Indeed, there are at least 100,000 of them currently in circulation, giving millions of consumers easy access to health information, symptom management tools, and diagnostic predictions. In 2025, the overall digital health market is expected to exceed 500 billion dollars in revenue. In Canada, there is a lack of thorough ethical guidance on the use of mobile health applications, leaving users without any standards by which to distinguish effective applications from marketing hype. This is why I believe they have become the most pressing and timely challenge in Canadian healthcare ethics today.

Suggested Citation

Zawati, Ma'n H., Will an App a Day Keep the Doctor Away? (August 16, 2019). Brainstorm Magazine, 2019, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3438302

Ma'n H. Zawati (Contact Author)

McGill University - Centre of Genomics and Policy ( email )

740 Dr. Penfield Avenue, Suite 5200
Montreal, Quebec H3A 0G1

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