A smartphone has become an integral part of an individual's life, and with the rise of health apps it is now possible to track your footsteps, heartbeat, and sleep patterns. A new study has revealed that mobile technology may help improve health behavior in people. Lora E. Burke of the University of Pittsburgh said, "The fact that mobile health technologies had not been fully studied did not mean that they were not effective. Self-monitoring was one of the core strategies for changing cardiovascular health behaviors, and if a mobile health technology, such as a smartphone app for self-monitoring diet, weight or physical activity, was helping one improve their behavior, then people should stick with it."
The mHealth technologies examined in the statement correspond to the goals in the American Heart Association's (AHA) Life's Simple 7, which were eating better, being more active, managing your weight, avoiding tobacco smoke, reducing blood sugar, and controlling both cholesterol and blood pressure. Some of the statement findings were-
Managing Weight- When considering an mHealth weight loss program, healthcare practitioners should look for one that has many of the same elements as successful person-to-person individualized programs administered by healthcare professionals, which emphasize a calorie-controlled diet, physical activity, self-monitoring or recording food intake and physical activity in a paper or digital diary, personalized feedback and social support.
Physical activity- While the majority of studies show that using an online program boosted physical activity more than not using one, there has not been enough research to show whether wearable physical activity monitoring devices actually help you move more.
Smoking cessation- Mobile phone apps using text messaging to help quit smoking can almost double your chances of quitting, but about 90% of people using these apps fail to quit smoking after six months. Mobile health apps used in combination with a traditional quit-smoking program may help smokers kick the habit.
The study is published in Circulation.