Smartphone apps for managing heart disease

Apps that pair with devices that record data may help your doctor fine-tune your treatment.

Health-related smartphone apps are a dime a dozen, but some are more sophisticated than others. Of special interest for people with heart disease are apps that pair with devices that measure your blood pressure, your heart's electrical activity, or your weight. Data from these apps may help doctors make faster and better informed treatment decisions for their patients, says Dr. Eric Isselbacher, who heads the Healthcare Transformation Lab at Harvard-affiliated Massachusetts -General Hospital.

App acceptability

Contrary to popular belief, the 65-plus crowd is comfortable using apps, says Dr. Isselbacher, who co-authored a recent study looking at the willingness of heart patients to use apps and related technologies. Compared with millennials, older people have been slower to adopt and adjust to smartphone apps. But now that they're using them for ride-hailing services and the like, they recognize that apps are actually pretty simple to use.

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