Pharma insight on digital marketing, social media, mobile apps, online video, websites and interactive healthcare tools
by Dominic Tyer
An app that 'gamifys' medical education and one that provides cancer information to patients were among the mHealth winners in a UN-backed global competition to identify the best mobile applications and services.
The health and education category at the World Summit Award – Mobile also featured apps that assist type I diabetics with self-management, help people cope with stress and check for harmful chemicals in cosmetics.
The bi-annual awards are a global initiative within the framework of the United Nations World Summit on the Information Society, and this year 40 apps from 28 countries on five continents were selected as winners.
WSA-mobile chairman Peter Bruck said: “Our goal is to find and promote mobile content that really makes a difference for people around the globe. The awarded apps prove that there is a lot going on outside Europe and the USA.
“If we want to make use of mobile technology's full potential, these trends must not be ignored.”
The top placed mobile health apps were:
Hormone check from Norway helps consumers avoid endocrine disrupters in cosmetics by scanning products' barcodes with their phone. This provides information on whether the product contains EDCs as well as a function to report a product if it's not in the database.
Prognosis: Your Diagnosis from Sri Lanka is a smartphone medical game for doctors, medical students and other healthcare professionals, which aims to make the process of learning medicine fun. Users can create a virtual doctor-patient environment and then practice treating patients via an interactive cartoon style narrative.
Positive Technology from Italy is said to be world's first mobile app to integrate a 3D virtual reality environment with mobile biofeedback technology to help users manage and cope with daily psychological stress. The EU-supported app exploits progress made in the field of wearable low-cost biosensors to allow an effective psychological intervention in daily situations.
Life With Cancer from Denmark is a disease information app for cancer patients, caregivers, relatives and friends. It includes a diary function, shareable 'wish lists' and details of a patient support service.
Social Diabetes from Spain is an app for patients with type I diabetes that seeks to improve their quality of life by increasing their autonomy through the use of a simple self-managed system. It logs factors, like food intake and exercise, and recommends insulin doses based on these parameters.
All the winners of this year's contest will be invited to Abu Dhabi next year for the WSA-mobile congress in February, when an on site jury will pick a 'mobile champion 2013' from the five finalists in each category.
• What do you think - are these the best mHealth apps? What would you add to the list?