An App a Day
Updated: Mar 7
Assistant Professor Sharon Laing wants to use apps to connect low-income patients to health care.
"Apple coined the phrase “there’s an app for that” back in 2009. In the intervening years millions of apps have been created and made available to download. The range of apps run the gamut from useful (avoiding traffic, managing finances) to offbeat (add a cat to any picture, have a pirate voice tell you where you parked).
The sheer volume of apps makes quality and credibility even more important. This is especially true when it comes to apps related to health care. A quick search of “health” in the app store returned hundreds of entries. Figuring out which one of these apps is legitimate (is it the one with the panda bear icon?) can be challenging and the consequences of bad information are potentially life-threatening.
“People are picking up these apps and are running with them,” says UW Tacoma Assistant Professor Sharon Laing. “They sound good, they sound sexy but they may not do what they claim.” Laing, a psychologist by training, is interested in the field of mobile health or mHealth. She is currently working on a study of patients and care providers to assess their level of knowledge and interest in using mobile technology to help manage health."