Early studies suggest that mobile health technologies such as smartphone apps and wearable sensors could play a role in reducing risk factors for heart disease and stroke. Researchers believe that self-monitoring of health, using smartphone apps or wearable sensors that track exercise and physical activity or monitor heart rates, could prove to be a core strategy in changing cardiovascular health behaviors.
As people increasingly use some form of technology to track their health data, health apps associated with exercise, counting steps or tracking one’s heart rate are gaining in popularity. These digital readouts could be effective in helping people manage weight, boost physical activity, quit smoking and support the control of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and diabetes.
Researchers found that people who used mobile technology as part of an overall weight-loss program had more short-term weight loss than those who tried to lose weight on their own. Earlier studies had shown that people who used an online program for physical activity had larger increases in exercise than those who did not rely on such programs, but the effectiveness of wearable exercise monitoring devices was unclear.