American Heart Association: Mobile Health Technology Doesn’t Always Work

By , Category : Health News

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Bawa_150815With the recent onslaught of Fitbits, fitness apps, and other health tracking gadgets, increasingly more people are relying on these devices to maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle. It’s estimated that around one in five people with a smartphone have at least one, if not more, health-related apps on their device.

However, according to a recent statement released by the American Heart Association (AHA), there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence to support the use of these types of mobile health devices and technologies to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

A team of experts on behalf of the AHA thoroughly reviewed several clinical trials and meta-analyses about mobile health technology conducted over the past decade. They looked specifically at how these types of technologies affected and/or improved risk factors for cardiovascular health based on the AHA’s seven heart health factors: healthy diet, more physical activity, managing weight, avoiding cigarette smoke, lowering blood sugar, controlling cholesterol, and managing blood pressure.

The team discovered that a significant majority of the studies they reviewed were short-term and relatively small. Although they found that these mobile technologies did help people lose more weight over the short-term, there was no evidence that the technology helped with maintaining the weight loss over a longer period.

The team also found that using online fitness programs did work for increasing physical activity, but there isn’t sufficient evidence to show that wearable devices (such as a Fitbit) actually push people to get more active.

With regards to smoking, they found that using mobile apps that incorporate text messages about quitting smoking nearly double the likelihood of them quitting. However, after six months of using the apps, the researchers noticed that the majority of people (90%) fail to quit smoking completely, at least not without using the apps alongside a more conventional quitting program.

There was no research to support the use of mobile health-related technology on reducing blood sugar, controlling cholesterol, or managing blood pressure.

These findings and the full statement from the AHA have been published in the journal Circulation.

Sources for Today’s Article:
Burke, L.E., et al., “AHA Scientific Statement: Current Science on Consumer Use of Mobile Health for Cardiovascular Disease Prevention,” Circulation 2015; http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/early/2015/08/13/CIR.0000000000000232.html, doi: 10.1161/CIR.0000000000000232.
Whiteman, H., “Does mobile health technology help the heart?” Medical News Today web site, August 14, 2015; http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/298142.php.




Tags:

WANT MORE HEALTH NEWS & UPDATES?
Sign up for the latest health news, tips and special product offers with our daily Free e-Letters, the Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin and the Health eTalk with the Bel Marra Doctors.

Opt-in by entering your e-mail address below and clicking submit. Your e-mail will never be shared, sold or rented to anyone for promotional or advertising purposes, and you can unsubscribe easily at any time.

Yes, I’m opting in for the FREE Doctors Health Press e-Bulletin and
Health eTalk with the Bel Marra Doctors:

Soriyya Bawa, B.A.

About the Author, Browse Soriyya's Articles

Soriyya Bawa is a writer and editor specializing in health and wellness strategies, focusing specifically on providing natural, realistic anti-aging strategies that are proven to work for everyday men and women. Soriyya brings a wealth of both academic and practical experience to Doctors Health Press, having spent several years writing health, lifestyle, and beauty features for several national magazines and various different web sites. Her intuitive approach to health, beauty, and wellness means she is always on the lookout for... Read Full Bio »