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    Flavorgasmic healthcare apps – here to stay or here to lay?

    Flavorgasmic healthcare apps – here to stay or here to lay?


    November 30, 2008 Urban Word of the Day

    When eating food so good that you let out an involuntary moan, usually the first bite; also as an adjective – flavorgasmic.

    I downloaded this unbelievable healthcare app yesterday for my iPhone. I swear when I clicked the first page I had a total flavorgasm.

    The 80-20 rule is alive and kicking when it comes to apps – 80 percent of the apps you downloaded, you don’t use more than a couple of times and pretty soon they just lay fallow on your phone.

    This is validated by examining my own usage of apps I’ve downloaded for my Android Nexus S google phone; even the $99/year subscription I have for Epocrates is not being used, because frankly the Epocrates UI sucks and it annoys me. Apps that are a part of my daily life routine are used frequently; a totally non-surprising conclusion. In my case, the iRealbook is part of my daily practice schedule on tenor sax and EWI and I look forward to trying new rhythms – even if it’s frustrating, you can always bail out of Fast Jazz 3 and try Jazz Waltz 1with a single finger swipe and click.

    Life is sweet. But – you still have to consistenly practice – being good on a musical instrument is like anything else, it requires consistentency. 15′ of long tones / day is better than 1.5 hours once/week.

    So – we can see that the first 2 critical success factors for any app, especially a mobile healthcare app for tracking your own health, and monitoring for risks and activity – are

    1. How well a healthcare app fits into your daily routine
    2. How simple and easy it is to use.

    Relevance and ease of use are necessary conditions for using mobile healthcare apps – but are they sufficient conditions? Will you have a flavorgasm after the first bite and then a week later totally forget that you downloaded the U.S. Preventive Medicine Macaw  app for health and fitness app designed to personally monitor your health by assessing your health risks and tracking your daily activity.

    I downloaded the Macaw app today and found the registration process surpringly easy and quick. After I fired up the app, I was confronted with a lot of screens and data. The first bite was great, but it was too much of a good thing.

    Moving on.

    Capzule PHR for the iPad is a fabulous app for personal healthcare records management. It is beautiful and has lots of features – but from my personal perspective it has a big show-stopper: It is buzz-word compliant in the biggest way – it’s all about sharing and templates, Wifi, scanning documents to multi-page PDF files, QR codes and text forms,password protection, edit records, transfer files etc ad nauseum.

    If Capzule PHR is so good for your health, then why do they spend so much time talking about the technology in order to sell it to you?  

    If Macaw was relevant but non user-friendly, Capzule PHR was really user-sexy but non-relevant with it’s top-heavy technology focus and the amount of data it collects.

    In our next post 5 things that make hit healthcare apps – we talk about adding value to patients, doctors and caregivers and fill out the picture with the 5 most important things that a mobile app must have in order to be really sticky and not just flavorgasmic.

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