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Are Health Apps Useful? Experts Warn Dangers Of Wellness Phone Applications

But experts are advising against keeping tabs on your blood pressuring using smartphone apps, as they're unregulated and not very accurate.

According to researchers, who analyzed over a hundred apps available on the iTunes and Google Play store claiming to accurately measure blood pressure, applications claiming to get blood pressure readings from your finger are falsely making claims to the user.

"This technology is really in its nascent stages, and it's not quite ready for prime time," said lead author Dr. Nilay Kumar to Reuters Health, who published his findings in the Journal of the American Society of Hypertension. "It's really in a research-and-development stage. It's not ready for clinical use. For now, we need to be careful that we are not using things that are inaccurate and could be potentially dangerous."

The biggest problem with these apps is that they can give false positives to someone without any health issues, or worse: give false negatives to a user who may have a serious issue.

"A large majority of medical apps designed for HTN serve health management functions such as tracking blood pressure, weight or BMI," write the authors of their findings. "Consumers have a strong tendency to download and favorably rate apps that are advertised to measure blood pressure and heart rate, despite a lack of validation for these apps. There is a need for greater oversight in medical app development for HTN, especially when they qualify as a medical device."