The number of health-focused mobile apps continues to climb in response to demand from consumers, particularly young people. Health care professionals are also adding to the demand by increasingly using apps as a way to encourage their patients to pursue healthier lifestyles.  

A study from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics puts the number of health-oriented apps at more than 165,000. About 10 percent of the apps are linked to a device or sensor that provides the user biofeedback and physiological function data.  

Another important trend in mobile health apps (also known as mHealth apps) is the increasing role that they play on social networks, as users enjoy sharing their workouts and health progress with their friends and family. A third of all health apps connect to social media, such as Facebook and Twitter, up from 26 percent two years ago.  

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