While I am skeptical, even cynical, I am also always hopeful. Maybe mobile health apps can make a real difference in quality and cost outcomes, at least for some people. No evidence they are doing so yet. A Health Affairs article reviews the state of field. (HA Article) The authors look at a range of apps, with particular attention to their utility for high-need, high-cost patients, who typically suffer from a multiplicity of chronic conditions. They found about 137 apps that they deemed to target or be useful to high-need, high-cost patients and that they could evaluate. They considered issues such as how well the apps served the needs of these patients, did an app store rating providing accurate and useful information, do the apps appropriately respond to user-entered information, are costs a barrier to use and do the apps have good privacy and security features. About 40% of the app developers allowed the researchers to discuss their apps by name; the rest apparently are so confident in their apps that they don’t want an independent researcher to identify them. Here is a good rule of thumb–if an app isn’t named in this research, don’t even consider using it.