From the Foreword:
I welcome this first edition of the European Directory of Health Apps (2012-2013) that focuses on a range of health applications recommended by patient groups or empow- ered consumers. This is in line with the approach being encouraged by the European Commission Directorate General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology (DG CONNECT).
Health apps could prove to be an important tool to promote citizen’s empowerment and self-care. People live busy lives, they travel, have family responsibilities, work, and have to address the challenges that society throws at them. If we do fall ill, we have to manage treatment and care as well as the consequences of that illness.
Health apps represent a technological tool to help inform and support citizens in the self-management of their health and wellbeing. They can bring health information to our fingertips. The best of these apps enable us to act swiftly and decisively on self- care issues.
From DG CONNECT’s perspective, consumers and patients need guidance and sup- port in finding useful and reliable apps. Some means are needed to help orientating in the complex world of health apps. Scrutiny of these apps by informed users (such as empowered citizens and patient groups) could be one way forward.
I am certain that this Directory will prove useful, not only to users of healthcare systems throughout Europe, but to the many European citizens who live or strive to live healthy lives as well as for everybody who needs such information in the everyday work.
Robert Madelin, Director General, DG CONNECT, European Commission