Can mobile health apps solve pressing public health problems?

October 23, 2017 | Press Releases & Announcements, SPH in the News

Dr. Nick Freudenberg

Dr. Nicholas Freudenberg

In an editorial in the November 2017 issue of the American Journal of Public Health (AJPH), Nicholas Freudenberg, Distinguished Professor of Public Health at the CUNY Graduate School of Public Health and Health Policy (CUNY SPH), asks whether mobile health applications (mHealth Apps) can help to solve such pressing public health problems as increasing access to care, reducing inequalities in health, lowering health care costs and providing people with new tools to manage chronic diseases and reduce risky behavior.

An article in the same AJPH issue, “A Social Network Analysis of the Financial Links Backing Health and Fitness Apps,” notes that the global pharmaceutical, tech, and fashion corporations are increasingly developing and  marketing mHealth apps.

Commenting on the latter article, Freudenberg notes that in their effort to maintain profitability in a crowded marketplace, these corporations  may make misleading claims, cover up defects or market unscrupulously, thus harming rather than helping users.


Nicholas Freudenberg, “Assessing the Public Health Impact of the mHealth App Business”, American Journal of Public Health 107, no. 11 (November 1, 2017): pp. 1694-1696.