Should You Be Afraid of Free Health Apps?

Yes, we all love our new mobile devices, from those fast and powerful new smartphones to tablets, which for many people have replaced the traditional personal computer. There are so many things we can do with them, besides just checking email, sending text messages, or even posting new information on Facebook and checking what our friends and contacts are up to. The two main mobile operating systems, Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS, have hundreds of thousands of applications, many of them free, which can be downloaded from their respective sites. Many people take advantage of these opportunities to customise their devices with anything from a special alarm clock to a game or even some productivity apps. Lord knows my smartphone’s memory is almost full with all sorts of interesting stuff. Many people, however, are finding that health apps are quite useful, and many of them are free. What they don’t know is that, in many cases, all of the information that their apps track is actually being shared with a host of completely unrelated companies.

The New Age of Marketing

These days, the Internet is all about monetising a particular application or website. Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter don’t have high valuations in the public markets only because they are popular. They make a lot of money selling advertising to companies and are able to target who should receive such advertising based on their habits on the social media platforms themselves. The free health apps that I’m discussing do basically the same thing. In some ways, it is perfectly understandable: It cost somebody a lot of time and money to develop these apps, and at some point they want to get compensated. If they charge users money for them, chances are they won’t get that many takers. It makes much more commercial sense to give them away for free but link the information collected on the back end to companies that can make efficient use of this information.

If You’re Not Paying, You’re the Product

This is a popular expression in the tech world, one that is not generally known by the public at large. Let’s face it, it’s pretty self-explanatory. In the case of health apps, the Financial Times recently did a survey on health apps to determine what the current trends are. What they discovered is that the top 20 most popular downloaded apps were secretly linked to 70 different advertisers. But there is another huge segment of the health industry that is entering this field: Health insurance companies are beginning to monitor data that they are able to receive from these health apps so they can tell if the people they are insuring are actually maintaining a healthy lifestyle or not. It could be that in the future, insurance premiums could be determined by the data collected by these apps.

Keep Yourself Healthy

Most of us want to stay as healthy as possible – perhaps lose a few extra pounds or keep our overall health up to snuff by exercising regularly. Health and beauty often go hand in hand. But apart from these healthy habits, many of us also like to get tattoos from time to time, which reflect our particular state of mind and situation in life. While this is perfectly natural, there are situations where a tattoo no longer makes any sense and you may want to remove it. Many people think that there is no easy way to do this, but they are mistaken. All you have to do is visit, where you will discover the latest scientific breakthroughs that make tattoo removal extremely easy and painless. You certainly don’t need a health app for that!

Image attributed to: adamr

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