Healthcare has now become a mobile digital activity through the development of over 96,00 application for smartphones are other devices. These applications use sensors, social networking and gaming to improve healthcare through personal data and can provide great insights for the medical field and for patients. According to the article, Will an App a Day Keep the Doctor Away? The Coming Health Revolution, "by 2017 half of the 3.4 billion smartphone or tablet users worldwide will use mobile health apps." The article, The Role of Big Data in Personalizing the Healthcare Experience: Mobile, states that "mobile health apps could help over 124 million people with hypertension, 105 million obese adults, 21 million people with sleep apnea, 79 million pre-diabetics and 81 million adults with cardiovascular disease" by using data to personalize care. This medical advances and mobile applications can be very beneficial to patient due to the personalized aspect and nature of the programs.
The personalization of healthcare applications can also have negative impacts on its users especially in terms of privacy. Studies on mobile health apps have shown that "most apps send unencrypted data to advertisers and 3rd parties". This becomes in a direct conflict violation with Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA); these rules and regulations are required to be followed by medical and healthcare professionals. But considering the confidential and personal nature of healthcare and medical information, healthcare applications developer and users should be concerned with this issue and its impacts on a patient's personal and sensitive health information when using personalized data and information.