The use of cell phones and other mobile gadgets to gather and access health information has been growing quickly in recent years as popular mobile health apps have popped up for counting calories, tracking workouts and kicking bad health habits. But recently, the potential of these helpful apps has been dwarfed by new apps that aid in medical research and health care.

In fact, apps can do a lot more than just help users make better choices about their health; mobile devices have the power to literally bring the research laboratory to the patient, whether that means monitoring sleep patterns, blood pressure or saving patients the inconvenience of having to visit research facilities for clinical trials. Plus, access to real-time data could significantly improve scientists' understanding of certain diseases and conditions.

If this sounds too good to be true, it isn't. Chances are, you're already managing some aspect of your health care through a mobile health application. However, there are a few drawbacks and hurdles for these apps to overcome, including security and privacy issues, and sometimes the need to seek FDA approval.

This infographic from takes a broad look at mobile health care and what it has to offer.

Smartphone = Smart Healthcare?

Courtesy of: Allied Health World