A New iPhone App: Mental Floss

The relentless march of health IT reached a milestone of sorts this week with the release of an iPhone game designed to sharpen users' cognitive health and boost their physical activity.

The relentless march of health IT reached a milestone of sorts this week with the release of an iPhone game designed to sharpen users' cognitive health and boost their physical activity.

The announcement of the puzzle app was made by Humana, which claims to be "the first health insurance company to offer people fun, healthy mobile games that challenge their minds and bodies while encouraging healthy behaviors," said Paul Puopolo, director of consumer innovation. Humana is the country's fourth largest insurance company.

The game, dubbed Colorfall, challenges players to "arrange cascading colored tokens in the order of the colors of the rainbow." Earning a high score requires players to think fast. Advanced users earn extra points by snapping photos with their phone's camera and incorporating the images into the game.

Paging Dr. Roy G. Biv. Stat!

Colorfall was developed by the insurance company's Humana Games for Health (HG4H) division in partnership with Persuasive Games. It is available on the iPhone App Store for $2.99. Humana's mobile team will release other games this summer.

"Tapping into ubiquitous devices like cell phones promotes health in a way that fits the lifestyle of today's consumers," the company said.

Earlier this week, Emerging Healthcare Solutions announced the development of an "e-911" smartphone application that will deliver users' medical information to health care providers responding to 911 calls. At first, the app will only be available for use with iPhones, reported the company, which plans to introduce versions for Google's Android and Research in Motion's Blackberry devices.

The $2.4-billion market for iPhone apps will triple in the next three years, predicts EHS.

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