How Mobile Apps Are Transforming Health Care
The health care industry is changing rapidly and never has that been more obvious than during the pandemic. The fact that people had to stay home led to online video calls and the ability to “see” a doctor from home. However, that’s not all that’s changed. Apps for health care have completely revamped the face of medicine, and that’s a very good thing.
Smartphones: A Part of Life
Apps have become more popular due to the fact that most people have smartphones now. In fact, nearly 3.8 billion people now use smartphones and with them, apps for a range of functions, including health and fitness. With the prevalence of these smart devices, why wouldn’t you turn to them for arranging health care check-ins? After all, they’re always on the person and can easily create alarms and notices to get people thinking about their health.
During the pandemic, the number of health care mobile apps has exploded, changing the way we see doctors and the health industry in general. Medical app downloads have increased by 50% in the past year, thanks to COVID-19 tracing and telehealth, both of which were heavily reliant on apps.
Are Health Care Apps Actually Helpful?
Let’s take a look at just what you can do with a handful of health apps on your phone.
Find and book a doctor. When you need a new doctor, you can look one up, check their credentials and reviews, then book an appointment. This makes life much simpler.
Hold a medical visit online. Video calls allow patients to talk to their doctors, therapists, and nutritionists online and receive a diagnosis. This has been particularly helpful when hospitals are not that safe to enter.
Track medicine usage and side effects. Anyone who is on medication knows that it can be difficult to track and to keep up with the side effects. With an app, you can easily stay on top of all this and share the information with your doctor or a person who will remind you to take your meds in case you forget.
Track and manage vital signs. Keeping track of things like heart rate, blood pressure, and other health data can all be done on an app so you can watch how things are changing. It also allows doctors to see at a glance what their patient’s life is like.
Shop for medication or medical products. Online stores allow you to quickly and easily order what you need without visiting a physical store, provided you have a note from your doctor or the item is not restricted.
Monitor your fitness and receive health tips. Some fitness apps are quite helpful because they allow you to track your fitness, plus they give you access to expert help.
In short, apps for health care can be quite useful to the patient. However, what about when it comes to the doctor?
Health Care Apps for the Health Care Industry
Everything from vital sign monitoring to treatment monitoring and clinical documentation can be handled on apps now. There’s even artificial intelligence to help providers be more in tune with their patients.
Apps that provide information to the doctor in real time can make an emergency situation flow better, because everything is right at the doctor’s fingertips. There are a number of apps designed specifically for health care professionals, including:
- Diagnosis apps
- Patient medical tracking
- Appointment scheduling
- Medical reference and medicine databases
- Telehealth apps
- Habit tracking
All of these are easily accessible to health care workers, making it simpler for them to treat and monitor patients.
What This Means for the Future of Health Care
If apps for health care continue this way, what does this mean for the future? At this point in time, we’ve advanced quite a bit, considering the new applications that have come out of the COVID-19 crisis.
For example, it’s now possible to monitor your patient’s health while they’re at home and you are in your office. Everything from heart rates and breathing to sleep can be covered. Some apps use wearable technology, which makes it that much easier for you to stay on top of any type of vital sign monitoring.
Instant Access to Doctors
You can also get instant access to doctors, though this is still relatively new. As time goes on, these apps are bound to improve. In the future, most doctor visits may actually be carried out online, thanks to new apps with the ability to check your vitals and pass that information to the doctor.
Fast Access to Medical Records
For doctors, having the medical report right in their hands is essential for proper diagnosis and treatment. You’ll need to know exactly what the patient has been tested for and what medications they’re on. This also allows doctors to double-check for interactions with medications they are prescribing. Apps that provide all this information enable doctors to do their job faster and more efficiently.
Right now, you can pay online and this has long been a possibility for some doctors. Now, however, you have more options than ever, and you can make instant payments right on your mobile phone. Many of these payment apps require a fingerprint or facial recognition to prevent possible fraud.
As time goes on, you’ll have access to far more accurate reports and health care information. There are a number of ways this is happening, but the fact that machine learning has been applied to many health care apps means that the information is more accurate than ever. AI can also catch if a doctor makes a mistake and miscalculates a medicine dosage, etc. This is still in the early days of discovery, but it will soon be the new norm for patients and doctors.
Reducing mistakes in reporting means there will be fewer slip-ups by doctors. This bodes well for everyone. Patients will be happier and doctors will make fewer mistakes.
Health care is definitely changing with mobile apps—for the better. Doctors can access more information rapidly and patients know they’re getting better care at a safe distance. This will only continue to improve over time.