As mentioned in our post, ‘13 Useful Mobile Apps For Life Scientists’, mobile devices have become widespread, and different mobile applications are rapidly being developed. One industry that is seeing great numbers in new mobile apps is the healthcare industry -- and rightly so. Research published in the Journal of Telemedicine and Telecare has revealed that the impending growth of the healthcare industry due to an aging population generates a greater need for mobile applications that will help healthcare professionals tend to patients more efficiently.
According to a study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the sensitivity of the data handled by the medical sector has often made it slower in adopting IT solutions compared to others. Moreover, the patients themselves are reluctant about using mobile applications due to privacy concerns and costs. Fortunately, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has started implementing stricter regulations and secure privacy policies that quell the concerns of patients, kickstarting the rapid development of mobile applications for healthcare.
With the vast number of available healthcare applications, finding decent ones can be a challenge. Below is a list of the best mobile healthcare applications that will serve useful to healthcare professionals.
iTriage can be considered as a one-stop-shop mobile application for all your health needs. After being acquired by Aetna, iTriage integrated CarePass, which is the platform for mobile patient data of Aetna. Through the app, users can view their health record, look for doctors, see hospital wait times as well as look symptoms up. iTriage also provides directions to patients regarding whether their conditions require a visit to the emergency room or not. Patients covered by Aetna’s Innovation Health are also given access to a map of facilities included in their insurance network.
Insight Optics is a mobile healthcare app inspired by the shocking statistic that only half of the 71 million patients who are at risk of losing their vision are able to get examined by a specialist. Insight Optics brings patients closer to specialists by recording retinal exams and referring them to local specialists. After taking high-resolution photos, the app provides the user with a list of optometrists or ophthalmologists that are available within a given geographical area. The app also supplies users insights on their eye health.
iBlueButton builds on top of the Blue Button Initiative, which is a movement that allows patients to access and download their own personal health information into a simple text file or PDF. The goal of iBlueButton is to make coordination of care for the patients easier. The application allows users to see their medication lists and treatment histories as well as share their data with doctors.
4. Help Around
Help Around is a specialized mobile healthcare application for those who are suffering from diabetes. Through Help Around, users can connect to fellow users who might be able to provide them with supplies -- such as glucose tabs or test strips -- or help them with a blood test or injection. The application also provides its users with community advice and support through its forums.
Medici is considerably the healthcare industry’s equivalent to Airbnb or Uber. Medici makes healthcare even more accessible by allowing users to contact doctors within the Medici network for a fraction of the time and money that it takes to go to a hospital. When users successfully connect with a doctor, they can start explaining their illness, its symptoms, and send pictures. If a diagnosis is reached, the doctor can then order a prescription either directly to the patient’s pharmacy or advise the patient to come in for a visit if necessary.
Talking about mental health only gained traction and attention recently. Despite this, the stigma surrounding mental health remains. Today, suicide is considered one of the leading causes of death, especially among young people. In addition to this, getting help through a therapist remains a challenge. Not only because getting one is expensive but also because finding the right one that will suit a particular patient is hard. Through Talkspace, patients can connect with licensed therapists and schedule meetings at their convenience.
Digital Pharmacist aims to make medical information more accessible by encouraging pharmacists to go digital and take their advice to the web. Like Medici, Digital Pharmacist allows pharmacists to connect with their customers and tell them about their medications as well as relevant medical articles. The app also provides cloud storage solutions for pharmacists and a platform for them to help them with their business.