Mobile Medical Apps for Patients and Physicians

Healthcare Training Resource
January 6, 2014 — 893 views  
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The mobile revolution has taken over the healthcare industry. Medical applications for smartphones have given us the provision to keep our heath under check on the go. The wide range of mobile medical apps available in app stores today are being used by both doctors and patients. While patients find them to be an eye-opener to the prospects of managing their own well-being, doctors are adopting them to efficiently run their practice.

Popular Medical Apps in the Market

The AliveECG app helps in monitoring the patient's heart rate and allows them to record, save and transmit the ECG recordings. It also provides an alternative option where the patient can send the ECG to a tech service that will send back a technical ECG read. Another app, UpToDate, is a database of about 8,500 medical issues. It has been authored by about 4,400 expert medical practitioners and can provide useful insight on patient illnesses. An app, ISABEL, aids doctors in the clinical decision making process. Although it doesn't provide any diagnoses, it assists the doctor in narrowing down on the possibilities. Based on the details regarding the patient's illness, the app gives a list of possible diagnoses and drugs to treat the case. Another app, Epocrates, has interesting features like a pill identifier and a medmath calculator. It also has a database of drugs and a feature that notes drug interactions.

Advantages of a Medical App:

  • Keeps the patients well-informed: Doctor's apps are a great way to keep a patient informed about ongoing treatments when they aren't under the doctor's supervision. Many of these apps have the provision to store a database of the patient's medical visit records, pill reminders, treatment instructions and such.
  • High productivity: Medical practitioners have access to patient records at all times through these apps. This way, they don't have to spend time on individual visits and can advise patients by looking through their records on their smartphones.
  • Cost-effective: Patients can cut down on their routine visits to the doctor's office by simply using these medical apps. They can see their post health measurements on these apps, so the specialist can have a look at them and diagnose accordingly. This can reduce their healthcare expenses phenomenally.

Implications of Using Med Apps

A common concern while using a medical app is regarding the privacy of the medical records of the patient. If this data is unencrypted, it can get into the hands of advertisers and data analytic operators. They can use the patient's confidential information in behavioral tracking practices and data mining.

The quality of these apps is another debatable issue. Since these apps are healthcare-specific, the knowledge and information that goes into creating it cannot be easily mastered by a layman. If a medical mobile app is developed under the guidance of a healthcare professional, its reliability is far more assured.

It is crucial to integrate the existing healthcare industry with the growing mobile technology. If hospitals and clinics are not on the same page technology-wise, there will be a huge gap in the functionality.

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