Could mobile apps become synonymous with digital health care?

Published on 05 August 2014 by in Latest News

iStock 000038903818 Small 280x300 Could mobile apps become synonymous with digital health care?Mobile Internet has become a large part of our everyday lives. As using mobile applications to connect with customers becomes more popular, healthcare providers are beginning to see how valuable they could be for keeping their patients healthy. Now that medical practices have begun using electronic medical records, numero think that healthcare providers adopting a mobile application is the most natural next step.

There are already a vast number of consumer mobile and digital health products available including thermometers, stethoscopes, talking first aid kits, hearing aids, fertility diagnostic devices, and exercise equipment.

According to a recent report in the New England Journal of Medicine, there are 100,000 health apps on the market, but only about 100 have been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration, (FDA). “Most consumers take mobile health app claims at face value, and think that because they’re available through a trusted retailer like the iTunes Store, they must have been reviewed by the FDA, which isn’t usually the case,” says lead author of the journal, Nathan Cortez.

Software companies have been creating high-tech health devices that sync with smartphones, helping people to manage their health conditions and share their information with doctors and caregivers for some years now. A recent piece of equipment which has been introduced is the iHealth wireless blood pressure cuff.

“The device takes a reading and transmits the systolic and diastolic numbers to an app, which is synced through a Bluetooth,” said Anita Mirchandani, a registered dietician and spokesperson for the New York State Dietetic Association.

Jim Taschetta, chief marketing officer for iHealth, which offers nine wireless health products, told Healthline, “We turn your mobile device into a personal mobile health companion. The company was founded around this principle; that the smartphone will become central to a person’s life. Why not allow that device to power some of your healthcare and health management needs? We’ve taken these medical grade devices, typically used by medical professionals, and turned them into products you can use at home.” iStock 000028276370 Small 300x210 Could mobile apps become synonymous with digital health care?

In June, MediSafe, a wireless, cloud-synced medication management app became the first mobile health app to be included on Google’s just-announced suite of Android Wear smart watches. Omri “Bob” Shor, the company CEO, explained, “A person clicks on Google Play or iTunes Store to get the free app. A patient types in the type of medication, when they are supposed to take it, and the shape and colour of the medication. One of the most powerful features in MediSafe is it allows you to share it with a family member, so if my father doesn’t take his medication on time, I get a push notification telling me that he didn’t take his medication for some reason. There are three buttons: call, text, or email, so I can contact him and intervene in some way.”

numero believe using mobile apps to provide excellent patient care is the future for healthcare. When patients, medical teams and healthcare providers can all work together, everyone will benefit. As an increasing number of people begin utilizing their mobile devices in new ways, they will be looking for mobile apps that can help them stay healthy.

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