Integrating Mobile Apps with Healthcare
Mobile healthcare apps offer flexibility to both families and caregivers who want fast results and information.
Families want caregivers to provide the best support possible. Every day, advances in medical technology allow caregivers to do their jobs more efficiently. These advances often come in the form of better machines in hospitals and facilities, but the mobile revolution offered up new options to help caregivers keep families up to date with the status of a loved one’s health. Email, instant messaging and other communications are an obvious choice, but the field of mobile healthcare apps is growing just as fast as any other part of the app store.
Benefits of Mobile Healthcare Apps
Mobile healthcare apps offer a quick response to questions about a patient’s health. Nowadays, health issues and symptoms are looked up on WebMD and other sources before someone even goes to the doctor. These apps provide the same information in easy-to-use interfaces, with volumes collected on a smartphone rather than in bulky medical libraries or tomes of pharmaceuticals. Having this information at hand means medical professionals can provide faster diagnoses for health issues and also give caregivers a way to read up on chronic issues for patients in their care.
Apps are often built to work together. In addition to the features everyone knows (like texting and sharing pictures), smartphones provide access to cloud computing. Cloud computing allows access to information stored on a remote server rather than a physical computer lab or hard drive in an office. Smartphones running the same app communicate through each other and can let caregivers send information to each other even if they aren’t on the same site. Apps can be used to set up daily task lists or remind caregivers about important meetings or appointments.
Challenges of Mobile Healthcare Apps
Access to apps assumes that your staff has access to mobile technology. Picking up staff smartphones can be a big cost if you don’t shop smart. It also means that, like any other equipment, you should put aside some money in the budget for upgrades and maintenance every few years. Not only that, but apps can factor into startup costs. The best ones are designed by professional developers charging a fair market value. There can be a bit of sticker shock sometimes for people used to free apps for gaming.
Going mobile is usually a tradeoff of security for flexibility. The more access people to have to information, the more attention needs to be paid to secure that information. Medical records, insurance information, and social security numbers all need to be protected, so they should only be remotely accessible if the app or website is absolutely secure. It also means that any mobile network should belong to the organization rather than asking caregivers to download these apps on their personal devices. If your facility is planning on implementing new technology, consult with an IT professional.
Get Started With Healthcare Apps
UpToDate is one of the top rated apps for medical professionals currently in existence. It’s available for iOS, Android and Windows Mobile. It also offers a web access feature for those times when the device loaded with the app might not be handy. This app provides updated information for medical professionals wherever they may be. It can be very useful in coordinating treatments and communicating with staff to ensure a patient gets the care needed. This app does require a subscription and has several different plans available.
Residents and families might want to check out MyMedical. For a small fee, this app tracks complete medical histories for an entire family. It keeps critical information on hand all the time. The app also can track and chart test results and vital signs. Finally, it can send this info to a family doctor with a click of a button.
Everyone wants the best care for their loved ones. Mobile apps offer flexibility to both families and caregivers who want fast results and information. Apps provide resources for caregivers to diagnose problems and track ongoing issues. They connect staff members in new and exciting ways. Upgrading requires some budget adjustment, but the flexibility is often worth it. Not only do medical professionals have excellent choices, but families can keep their medical info on hand in a secure location. Mobile healthcare apps help everyone look to the future of modern medical care.
Featured image “Health App – Staying Healthy” courtesy of Flickr user Foodfacts pm licensed under CC by 2.0.
Images “Caledos Runner V3 1” and “Caledos Runner V3 2” courtesy of Flickr user Nicola licensed under CC by 2.0.