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Three Ways That Mobile Apps Affect The Medical Industry

on 04 March, 2014

It is obvious that smartphone ownership is a major trend in the United States. As mobile devices increase in popularity, so do the apps that run on them. An app, or mobile application, is software that operates on a smartphone or tablet and serves a specific purpose, such as social networking, gaming, data storage and business management. As more and more apps are introduced to the market, we can’t help but wonder – how are mobile apps affecting the medical industry? 

Here are three major trends of mobile apps in the medical industry:

1. More Data, Easier Storage

We use our smartphones and the apps on them to store information that is important to us. Doctors, nurses, or anyone else who handles medical data, can now access this information on your smartphone or tablet by downloading a medical record storage app. These apps are designed to provide high levels of security and an easily accessible database of patient information. One example of a medical data storage app is SAP Electronic Medical Record, which currently has thousands of downloads. According to its description in the Google Play Store, this app “connects to clinical back-end systems, including hospital information and imaging systems (PACS), and displays the patient’s data on the Android devices in a clear and easy-to-read format.” It is likely that more apps of this kind will emerge, and more and more doctors will utilize them in order to obtain easier access to patient data and medical records.

2. Convenient Access to a Healthier Lifestyle

Advances in technology have allowed for new discoveries in health and wellness, and created easier communication channels to spread this information. Mobile app markets are now filled with useful apps that give users the opportunity to not only learn about promoting good health, but also track their personal health habits. 

WebMD, a popular source for online health information, has a mobile app that includes a symptom checker, a pill identification tool, information about illnesses and their treatments and local health listings. This single app has over five million downloads, according to its listing in the Google Play Store. 

The Play Store also has apps for tracking personal health habits. For smartphone users who are seeking help for losing or maintaining weight, there are calorie counters, nutrition calculators, exercise tips and trackers and even simulated personal trainers. There are also apps available for women’s health, including pregnancy trackers that provide timely alerts and information for the different stages of a baby’s growth. 

Health and wellness apps receive millions of downloads, and they are expected to increase in number and popularity. 

3. A New Age in Doctor-Patient Communication

Smartphones have brought a new era of communication, and mobile apps dramatically increase the number of potential communication channels that users have available at their fingertips. New medical mobile apps allow doctors to communicate with their patients in multiple ways. There are many apps on the market that let patients message their doctors, review test results and schedule appointments – all in secure privacy. MedXCom is a mobile application that facilitates private communication between doctors and patients. This app also has several medical-specific features such as an appointment scheduler and a patient referral system.