With growing populations around the world, as well as a marked increase in the number of chronic illnesses (such as diabetes and heart disease) and other healthcare issues faced by citizens, the burden on each country’s government to cope with demand for medical services and preventative care keeps rising.
One way, however, that costs can be reduced while patient outcomes can be improved is through the use of technology. As big data gives governments and private organizations more and more information to track, analyze, compare and otherwise work with, it is becoming easier to develop methods to encourage people to look after their own health, as well as more cost-effective to deliver medical care and advice.
Apps downloaded to smartphones and tablets are one of the biggest advances we’re seeing in the healthcare sector. From those which can monitor insulin levels and heart rates, to those which can allow patients to speak with doctors from the comfort of home, there are plenty of great applications transforming healthcare. Read on for some you should know about today.
Harvard Health Info
When you take a look at some of the coolest new mobile apps that will transform healthcare in 2016, one that tops the list is Harvard Health Info. This free application has been created as part of a pilot project between masters in the medical and technical arenas, Harvard Medical School, IBM (the company’s IBM Watson platform is used), GenieMD, and Anthem Blue Cross.
The Harvard Health Info app provides numerous functions for users to help them stay engaged in their healthcare and gain access to useful medical support. For starters, the tech contains a symptoms checker, which people can use when they want to discover what may be wrong with them, and some suggestions on where to go for care. Being extendable to caregivers and numerous healthcare professionals, the app also makes it easier for others to coordinate care as needed.
Furthermore, the platform provides access to:
- Personal health records
- Medication assistance
- Details on urgent-care centers and nearby retail clinics
- Information on how to arrange a telemedicine visit or a nurse triage line
- Access to IBM Watson for healthcare-related questions
In addition, the tech integrates with the Apple HealthKit, which means that all data sent to Apple Health from devices and apps is received. This includes information on things such as temperature, blood pressure, weight, height, heart rate, and glucose level.
Doctor on Demand
If you’re a parent who struggles to find time to get to doctor’s appointments, an elderly patient who is less mobile and finds it tough to get to clinics, or someone who just wants to be able to enjoy speaking with a medical practitioner from the comfort of your home, consider downloading Doctor on Demand.
Available for both iOS and Android devices, and free to download, this app is used to arrange live video doctor appointments. These chats can include consultations, assessments, diagnoses, treatment plans, and prescriptions when necessary. Using Doctor on Demand you can be connected with a licensed professional at any time of the day or night, without insurance being a needed stipulation.
Consultations with physicians start at just $40, while mental health consultations with psychologists start from $50. New mothers can access lactation consultants too, for between $40 and $70, depending on the length of the appointment.
Healthcare practitioners can treat a wide variety of non-emergency medical issues via these video consultations, including allergies, back pain, respiratory infections, cold and flu symptoms, paediatric issues, sports injuries, heart burn and more. In addition, doctors can prescribe travel-related medication, and refill existing prescriptions. Doctor on Demand so far has over 1,400 licensed physicians, spread around all 50 U.S. states, signed up to the program.
Micromedex Drug Reference Essentials
If you’re concerned about taking medication properly or ensuring that a family member or friend does, check out the affordable Micromedex Drug Reference Essentials app. At just $2.99 per year (or free for registered Micromedex subscribers), the app provides on-the-go access to up-to-date, comprehensive drug information, and a simpler solution for medication management.
Download the Micromedex pharmaceutical reference app and you can gain access to recommendations on the usage of many different medicines and the proper drug dosage for each (including for both adult and paediatric dosages), as well as find out about how products should be taken, any possible adverse effects, and potential drug interactions.
The app has a comprehensive search engine too. You can search for information on more than 4,500 terms, and find out drug recommendations that can help with whatever ailment you or your loved one may be facing, including everything from fever to lice control. The program also includes information on things such as:
- Common trade names and the generic names of various medications
- How they are all supplied
- Black box warnings
- Details on whether drugs are FDA labeled or not