Healthcare app development
Healthcare App Development by Vinsol

How can a smartphone app possibly help medical practitioners, when their goal is to analyze the symptoms and recommend suitable treatment?

Per my understanding until now, I was not flexible with the idea of how a healthcare app can benefit doctors and other healthcare professionals to treat patients. I thought till now, that the medical sector should have been left untouched with the furtherance of what we call ‘programming, software, lines of codes, etc.’ After all, I believed that a physician’s practice should be old school.

Thoughts like, ‘what if a mobile app does not work one day and the doctor is unable to treat a patient without it’ always hindered my opinion about combining software and medicine.

In medical terms, what I feel is called a bit of paranoia. Perhaps it’s time for me to drop my delusions and look at what is happening around me – the progress in healthcare app development.

I know for sure that an experienced doctor is way too smarter than me, at least in his or her own profession of treating others with the help of mobile apps. They absolutely know what they are doing. 

Mobile apps for healthcare industry, or mHealth, is a boon for a staggering number of healthcare professionals, including doctors, dentists, phlebotomists, nurses, radiologists, physiotherapists and almost every person associated with the wellness of others. In practical terms, a medical reference app with clinical data on medicines, symptoms, diagnostics, diseases and patient management is one of the best things that we have achieved for our smartphones. 

Let’s see some actual scenarios that explain –

The benefits of healthcare apps and how healthcare IT solutions have been changing our lives:

1. Retention of Medical Data

Hospitals, nurses and patients can instantly retrieve medical data (patient’s health condition update, prescriptions, reports, etc.) that is not only useful for Outpatient Department (OPD) treatments but also helps medical professionals to quickly access a patient’s medical history, in order to make swift and appropriate decisions in emergency cases.

This type of application helps doctors and patients to update medical history and keep all the records in one place.

Example apps: HealthVault, Medical Records App

2. Hospital Management

Hospital management systems and healthcare mobility solutions for enterprises are on the rise, using high-tech cloud systems. With seamless sharing of resources between different teams in a medical facility (front desk, nurses, doctors, emergency response teams, paramedics, premises management, etc.), the concept of interoperability with cloud tech is picking up velocity among traditional healthcare setups, especially in the developing nations.

Example: HospiLogix, MediXcel EMR

3. Patient Engagement & Remote Healthcare

How healthcare apps are beneficial for patients

For faraway places, the availability of Patient Engagement and Remote Healthcare portals is a boon in a number of ways, such as :

  • accessing healthcare information from anywhere
  • interacting with healthcare providers
  • scheduling appointments
  • reading educational materials
  • messaging the attending doctor securely
  • ordering prescription refills
  • making payments, and a lot of other features.

Example: Virtual Practice®

4. Home sample collection and reports online

Now, this one is a ‘hero’ idea and something I endorse very much.

If done with care, I think the aggregator model of collecting blood and other samples from home and then delivering them to a pathology lab of your choice is a lifesaver. 

Home sample collection is not a new concept. But an app which connects diagnostics labs, motorbike phlebotomists, and patients are.

Trending in some countries, all you have to do is to pick up suitable date & time, select a laboratory/price of the test, and then pay up. A phlebotomist would arrive with his/her equipment at your doorsteps, collect the sample from you and a couple of other patients nearby, and then finally deliver the specimens to their destination labs. The entire process is trackable, affordable, extremely convenient, and makes the lab reports available to view & download within a mobile application itself.

Brownie point: They often retain diagnostic reports for a very long time, which can be accessed on the same mobile app anytime you want.

Example: 1mg.com and its app

5. Medicine & medical equipment delivery

Similar to ‘sample collection on wheels’, the aggregator model of connecting pharmacies, medical equipment dealers, patients, and delivery guys is beneficial for patients as well as healthcare professionals.

Online pharmacies have given birth to a competitive marketplace that not only reduces the price of prescription medicines but is also able to list generics medicines – a much cheaper alternative to branded medicines that most of us do not know. 

Example: 1mg.com and its app

6. Paramedics 

From locating the nearest Automated External Defibrillators to an extensive medical database, some mobile apps are proving to be quite advantageous for EMS providers in the field. By the touch of a button, paramedics are able to access basic life support guidelines, first aid & CPR protocols instantly on their smartphones.

The paramedics are also equipped with life-saving tools like an app-based personal interpreter, event logger, dopamine drop rate calculator, and emergency services radio frequencies, etc.

Example apps: MedScape, OmniMedix Medical Calculator

7. Insurance and claims processing

For a better customer experience and seamless claim processing, the overall insurance process is significantly improved by the advancements in mobile app development. With the advent of aggregators and marketplaces for policies, an average consumer is able to keep all types of insurances in one place, i.e., a single app that maintains all your insurance and claims records with live tracking.

Example: Covered California, GoCompare (UK)

8. Healthcare and fitness apps

Fitness apps are turning out to be an excellent healthcare companion for our generation. Combined with wearable devices, these apps provide step-by-step workout instructions and customized routines along with tracking your daily activities. Many top-notch brands are offering all-in-one fitness & nutrition apps that include functionalities like tailor-made diet plans, calorie-count reminders, tips, active minutes a day, and a variety of useful recommendations.

Example: 8fit

9. Educational apps for doctors and patients 

The market of mHealth app development has already crossed $100 Billion and the medical reference apps enjoy their own sizeable share in this phenomenal industry. An educational app helps the doctors to become a better professional in many ways, such as:

  • Providing medical practitioners with accurate information instantly, reducing the need for going through heavy textbooks for knowledge.
  • Managing patient visit times effectively and providing a high standard of treatment.
  • Avoiding mix-ups by minimizing chunks of patient files and keeping all the documents in an easy-to-understand mobile/web app, i.e., electronic format.

The patents are also benefited through medical news, expert opinions, comprehensive drug & disease information, and various other resources to stay healthy.

Example: Medscape

10. Medical apps serving a specific purpose

The emergence of mobile technologies in the healthcare sector has also opened up the doors for newer innovations which were unrealistic a decade ago. Mobile apps to serve a definite function to assist patients and doctors are increasingly becoming popular these days.

An illustration would be a mobile app (like StrivePD) that makes it easy to manage a condition. Another example would be a mobile app designed for emergency room physicians (e.g. PEPID) to make swift decisions and assist patients as quickly as possible.

Example: StrivePD for Parkinson’s Disease

Now, here’s what I think is ‘overdoing’, i.e., using a mobile app where it should not be used.

I mean, what if a doctor misdiagnoses a remotely located patient using an app. Does it ever occur to you that the medical practice should be free of any software assistance, considering too much reliance on web & mobile apps may sidetrack the ‘skill set’ that must be nourished by hands – a vital factor to become a doctor?

To be honest, I am not a fan of doctor consultations online. However, the same technology often comes to the rescue of many, especially in scenarios where a doctor can’t be located nearby. Reliability on apps alone for emergency measures does not seem to be a fair idea to me. But like I said, only a doctor would know (which I am not) about the right steps to save a life.

Instead of visiting a doctor, diagnosing & treating yourself with the help of self-gathered information from clinical reference apps is absolutely a bad idea.

Nevertheless, a few adverse points are easily overshadowed by the colossal capabilities that the mobile application industry has in store for the medical sector. 

If you have an idea in mind to unveil your next-gen healthcare app, then finding an experienced team of developers in this domain can expedite the process of turning your idea into a reality.

Vinsol, is a prominent web and mobile application development agency, listed among the top app developers in San Francisco. For expert advice, you are welcome to reach out and explore the prospects of your upcoming project with us.

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