How Mobile Apps Can Disrupt Healthcare System?


Presently, almost everyone possesses a smartphone and there is an app for pretty much everything. Just like apps have revolutionized the way we do things, its impact can also be seen on healthcare technology. They have transformed the way clinical practice takes place and have therefore, become a very thing in health care settings. A large number of apps are available to healthcare professionals these days, which assist with plenty of tasks – time management, information management, maintenance and access to health records, consulting, communications, education, etc. This has also led to more rapid software development pertaining to the healthcare domain.

Access to Healthcare, Affordability, and Quality of healthcare are some of the most common problems faced by patients these days. Mobile devices and apps are known to offer several benefits to healthcare systems, of which access to point-of-care tools is significant. This is large since they support better decision making and patient care. Such technologies can aid in lowering healthcare costs as they deliver care and connect patients to healthcare providers. Applications allow people and providers to have access to lab tests, medical records and reference materials and more.

A mobile application such as iWander is being used for patients who suffer from dementia or Alzheimer’s disease. It is making use of the phone’s GPS function to track the location of patients. If individuals happen to travel far away from their home or known locations, it notifies caretakers or the family people.

However, there is a certain amount of risk that show up with the use of apps in healthcare systems which make them reluctant to be used. Better standards and validation practices though can help in the integration of such tools into practice.

Here are a few ways in which mobile apps can transform the healthcare system in the upcoming days.

Improvement in Access to Care

In this digital era where technology makes it convenient to virtually access services, the need for patients and doctors to be in the same location is not there. Usually, patients that live in rural areas and suffer from chronic or communicable diseases find it difficult to have access to doctors and specialists who seem to be located in far away cities.

However, with the concept of video calling, patients in these rural areas can easily consult with doctors from far off places. Also, an added advantage is that frail or elderly patients need not travel for a checkup, which can be dangerous at times. So, virtual access to doctors via mobile apps can aid in easy accessibility of healthcare.

Better Patient Engagement

A number of aspects in healthcare do not encourage patient engagement. Such aspects are prevalent in the form of long lines, no transparency in cost and quality and complexity as well. As such, all of this is unnecessary as well. In this regard, apps could really function well. For example, an SMS could serve as a notification when your physician is running late for some reason.

Apps can also help curb complexity. An app for medication reminder would know the number of pills that you have taken in a day and remind you about taking them next. It could also be able to tell you when you are going low on pills and could ask you to pick up your prescription.

New Business Models

It is believed that the massive data generated from sensors and devices will result in the creation of new opportunities for the healthcare industry. At present, the healthcare services and models are not really suited to a system that has plenty of incoming patient data. Hence, then need to manage such vast amounts of patient data will result in companies that solely focus on data management. There is likely to be large call centers, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other similar professionals in healthcare who will monitor and manage such data.

Besides, digital health apps will also allow providers to manage and even coordinate the care of patients in environments that are complex. This will also help as governments and insurance companies often bundle payments and find ways to shift risks to providers.

Improvement in Patient Safety

With the help of mobile apps, patient care is all set to get safer as patients will have the tools to manage their own health. At present, after consultation with a doctor or leaving a hospital, patients get home having very little memory of what has been advised to them to take care of their health.

Now, imagine that an application could give you all the information that you need with regards to safety and recovery of health. You could then take care of the most urgent one or two tasks having nothing else to remember as the app would take care of the rest. As such, apps can help you in taking pills, monitoring side effects, etc. Therefore, they possess immense potential to improve safety of patients.

Reduction Of Fraud

Mobile apps have the ability to track people and transactions in both, space and time. Therefore, it

can assist in the reduction of fraud, which even drains as much as $60 billion annually from Medicare.

In the future, it is likely that mobile apps will be able to correlate data of claims with location and time data, in order to differentiate between genuine and fraudulent cases. For example, in a pharmacy, it could scan your Medicare card and conduct the purchase digitally.

A mobile app could help track that transaction easily and in an instant. Like this, a large number of such transactions could be identified and further investigated instantly, rather than having to wait for several months.

In future, almost all aspects of healthcare will be made digital. Such mobile apps will schedule appointments, inform you if the doctor is running late, assist with medications and even monitor side effects, etc. This will eventually not just aid in helping patients engage with healthcare in novice ways but also disrupt the healthcare system that is already in place.

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