Mobile apps dramatically impact modern healthcare. The smart phone’s ability to instantly access medical diagnostics and patient records is saving lives and improving healthcare outcomes.
Some of us have been around long enough to remember when family physicians actually visited their patients in their homes. Day or night, the doctor would take the call and travel to the sick patient, black bag in hand and a stethoscope loosely draped around his neck. Today, that iconic black bag is incongruous to today’s modern medical practice. Now, the healing arts is practiced in massive complexes crammed with every description of imposing diagnostic equipment and hundreds of scrubs-clad personnel scurrying about with a sense of urgency and purpose.
The proverbial black bag has been replaced by a mobile device that is able to unleash resources that was unimaginable only a few years ago. More than simply a communications tool, medical apps are a lifeline connecting practitioners with crucial information that is saving lives. Doctors and staff are employing the apps to save time where even seconds count. Vital records can be accessed in seconds where it once might have taken hours, or even days.
Patients are using medical apps as well to better manage their own health care. Medical app developer Well Doc has an app that is able to tell the patient his real time blood sugar readings and recommends what foods to ingest at any given time to better manage diabetes. So successful has this proven to be that Happtique has introduced a medical app store that allows physicians to prescribe medical apps to their patients.
To date, thousands of apps have been developed to accomplish tasks ranging from instantaneously tracking a patient’s vitals to actually making medical diagnostics. The biggest hurdle to integrating more medical apps to the profession is not lack of ideas or need, but burgeoning federal regulations. The FDA, along with other federal agencies, are just releasing guidelines pertaining to the regulation of medical apps. That’s a sure sign that the medical app has arrived.