There are numerous apps for different purposes. Right from beauty apps to educational apps, the app market is beaming with them. There are in total 8.93 million apps in the world(RiskIQ), making it difficult for all of us to even imagine a world without them. A person, on average, uses nine mobile apps daily and thirty apps per month. It is no surprise that even apps revolving around health and care are available on the market. Medical apps have been with us for a long though their importance became evident during the pandemic.MFine is a medical app that gained immense popularity after the covid pandemic outrage.Gone are the days when medical apps translated into calorie calculators and fitness apps. Now there are medical apps that help doctors diagnose diseases and keep up with emerging trends and drugs. PEPID is such an app that helps physicians make diagnoses.
What are medical apps?
A medical app is software developed to provide services covered under the umbrella of the Medical domain. These services include Appointment Booking, home medical monitoring systems, medical databases for healthcare professionals. Medical apps regarding medical care, health care, medical education, training, research, simulator are also available.
According to Research2guidance, the top ten mobile health apps account for up to four million free downloads and 300,000 paid downloads per day.
Let us now see the various types of medical apps that exist today.
What are the various types of medical apps?
- Medical apps that gather and store patients’ data.
- Medical apps that provide people with tips on a healthy lifestyle.
- Medical apps that track our sports activity.
- Medical apps that govern treatment procedures and the intake of medication.
- Medical apps that cater to a specific set of diseases.
- Medical apps, owned by a particular hospital, for staying in touch with its patients.
Looking at the list given above, it can be inferred from it that there are broadly two categories of medical apps that are
- Medical apps that provide Solutions Across the Patient Pathway.
- Medical apps that strengthen healthcare systems.
Key features of medical apps
The following features are included in medical apps made for patients
- Easy registration and login
- Doctor profile lookup
- Appointment scheduling
- Reminders and notifications
- Doctor-patient communication through video conferencing
- Symptom checker and in-app chats
- Integration with medical devices
- Access to medical records
- Prescription tracking
- Patient Community
- Health Education
The following features are included in medical apps made for doctors
- EHR/EMR integration
How the global pandemic propelled medical apps to success
The pandemic took everyone by surprise. There was a sense of fear to even step out of the house making it difficult for people to reach out to doctors for reasons other than medical emergencies. A survey done by Sage Growth Partners and Black Book Market Research showed that since the inception of the pandemic, a mere 43% of people report feeling comfortable visiting a doctor’s office, hospital, or urgent care environment. It was the time when medical apps came into play. It enabled the patients to get in touch with a doctor online.
Some medical apps were designed recently to keep track of the outbreak, strengthening people’s safety. They made it easier for people to know about which areas were marked as RedZone areas and the nearest covid centers to their homes. Patients enjoyed apps like Appointment scheduling, Fitness & Wellness, Mental health, etc. Medical professionals had apps for medical resources and education, remote diagnosing, remote monitoring, Communication, etc.
Clinical assistance apps with EMR and EHR access, Appointment and scheduling, Billing, Inventory management came to the rescue of medical institutions.
This was just a glimpse into how medical apps became a boon to humanity. A complete list of how medical apps help people is provided below.
Benefits of medical apps
Many patients’ data is observed using Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence. This, in turn, increases doctors’ efficiency and enhances patients’ experience. Medical apps employing machine learning can detect diseases early, providing faster treatment. Medical apps have made it easier for doctors to monitor their patients’ health as some medical apps can correctly see ailments, make observations, and produce results instantly. Remote access to X-rays and the medical prescription was made possible. It made handling Covid and ordinary cases easier.
Quick dissemination of Knowledge
Medical practitioners are always learning, unlearning, and discovering new things. They have to read many books and research papers to acquaint themselves with emerging trends, drugs, and diseases. Medical apps have made it easier for doctors to share vital information. They can consult each other even in operation theatres, courtesy of medical apps. Imagine needing to know something while performing surgery on a patient. You can’t refer to a book at that moment. All you need to do is use a medical app to get in touch with another doctor and seek his advice. Medical apps also help doctors share information with everyone who uses them without putting anyone at risk of possible virus exposure.
Easier to reach out
Hospitals' medical apps made their patients receive their results and diagnosis quicker. Patients weren’t required to travel to hospitals to collect their reports; thus, stopping Covid-19 unnecessarily exposure. Receiving results and scheduling an appointment was child's play. Administrative tasks finished quickly, courtesy of medical apps, making it possible to focus on patients better. Medical apps made social distancing possible as patients didn’t have to wait in queues; they either consulted doctors online or came at their specified time. No-show-ups also declined since people felt safer getting in touch with doctors without stepping out. It saved doctors a vast amount of time, and they could focus on patients who needed their help more. Doctors just had to view their profiles and cases to know which ones needed more attention.
Everyone has developed an interest in keeping themselves fit amidst this pandemic. Medical apps dedicated to this cause have always been there and have gained momentum now. It is more desirable to stay at home and exercise than to go to the gym and accidentally come into contact with the virus. According to IMS Institute, Apple’s iTunes app store harbors more than 43,000 fitness and health apps. Medical apps have become more than just a calorie calculator, appointment scheduler, and reminder.
Being isolated does take a toll on one’s mental health, and it was no surprise when many people found themselves grappling with it. Medical apps provided them a means to reach out to others who dealt with the same or professionals who delivered help to their doorstep amidst the lockdowns. Such patients were monitored remotely using medical apps. These apps encouraged people to get treatment for mental illness, thus removing the stigma associated with mental health and disease.
Medical apps helped institutes handle many patients by scheduling appointments and billing. It resulted in less crowding of hospitals by patients waiting in a queue to schedule appointments. Medical apps helped manage inventory as well.
Medical apps helped them do administrative tasks efficiently. Not only this, but medical apps can also act as assistants who examine our health and advise us regarding progressions if something amiss is found. They did the same during the trying times of the pandemic and also gave improved outcomes when combined with data analytics. HIMSS Analytics came across that 93% of physicians use mobile technologies to carry out their daily tasks while 88% use them to treat patients; in a survey conducted by them.
Numerous wearable devices are now available in the market. These wearables help end-users (not limited to patients) track and manage health data without traveling to a hospital or medical clinic. Fitbit, Apple, Samsung, Garmin, and many others have rolled out wearable devices to monitor the health, diet, sleep, and well-being of end-users. It has made them more aware and conscious of their well-being.
A ray of hope for rural areas
It is a well-known fact that it is hard to find doctors in rural areas who are competent enough to handle severe cases efficiently. Medical apps can help them by connecting them with doctors online for medical consultations. Even though rural areas are out of the loop, they now enjoy a stable internet connection which is needed to operate medical apps. This means that they don’t have to spend money on traveling, saving them money that they could now use to buy medications.
As seen, medical apps come with numerous benefits that are not only for professionals but also for patients. It is a rare sight now that people commute to hospitals for check-ups. They now prefer medical apps to seek help. All these changes in preferences occurred due to the pandemic. Even though the global pandemic will bid us goodbye in a few years, medical apps are here to stay forever. It is so as the ease provided by medical apps has made them find a way to everyone’s heart. As humans are known to seek ways to minimize their tasks, it is a sure thing that they won’t let go of medical apps ever. If you are interested in obtaining a medical app for your hospital, feel free to contact AppsRhino. They are known to have made numerous apps for varied purposes.