Mobile health continues to expand, with SNS Research estimating mHealth’s market at over 20 billion dollars a year. While many apps target patients, healthcare providers can also use them to improve their practice. With around 100,000 applications in major stores, purposes range from screening to drug identification, education, and more. Here are some of the most noteworthy 2017 mobile healthcare apps.
1. DynaMed Plus
This recent app from DynaMed includes expanded graphics, images, and specialty content, along with clearer recommendations and semantic search. As iMedicalApps notes, DynaMed Plus is competing with the standard point-of-care reference, UpToDate. For physicians, this translates into a friendlier search window with predictive results, expansive treatment summaries, convenient hyperlinks to PubMed, and Micromedex drug information. Altogether, this evidence-based app is an essential tool for answering your own and patients’ questions on a daily basis.
2. CareKit Apps
As The Verge reports, Apple’s open software platform, CareKit, includes four modules for health management apps: patient care, symptom measurement, treatment impacts, and communication with providers. CareKit apps enable providers to remotely monitor activity, weight, diet, symptoms, and progress. Examples include progress-tracking apps like Start and more specific apps like the diabetes-monitoring One Drop. Among 2017 apps, CareKit options still have to demonstrate quality and privacy control, though information is already anonymized.
Epocrates is the top drug information app for point of care support. According to iMedicalApps, its latest iteration includes an extensive drug database with information on dosing, interactions, adverse effects, and pharmokinetics – all of which is searchable by generic name, brand name, or conditions. A helpful pill identifier and multiple clinical calculators round out this multipurpose app. The paid, Plus version adds clinical treatment guidelines, a disease database, an ICD-10 code lookup, and an alternative medication database. Although Epocrates’ price is relatively steep, its many features make this app a useful and essential tool for many healthcare providers.
4. GoodRx for Doctors
While GoodRx helps patients find the lowest prescription prices, the medical professional version adds a comprehensive drug guide. Unlike Epocrates, GoodRx for Doctors also incorporates professionals’ experiences and charts on potential benefits. At the same time, each drug or treatment profile provides a guide to the best available prices and discounts. As pointed out in the iMedicalApps review, GoodRx for Doctors thus helps healthcare providers keep up with the latest medications and treatments and quickly email or text the low prices to patients.
RxUniverse was launched last year by Mount Sinai Health System of New York as an app management platform. It integrates digital health tools into medical practice through the evaluation of 2017 apps in terms of their evidence-based benefits. Accordingly, RxUniverse features a curated list of apps alongside tailored educational content, all of which directly interfaces with the patient’s electronic health file. Perhaps most importantly, RxUniverse allows healthcare providers to directly prescribe curated apps through a link sent to patient’s digital devices.
With these tools on hand, you can get the New Year off to a good start. Although not all apps are free to use, many are, and many more are cost-effective. Options like RxUniverse, in particular, provide a means to adapt to the changing landscape of modern healthcare and even the growing range of 2017 apps. Choose carefully, and you can enhance patient engagement and your practice all in one app.
*Please note that this blog does not imply endorsement by Elliot Health System of specific physician app technology choices.
In addition to apps, it’s crucial to join and interact in relevant physician forums to keep up with the latest medical practice trends. Check out our Physician Forum Guide to learn more.
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