Healthcare: There’s an App for That

Keeping up to date with technology can be downright exhausting. Data released in 2014 shows Android users have 1.3 million apps to choose from, while Apple users came in a close second at 1.2 million apps available. These numbers breathe life into the popular phrase, “there’s and app for that,” and are also showing that every facet of a person’s daily life is touchable by technology.

Working Hard-3Healthcare is no stranger to the convenience of mobile applications. Apps have shown to drastically reduce the number of hospital readmissions, while encouraging patients to take a more active role in their healthcare. When it comes to the upwards of 97,000 mobile healthcare (mHealth) apps available in the marketplace, tracking information such as blood pressure, stress levels and fitness routines have become as simple as a touch to the screen of your smartphone.

While integrative medicine practitioners rely on health signs derived from a patient’s daily routines and habits, getting a client to comprehensively track their health can be easier said than done.  Here are a few mHealth apps that can make your job easier and encourage a new approach to patient engagement.

Lose It!
This app is a way for physicians to make sure patients have reliable guidance on fitness and diet plans, even beyond the office. Lose It! helps patients identify health goals and develop plans that work for their lifestyle. A robust and comprehensive app, Lose It! tracks a wide range of factors such as overall health, nutrition and body measurements. It also syncs with other devices including Fitbit One, Flex and Nike Fuel Band.  Icing on the cake? This app even goes as far as to generate reports, which can be later used by the care provider.
Available for: iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, Kindle, Nook
Cost: Free-$227.40/year

3D4 Medical
This suite of apps can not only offer a more engaging way to provide care, it also works to educate patients. Providing an animated view of the human body, 3D4 Medical apps give patients a deeper look at the body through the use of 3D imaging. The suite features dedicated apps for patient education, fitness and health and body systems.
Available for: iPhone, iPad, Mac
Cost: Free-$19.99

Created by WebMD, a trusted healthcare resource for more than 3 million physicians, this app addresses the common problem of finding reliable research and works to organize and distribute massive amounts of information that can be referenced through clinical care.  Providing research across more than 30 different specialties, including integrative health, Medscape is a great tool to help providers access quick information on vitamins and supplements, thousands of clinical references as well as an extensive medical directory of physicians.
Available for: iPhone, iPad, Android, Kindle Fire
Cost: Free

Electronic Prevention Services Selector, also known as ePSS, is an app developed by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). Targeting preventative care practitioners, the platform is designed to help providers identify clinical preventative services that are appropriate for their patients through current, evidence-based recommendations from the U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF). Key points of functionality include full mobility without the need for wireless or internet connectivity, print friendly formatting and the ability to email patients specific and customizeable recommendations.
Available for: Android, Blackberry, iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch, Mac
Cost: Free

Do you think mHealth has a place in your practice? Comment below to share your thoughts and experiences.