If you’re like 75 percent of Americans, you have a smartphone. You are probably an app user and keep in touch with friends, check the weather or your bank balance, and maybe even watch the latest hit on Netflix. If you wear a fitness tracking device, you have an app linked to it to monitor your steps, heart rate and more.
Technological improvement has made healthcare apps a reality. Apps have transformed the healthcare industry, benefiting both providers and patients. Currently, more than 318,000 healthcare apps on the market are helping to aid communication between patients and providers, reduce costs and increase the efficiency of delivering patient care.
Doctors can hold video conferences with their patients or colleagues across the globe on tablets and smartphones. They can access drug information, EHRs, research and studies instantly because the information is available on their personal devices. There are apps that show X-rays and CT scans, help with stress management, monitor insulin levels, remind you to take your medication and even detect cancerous tumors.
Healthcare apps can do some amazing things.
Apps to help patients stay in control of their healthcare
When you’re sick, the last thing you want to do is get dressed, go to the doctor’s office and wait in a room with a number of other sick people. Thanks to some innovative apps, you may be able to avoid that scenario and still get the treatment you need. Others let you monitor your illness.
- Medici – Patients can text a doctor, describe their symptoms, send pictures if needed (of a rash, cut, burn, etc.) and possibly cut out unnecessary doctor visits, all while providing info on an app that is HIPAA compliant.
- ZocDoc – There’s nothing worse than needing to see a doctor and being told you have to wait three months for an appointment. This app helps you instantly schedule an appointment to see a doctor within 24 hours.
- Talkspace – This is online therapy via messaging with a psychologist. You pay a weekly subscription fee, which is usually less expensive than insurance co-pays and in-person visits, and a therapist is specifically matched to help you deal with your issues.
- PediaQ – The only thing worse than going to the doctor when you’re sick is having to take your infant or child to the doctor when he or she is sick. With PediaQ, you contact a nurse practitioner who makes house calls for urgent pediatric care.
- Sugar Sense – Diabetics can record their sugar levels throughout the day with this app that also gives an estimate of your HbA1C levels.
- Pill Pack – The app user receives prescriptions by mail, which is not new. However, the packaging is.
Pills come in date- and time-stamped individual packets in a dispenser so that you can take them in the proper order.
- Epocrates – The number-one medical reference app among U.S. physicians, it details clinical practice guidelines and lists medical billing codes and drug information.
- Patient Keeper – Through this Computerized Patient Order Entry (CPOE) app, a physician can order labs, radiology services, medications and other services or procedures for patients. A handy “favorite” feature allows the doctor to mark certain often-used procedures and medications to save time.
- AmWell – Think of this as a virtual waiting room, allowing doctors and patients to connect remotely. Doctors can e-prescribe and accept patient payments in one app.
- Medigram – An easy, secure way for the app user to go paperless, this app provides image sharing of scans and lab or test results.
Apps to help medical assistants or those in a medical assistant (MA) program
A medical assistant is critically important to the smooth operation of a doctor’s office, hospital or medical clinic, and his or her duties are split between administrative and clinical responsibilities. Many healthcare apps are available to help the beginning medical assistant or MA program student.
- Epocrates – The number-one medical reference app among U.S. physicians and medical workers, it details clinical practice guidelines and lists medical billing codes and drug information.
- Nursing Central – This app allows frontline medical personnel, such as medical assistants and nurses, do their jobs more efficiently. It’s not inexpensive, but it provides a database filled with drug information, a medical terminology dictionary and tools that assist in interpreting test results.
- Medscape – This handy reference guide features drug names and drug interference information, 129 medical calculators and additional resources for patient care.
- Medical Assisting Pocket Guide – Ideal for newbies and students, it offers step-by-step procedural guides, help with building communications and clinical skills, and information on legal issues.
- CMA Test Prep – This gives students in medical assistance programs a preview of what taking the CMA (Certified Medical Assistant) exam will be like and provides more than 2,000 multiple choice questions.
- Visual Anatomy – An interactive reference tool, Visual Anatomy allows the app user to view high-resolution images that show each body part, with 3D models of the organs.
Smartphone apps to help doctors treat patients – at home and on a global scale
Telehealth is making medical care more convenient, preventive and less expensive. It helps physicians make better use of their time and have all the information they need (medical history, drug info, codes, anatomy charts, etc.) with them at all times. For doctors in third-world countries who don’t have the resources to treat all the patients who may need them, smartphone apps and mobile technology are making quality healthcare possible. In China, for example, more than 100 million people suffer from rheumatic disorders, yet there are only 5,000 doctors to treat them. An app developed by Smart System Disease Management (SSDM) lets patients connect with physicians via online consultations that are far less costly than traveling to a doctor for an in-person consultation.
More help needed in healthcare industry
The future is now in terms of medical technology and mobile healthcare apps. Medical assistant jobs are in demand. With new technological advancements, more technology-savvy individuals are needed to use them.
MTI College prepares students for a career in medical assistance in less than a year with comprehensive training in administrative, clinical and laboratory procedures. Additionally, a required 160-hour off-campus externship provides hands-on experience in a professional healthcare facility setting. For those more interested in technology, MTI College offers a medical billing and coding program that focuses on computer skills and electronic health records (EHR).
Contact MTI College today to begin your MA program.