April 10 2015 – ROBERT FIUMARA
Mobile applications that help users manage their lives have been popular for quite some time. Now, the medical industry is getting in on the fun with apps that can help users stay fit and healthy and keep track of their health as well as applications that make medical provider jobs easier.
Popular fitness trackers, like Fitbit, have recently been introduced to the market. These trackers help user stay motivated to working out regularly by establishing goals and sending users reminders that it might be time to get up and move! When linked with mobile technology, Fitbit and other trackers, can become a powerful motivator to users and a helpful tool to medical providers. Many users have written to Fitbit expressing their surprise at seeing their resting heart rate change for the better after they quit smoking. Results like this show that users of mobile health devices are becoming more motivated to adopt healthier habits when using these devices.
Other mobile applications are helping users manage their health issues. Glucose Buddy keeps track of glucose numbers, carbohydrate intake, insulin dosages, and fitness levels; helping those who have Diabetes manage their disease. Applications like LoseIt! hopes to help users stick to their diet and exercise plan by tracking their activity level and showing them their weight loss results with graphs and calorie counters. Apps that are personalized and allow users to set their own goals seem to be much more popular than generic applications that offer little to no customization features.
Applications that actually help nurses and doctors become more productive are flooding the marketplace. Applications that keep nurses more informed of patient requests, status of lab results, and discharge orders are in high demand for medical professionals. A new application, Hospital RN, replaces pagers and phones with an iPhone notification that helps nurses access patient records. Home health care nurses are also able to access applications that make it easier for them to upload notes, pictures, or videos to a patient’s medical record. Predictions abound that in the future, doctor’s and patients will feature mobile applications as a key component to healthcare. In fact, industry experts predict that the use of mobile applications will increase by 25% in the next few years as demand increases.
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