Mobile medical apps will see an increasing number of users with the state of healthcare reform in the US and the continued innovation in the technology sector. Mobile medical apps cover a wide range of functions: from MyFitnessPal fitness tracking to heart rate monitors to taking the frustration out of calling your doctor’s office. It’s no wonder that people are taking to their devices to manage their health.
The Forces at Work
The global market for mobile medical apps is predicted to reach $14 billion by 2020. The following market forces are driving this adoption:
- Rising adoption of smartphones and tablets in the healthcare sector
Availability of advanced networks & connectivity solutions
Increasing demand for mobile medical apps among physicians
Growing awareness about chronic disease management
Continuous rise in the number of care facilities
Use of medical apps for remote patient health monitoring
Patients are on board. “I have patients asking me all the time about health-related apps,” said Dr. Mike Sevilla, a family physician who belongs to a six-physician group practice in Salem, Ohio from an interview with Modern Healthcare.“It's really a great way for me to talk to my patients and make them accountable” for managing their own health.
So, Which are the best?
Experts say the key to success in using mobile medical apps is not the technology itself, but making it part of a well-designed, coordinated-care process.
The best medical apps, are the ones that integrate with, and enhance, coordinated-care processes.
The Best Mobile Medical Apps Have These Qualities:
- Workflow Integration
Simple, Easy User Experience
“As user trust continues to grow for these apps, collaborations that bring together activity tracking, period tracking, weight and diet tracking will merge, with powerful overall health results," a 2016 PWC study states. "More than ever, doctors will need to connect in with the app ecosystem or be left behind.”
PWC also predicts more connection between mobile health and the U.S. healthcare system will also shift into a new digital era for healthcare.
“Just as retailers' move online created new roles for companies that could help with mobile payment, app creation and digital advertising, healthcare’s shift into the palms of consumers’ hands will set off an explosion of new industry needs,” global health consultant Kelly Barnes explained to MobileStrategies360.com.
“Organizations will need help managing utilization, connecting fragmented healthcare providers and overseeing data. Connected tools will create fresh links to industries that rarely interact with healthcare such as retail, financial services and hospitality—and generate opportunities to plug in.”
Where do you stand?
Think about the next five years managing your practice. Digital integration is key to remaining afloat in this transformative time in healthcare.