Health apps have come a long way since their inception just a few short years ago. Now, you can find a health app to assist in monitoring the most common medical conditions related to physical and mental health. Move over thermometers and stethoscopes. In addition to the basics any person should have at home to monitor their health, the health app has become a valuable tool.
Why are Health Apps So Helpful
Now, popular health websites like WebMD or Mind Diagnostics aren’t the only resources patients can use to get help. Apps have become a welcome augmentation to the wealth of valuable online resources.
Health apps are convenient options for many patients and physicians alike for many reasons. Apps like these shorten the time between initial visit, diagnosis, and treatment compared to traditional in-person means of condition monitoring. They also involve less logistical use since using technology like this cuts down on in-office visits that require time, money, and material.
Health apps also make the entire process of providing care less expensive because many routine measures such as monitoring vitals or other body systems are automated. In addition to saving money, these apps save time for busy patients and providers. They are especially useful for patients struggling to balance full-time jobs and family obligations. People who may likely push off in-person care may find health apps an attractive supplement.
Besides providing added convenience, healthcare apps give access to underserved populations that don’t receive the care they need. Economically disadvantaged people may be able to access care for conditions by using these apps to take with them wherever they go.
The elderly may not have the means of transportation to get to the doctor as often as they need. Health apps help reduce the number of visits the elderly need to make to continue their care. Also, those living in rural areas may struggle with the same issues regarding physical care access. Health apps can go a long way to address at least a portion of the problem.
The Difference between Wellness and Health Apps
Thousands upon thousands of health and wellness apps have flooded the market, giving users an overwhelming number of options. However, a distinct difference lies between a health app and a wellness app. Wellness apps are those used to track your overall well-being, both physical and mental. Examples of wellness apps include fitness monitors, meal planners, exercise on-the-go apps, water consumption trackers, etc.
Health apps are more specialized than wellness apps. Health apps are FDA-certified programs that monitor or provide services directly related to your physical or mental health needs. Most of these apps relay vital medical data from patient to provider, provider to provider, or provider to patient. Some apps require an extra device that attaches to a patient’s smartphone, while others are stand-alone apps that use some built-in component of the phone to monitor a patient or provide a medical service.
Popular Uses for Health Apps
Health apps have exploded in variety and availability in recent years, especially given the recently increased need for remote care. Here are some popular uses of different health apps currently available to the healthcare community and their patients:
Automated or manual entry of physical or mental symptoms they’re experiencing. These symptoms records can be transmitted to the provider or kept for the patient as a simple log to monitor their health.
Providers can speed up the rate at which they share images with each other or patients, giving them the ability to diagnose and treat their patients more quickly. These apps are helpful for images in radiology, nuclear medicine, radiation oncology, cardiac imaging, and more.
With the help of a separate device that hooks to a smartphone, a patient can administer their electrocardiogram to monitor their heart health, then send the results to their provider.
Diabetes health apps have given countless patients newfound freedom as they can monitor their glucose levels in real-time and head off any emergencies before they happen.
Providers who aren’t specialists in eye care can use ophthalmology apps to detect conditions such as glaucoma or retinal detachment and refer a patient to a specialist.
Heart Rate Monitoring
These are popular apps that monitor the heart rate by using a smartphone camera to detect a pulse underneath the skin.
Marie Miguel Biography
Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health-
related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health
resource with Mind-Diagnostics.org. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated
with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.