Smartphones are becoming a way of daily lifestyle. They are slowly taking over a lot of activities. There is an application for everything; right from managing the household expenses to managing one’s weight. Similarly, the healthcare industry is also aided by a lot of applications. There are apps which help in getting an appointment or aid in finding the physician in our area. Moreover, there are health related apps as well which help in keeping our calories, blood sugar and so on in control. It would be advisable for physicians to get themselves registered with these various apps so that their names appear when a search is conducted through these healthcare apps.
Mobile applications provide many benefits to the healthcare professionals. The most significant one being increased access to point of care tools which supports better decision making and improves patient outcome. However, some physicians are reluctant in using these apps. Fact of the matter is despite the benefits, better standards and validation practices, these apps need to be established to ensure proper use and its integration in to medical practice. With increased standardization processes the barrier for entry in this segment will be raised improving the quality of apps.
Need for mobile devices at point of care
One of the major advantages of having mobile devices is better communication and also works as a source of information. Physicians need access to varied information at the point of care like:
- Communication via voice calling, video calling, texting or E – Mail
- Check records online on hospital information systems, electronic health records, electronic medical records and so on
- Check for information online via e-textbooks, medical literature etc.
- Clinical applications like medical calculators
A study was carried out to understand the purpose that physicians were using mobile devices. It was found that 48% of the phone time was utilized on searching, of which professional apps consumed 38%. Furthermore, physicians were found spending an average of three hours per week watching videos for professional purposes. 85% physicians reportedly have used the mobile device at least once a day for clinical purposes.
Expectation of physicians from apps
The physician would want certain things from these apps like:
- Staying abreast with the current: they would want an app which gives updated information. Healthcare is a dynamic industry where medical treatments and ailments are continuously changing so it is essential that apps provide the most latest information
- Easy to use: the apps should be easy to use and have user friendly interfaces so that physicians can easily get the desired information
- Patient communication: the apps should facilitate communication between the physician and the patients.
Thus physicians are seen to embrace smartphones and mobile apps which are helping them get more exposure in turn aiding their profession grow. These apps have made physicians and patients and more approachable to each other. What other aspects of healthcare apps would be beneficial for the physician according to you? Please write in and share your thoughts!!