Technology has successfully invaded every aspect of our lives. All areas of human activity have been influenced in one way or another by technology. So it is with the health care sector. In fact, the latter has seen its share of digital revolution within many developed economies, and the use of mobile application software is one of the latest trends in this sector, which is fast becoming a key aspect of medical service delivery. Consequently, it is necessary to reflect on the impacts of this evolution, as well as on the perspectives.
Why mobile applications?
The digitization of the healthcare industry began many years ago. In fact, the various technology adoptions in this sector have been successful. Therefore, this is one of the reasons why the use of mobile apps in healthcare has been embraced by users, as well as medical providers. These applications have been introduced at a simply breathtaking pace. Therefore, some people wonder why there are more and more mobile applications in medicine. The truth is, the health care industry is quite large, and constant to grow. There is no limit to the amount of innovation the industry can use, and the players have understood this. As there are more problems to solve, and new ways to solve them, there will be an increasing number of innovative ideas, including mobile applications.
Another fundamental factor behind the proliferation of mobile apps within the healthcare industry is the change in the lifestyle of the average individual. The use of smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices is now widespread. Many people are increasingly accustomed to using mobile devices to perform most of their activities. Thus, the healthcare sector cannot stand on the sidelines of this revolution. Given that people can more easily access information, learn new things, interact, and even conduct transactions through their mobile devices, it’s only natural that this trend could include healthcare delivery. Thus, people who need medical care, and those who can provide it, are already accustomed to using mobile apps. So why not make it easier for them to interact?
The impacts of mobile applications within the healthcare sector
The use of mobile applications in healthcare has led to many implications, the most important of which will be elaborated below:
The establishment of new business models within the sector
The disruptive nature of technology is clearly evident in the impact of mobile applications on the healthcare industry. Thus, many traditional methods have become obsolete. As a result, physicians, as well as other health care professionals, are adopting new techniques. Practices such as the use of referral tools or referral books are now a thing of the past thanks to medical applications such as Refferal® (a HIPAA compliant application in the US). This cloud-based patient referral management system can help physicians write referral letters easily and quickly.
Immediate access to (medical) help
The problem of access to healthcare has been significantly reduced by the evolution of mobile applications in the healthcare industry. Now, no patient goes to the doctor’s office or a health care professional to make a simple appointment. Indeed, some mobile apps help patients find nearby healthcare providers, and book an appointment. The Doctena (Europe) mobile application, for example, helps both doctors and patients solve problems related to scheduling and appointment booking. The platform makes it easy to make appointments, but it is also convenient and flexible. With a few clicks, formalities that used to take hours are now completed in less than a minute.
Instant connection between doctors and patients
Various mobile applications have made communication between patients and their doctors easier and more flexible. They have eliminated the barrier of distance. Apps such as PingMD (New York, USA – a medical messaging app), allow patients to communicate with their practitioners through a secure platform, available on their mobile devices. Medical information and reports can be shared. In addition, medical follow-up is also more flexible. In addition, the use of mobile apps also helps to break down the language barrier between doctors and patients. Omnifluent Health is a mobile application from U.S.-based SAIC that provides better communication between doctors and patients when they don’t share a common language, through simultaneous translation of patient questions or concerns.
Currently, mobile applications have already revolutionized the healthcare industry. Thus, they have solved most of the problems that were causing a reduction in efficiency and productivity in this sector. However, there are still many improvements that can be made. Eventually, more mobile applications are expected to be launched on the market, which will offer new approaches.
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PS: Doctena allows you to make free online appointments with thousands of doctors in Germany, Austria, Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Switzerland.