Congratulations, the future of medicine is in your hands. How is this possible, you ask?
With the rise of official health apps and virtual doctor visits, you now have the power to truly take control of your own health and medical data.
If you’re feeling sick, you can pop open an app and hop on a virtual call to speak to a doctor. Depending on the problem, doctors can diagnose, schedule follow-ups, treat symptoms and even prescribe medication.
Fitness trackers and smartwatches offer a new level of interaction with doctors as well. You can show physicians that you’re exercising and for how long. They also have the option to monitor health stats. Additionally, there are medical applications being developed to optimize patient experience in clinical trials, taking the trend beyond basic healthcare and into studies that are furthering medical research. Pretty soon, the options will be endless to what we can access medically because of the cutting-edge mobile technologies being created.
There are thousands of medical apps released each year, and that means the industry is advancing at a steady rate.
Here’s a closer look at several of these innovative technologies to better understand how this shift in the medical industry is happening.
AmWell: Live Doctor Visit Now
This patient-doctor app is HIPAA-compliant in more than 45 states. Sadly, even though virtual visits are available, in a handful of states, the law does not allow prescriptions to be doled out via services like this.
Still, it’s an unprecedented situation for the medical industry. You no longer have to visit an office or hospital to see a doctor. You can do it from the comfort of your home, and when you’re sick with the flu — or a similar ailment — it makes all the difference in the world.
Virtual doctor visits are available 24/7, and you don’t need to schedule an appointment. Just fire up the app and you’ll be connected with the first available physician, time permitted. After a doctor has had the chance to talk to you and diagnose your symptoms, they can act accordingly.
Thanks to Apple Health, you can transmit important information such as heart rate, blood pressure, blood glucose levels, body temperature, weight and more. The doc can take a look at this information and suggest a form of treatment, or lifestyle change if needed.
AmWell: Live Doctor Visit Now is available for both Android and iOS, and you pay per visit — $49 or less for urgent care.
The AskMD mobile app works a little differently. Rather than connecting patients to a doctor virtually, it prepares them for an actual visit. It’s great for those situations where you’re not sure if you should head to the doc or not.
With speech recognition technology, it’s able to detect potential symptoms and will even factor medication and known conditions into the equation. If you’re in a life-threatening situation, the app will know immediately and will offer information for the nearest hospital.
Obviously, there are situations where you’ll already know whether you should be at a hospital or not. This app is meant to bridge the gap for the more confusing health events.
Apple Health is also supported by AskMD, which means you can transmit any and all health stats for review. You can also upload photos or videos to receive consultation from doctors. For instance, should I go to the hospital for this boil on my leg?
AskMD by Sharecare is available for both Android and iOS.
Have you ever wanted to have access to — and control over — your medical records? You know the ones we’re talking about. They’re usually kept in that thick folder your doc is always carrying with them.
As long as your doctor is using an EHR (electronic health record) from Epic Systems, you can do just that with MyChart. The app provides controlled access to medical records, and it’s completely secure.
You can use the app to review your personal health information and communicate directly with your physician. The app also allows you to upload more detailed personal health and fitness data — such as the stats collected by your wearable tracker.
This is something entirely new to the industry, especially considering you don’t usually get to peek at those records the doctors and nurses pass around. MyChart gives you more control and freedom to manage your health records the way you see fit.
You can access information such as lab and test results, appointment info, current medications and documentation, immunization history and much more.
The next time you’re sick or injured, one of these apps may come in handy. This technology is just a peek at what the future of health care has to offer.