Technology integration in healthcare is revolutionizing patient care. It is easier than ever before to share information between doctors and facilities and between patients and providers. Healthcare apps refer to bite-sized software programs designed for mobile devices.
What are Apps in Healthcare?
Some apps are designed to supplement provider care by integrating diagnostic tools. Some apps are specifically for transferring information between providers, patients, and other third parties like insurance companies. And some of the most useful apps are designed to empower patients to take more control over their healthcare. These apps can store medical records, provide recommendations, and send alerts for reminders.
Most of the major insurance companies like Aetna and Blue Cross Blue Shield have launched apps for their plan members. These apps are intended to answer common health questions, find providers, and review information about claims.
What Makes a Good Healthcare App?
Most of the healthcare apps on the market are struggling to catch up to patient and provider expectations. Out of the 260,000 healthcare apps on the marketplace, less than 2% are widely used by patients and staff.
For the most part, many of the apps developed by hospitals and insurance providers were rushed or were developed based on faulty assumptions. A good healthcare app needs to have equally good planning and execution. The functions should be simple and useful. Like the iPhone, if it is too difficult — consumers will pass it up.
A good user-friendly design with large, obvious buttons and a limited number of actions is good to start. And leaving the option open to scale the app as technology evolves and demands change will ensure that you aren’t scrapping apps and starting over every couple of years.
But perhaps the biggest challenge in designing a good healthcare app is providing high-level security that complies with HIPAA requirements and instills confidence in users. Healthcare data is valuable on the black market — potentially up to ten times more valuable than personal credit card details. And some healthcare apps leave sensitive data exposed.
Alternova is a next-gen developer for healthcare technology. Alternova can develop powerful compliant applications for research institutes to pharma companies and health-tech start-ups. Learn more about our process.
Best Healthcare Apps 2021
Out of the 260,000 healthcare apps on the market, we have rounded up our top ten picks for security and functionality. Keep in mind that some apps are for clinicians, some for patients, and some that bridge the gap between the two.
Generis is a healthy lifestyle platform accessed through an app. Generis promotes the ideology that you can manage your health based on your DNA. Many people feel like finding the right foods and activities is a guessing game, and Generis aims to make it simpler by analyzing your DNA and providing recommendations for nutrition and fitness based on your personalized results.
Epocrates was the original pioneer in point-of-care clinical apps for doctors and medical staff, and it remains a leader today. In one app, Epocrates delivered CME content to clinicians to keep them on top of their field. Plus, a complex library of drug info, including interactions and pill identification. It also includes clinical guides, calculators, and other diagnostic tools.
UpToDate is another point-of-care app for clinicians that provides access to evidence-based clinical research to aid in the diagnosis of conditions in a clinical setting. It includes similar features to Epocrates, including the option to earn and track CME credits and access to diagnostic tools like calculators.
Airstrip is a clinical collaboration tool that helps doctors and support staff communicate better regarding patient care. Lab results, alarm monitoring, and much more can be accessed around the clock through the app, which helps doctors keep a close eye on their patients’ health.
Teladoc is a virtual conferencing app designed for healthcare. You can use the app to connect with real doctors to receive care with minimal interruption to your day. Many ailments can be treated using virtual medicine. And during the pandemic, these apps were indispensable to providing necessary care.
Medici takes virtual medicine to another level. Not only can patients and doctors connect through the app to provide or receive care, but all lab results and follow-up information is conveniently stored in the app for continual access.
Doctor on Demand is another player on the field providing virtual medicine. The vast network of Doctor on Demand physicians gives you access to more than 15,000 doctors to treat urgent care, behavioral health, preventative care, and chronic conditions.
Pepid is a point-of-care app designed for doctors and other medical professionals. The app provides access to a resource of clinical information and diagnostic tools. Compare Pepid to similar apps like UpToDate and Epocrates.
Medscape is probably one of the most comprehensive point-of-care apps for clinicians. It contains similar databases to clinical information and content for CME credits, as well as diagnostic tools and calculators. But the feature that really sets Medscape apart is the collaborative community features that allow clinicians to crowdsource their tough cases to a network of doctors.
Kareo is one of the best apps for the clinical management of patient data. Physicians can look up patient records and check allergies, and effortlessly send a prescription to a pharmacy. Kareo is one of the tools that really make patient care run smoothly.
There are many apps available to help doctors provide better patient care and to help patients access their medical information. However, not all of the apps available are equal. Many of the apps on the marketplace feature antiquated technology and difficult user interfaces. And many more leave sensitive healthcare data vulnerable to hackers. But if you know where to look, there are many really useful tools that can improve your healthcare experience.
Alternova is a healthcare technology developer focused on creating dynamic technology for healthcare companies. Are you interested in building a project? Let’s work together; contact us today!