Technological applications in the healthcare industry is never a new tale, with hundreds of PC based applications available to monitor fitness, check blood pressure, manage body weight and track various complex medical processes. But now, with more and more mobile applications being developed in the health sector, the story just gets wrapped up in a new cover. Gone are the days when doctors and other medical practitioners were the dominant users of healthcare applications. With more medical apps going mobile, a large number of common people from non medical backgrounds now use them as health tracking tools. A myriad of facts from all over the world declare that this heightened demand for medical apps is not a part of any sudden market surge. Instead, the growth has been quite stable and progressive, all through the past few years. Make a quick search for "health" on iTunes and you will find a remarkable count of over 43,689 apps. What more, the US Food and Drug Administration regulations say there were about 660 million plus downloads of medical apps by June 2013. It's no wonder medical apps are the 3rd fastest growing category of mobile applications; for both Android and iOS. These applications have become crucial in tracking daily fitness, promoting a healthy lifestyle and enabling instant access to relevant medical applications. Doctors now find these applications to be a quick fix, eliminating certain shortcomings such as time constraints and excessive medical expenses. These healthcare apps can also speed up the diagnosis and reduce the number of doctor consultations. For instance, HealthVault from Microsoft helps to collect, store and use the health records of the entire family. Medical apps can be connected to HealthVault to enable easy access to information. Contrary to applications in other verticals, the healthcare domain plays a critical role and hence needs to adhere to certain guidelines. Health departments now emphasize on adhering to guidelines that promote “meaningful use” of EHR (Electronic Health Records). Since we at Cabot have been in the development of medical applications for over 10 years now, we understand this like no other. Following are the key areas we keep an eye on, while designing mobile apps for the medical sector. 1. Reliability and Accuracy The information provided through these applications should exhibit a high degree of reliability and accuracy. This can be critical while monitoring the patient's health patterns, automatically detecting disease symptoms and responding to emergency alarms. 2. Simple and User Friendly The application must contain simple, user friendly tools, enabling the patient to track their health on their own. Further, it should create smart interfaces to connect to doctors in case of an emergency. There should be options enabling virtual conversations between patients and medical practitioners. While ensuring the security of EHR, provisions must also be added to allow easy access of information for doctors even while mobile. 3. System Configuration The application should require only a minimum system configuration so that it can be quickly handled by users of all categories. The design must also be friendly and easy to use for both patients and doctors alike. Support must be provided with less complicated hardware, and it must run on all common devices. 4. Location Tracking While designing patient tracking applications, it is vital to include provisions to track their locations. This information can help in mobilizing resources during critical conditions. Further, this can also help doctors monitor their health conditions with the change of climatic conditions. 5. Analytics The app should contain analytics interfaces to help doctors keep a tab on the patient's health history. The information must be accessible any time and must project trends, so as to predict the individual receptiveness to diseases. 6. Data Security Data security is very critical for medical apps, and patient records must be protected, allowing only authorized personnel to access the data. Stringent measures should be adopted to ensure that these apps comply with all the specified standards and regulations. This includes compliance to various standards and rules such as HIPAA that ensures the security of electronic health records. Provisions should be available to accommodate any new medical or legal standards. With a bewildering array of healthcare applications to choose from, it is clear that digital therapeutics is going to dominate the industry soon. It is hence vital that our medical practitioners provide adequate support and guidance in helping the patient choose the right health application. Do you have an innovative idea for a healthcare app? We can help you make it a reality! Contact Us Today!
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