An App a Day Keeps the Doctor Away?
It is a statement that has quickly made its way into the collective consciousness of Americans – “There’s an app for that.” Kind of like the “Where’s the beef?” of the new millenium. Even within the practices of medicine and public health, the use of mobile devices and apps to promote “m-health” or “mobile health” has emerged as a sub-segment of health care management that is sure to play a larger role over time.
M-Health applications include everything from encouraging medication compliance, to remote monitoring of vital statistics that can be reported back automatically to the health care provider. Through the use of handheld devices and mobile communications, doctors can automatically adjust medications and alert patients to areas of concern without requiring an office visit. A patient can receive round-the-clock medical observation without leaving the comfort of his own home.
This may not be quite as much fun as being able to track baseball scores 24/7 or constant access to Twitter, but apps and m-health have the real potential to change the way patients and doctors interact. And that could be a very good thing.