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Business Physician Using Smartphone for Healthcare

Published on November 13th, 2014 | by Thompson


New Mobile Healthcare Applications will Save Americans Time, Money

According to a 2013 survey conducted by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions, 43% of American physicians use mobile health technology for clinical purposes. That number is bound to increase dramatically thanks to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services recently approving new services to be covered in 2015, including mental health services.

Still, due to the limited number of mobile health services covered by American health insurance companies, the majority and most popular mobile health applications are designed to provide preventative care. That’s not a bad place to start given 75% of all healthcare dollars are spent on patients with one or more chronic conditions, many of which can be prevented, including diabetes, obesity, heart disease, lung disease, high blood pressure, and cancer, according to the CDC. But some of the latest American advancements in the mobile healthcare industry are designed to save money by saving time.

One advancement in the mobile healthcare industry that has taken longer to develop than expected is to utilize smartphone technology to streamline post-op care, but San Francisco’s RxMatch is planning the release of their post-op platform in the next few weeks, according to Aditi Pai. The application will allow patients recently released after a surgical procedure to communicate with a health coach regarding their post-op routine. The health coach will use text messages, push notifications, and alerts to provide patients with information to make their recovery a success. Patients will also be able to rate their pain via text message on a scale from 0 to 5 and will receive helpful links from their health coach to guide their post-op care.

Right now the application is designed to help patients suffering from chronic back pain and those recovering from back surgery, general orthopedics, and heart patients, but RxMatch plans to expand the program to include obesity, pain management, mental health, and OB-GYN.

CareCam Health Systems also has a mobile healthcare application that utilizes video to assist with management of chronic conditions called vHealth. Pai writes patients can record themselves taking medication and monitoring biometric readings like blood glucose, blood pressure, or weight, and the application is currently designed to help patients suffering from asthma, CHF, COPD, diabetes, hypertension, and co-morbidities. It also features a facial recognition process to verify that the correct patient is recording video.

Providers can also use vHealth to send patients personalized video content designed to help them understand the importance of following their plan of care and how to properly manage their condition. CareCam says the use of video instead of text messages or notifications increases the chance patients will absorb and retain the information. Video also offers physicians an opportunity to actually see if their patients are progressing.

So the mobile healthcare market is developing slowly in the United States, but these new mobile apps should not only help patients manage their chronic conditions, but help reel in some of the costs associated with the United States health care industry.

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About the Author

When Thompson isn't busy writing for Go Gonzo Journal, you may find him drunk at the movie theater with Professor Heinous or stirring up trouble in a bar with his attorney. Thompson also enjoys skiing, hiking, camping, and watching and betting on baseball and football.

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