Or can they? The number of health apps in just about every field are multiplying like bunnies, and they’re becoming even more integrated with diagnostic equipment at the office. It’s been a boon for patients. Apps provide access to information, and help monitor parameters such as blood sugar and blood pressure. According to a recent study, about one in 10 apps allows users to connect to a device, such as a heart rate monitor, which can provide feedback to health professionals.
Chronic diseases are expected to make up two-thirds of global healthcare cost by 2020, so app proliferation is unlikely to slow down.
Acceptance is based on a consumer market that’s been inundated with apps that offer wellness advice, calorie counting, sleep logging, and even mindfulness.
There are even low vision aids for handheld devices. With the app, VoiceOver, patients can turn their smartphones and tablets into gesture-based screen readers. Simply touching the screen triggers a spoken description of what’s onscreen at the location you’re touching.
Other apps can help provide data to doctors. The SightBook app allows retina patients to run a series of vision tests (which can be chosen by their retina specialist) on their iPhone, iPad or iPod. The results can be downloaded to the DigiSight retinal camera network where the data is saved and shared with the doctor.
The best thing to remember when downloading a healthcare app? As with all products, do your due diligence and let the buyer beware.