Will 2013 be the year of the mobile app? Pundits seem to think so, and the prediction holds true for healthcare professionals and consumers alike. Although developers have come up with several apps to help clinicians diagnose and manage disease, the use of medical apps among consumers is set to take center stage, especially in light of new patient engagement requirements that are part of the government's Meaningful Use Stage 2 program.
With apps like Novo Nordisk's HemaGo already on the market, patients are finding it easier to take control of their care. Included in the list of apps sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are similar tools, such as Health Hotlines, which acts as a directory of almost 9,000 organizations focusing on diseases, disorders, mental health and substance abuse, along with their toll-free phone numbers; and NCI QuitPal, designed to help users stop smoking.
On the physician side of the equation, a recent HIMSS survey sheds light on doctors' attitudes toward mobile usage in daily practice. Nearly half of the health IT professionals surveyed believe mobile technology will "substantially" affect healthcare delivery in the years ahead, while 16% of respondents said it will "dramatically" change the future of healthcare delivery.
Physicians use mobile apps in two main areas: viewing patient information and looking up medical information or other professional health-related information. The HHS' list includes apps that fall into these categories, such as PubMed, which allows users to search a huge database of biomedical literature; ask questions; and read abstracts of articles.
CDC Field Triage, on the other hand, is an app that tests users' knowledge of injury response. Wireless Information System for Emergency Responders (WISER) helps first responders identify hazardous substances and get containment advice. Radiation Emergency Medical Management (REMM) provides healthcare professionals with useful tips when diagnosing radiation injuries that could occur after events such as dirty bombs or nuclear disasters.
Click through to see more HSS-sponsored apps that can help your clinicians, and their patients, make better health-related decisions.