5 Apps Changing Healthcare in 2017
In the first half of 2017, healthcare has been all over the news. From affordability, to access, to quality of care, many people wonder what the future holds for the healthcare industry.
While the future of healthcare may be uncertain, there are sure advances in healthcare technology being made to shake up the industry. Particularly, there has been a rise in health technology apps released this year that have changed the way patients and medical professionals interact. With nearly 75% of U.S. adults owning a smartphone, and 89% of total mobile media time spent in apps, it makes sense that the healthcare industry has a presence in this heavily utilized space.
Here are five apps already changing healthcare in 2017.
1. Insight Optics
The creators behind Insight Optics came across this staggering statistic: Only 50% of the 71 million patients at risk for preventable vision loss go on to get their eyes examined by an eye specialist. This means many people in the U.S. lose their eyesight each year because they are not getting the specialized care they need from an opthamologist.
The brains behind Insight Optics decided to create a way for Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) to provide eye exams during yearly whole body checkups. A PCP will have an ophthalmoscope that is compatible with their smartphone camera, allowing the PCP to take high resolution images of the patient’s retina from their smartphone, and then share those photos through the app with an ophthalmologist for further review. This allows patients valuable insight on their eye health, and the empowering information of whether or not they need to go see an eye specialist.
Medici has made it possible to text with your doctor. The company set out to make healthcare more accessible for everyone, and they created two mobile applications, one for patients and one for providers. This allows patients to connect with providers in the Medici network for a fraction of the cost of going into a doctor’s office—and a fraction of the time.
Once patients connect with their doctor, they can describe their illness and send pictures, and from here the doctor will decide if the patient needs to come in for an exam or order a prescription directly to the patient’s pharmacy. The goal of Medici is to cut out unnecessary and expensive trips to the doctor’s office and make doctors accessible in a HIPPA-compliant online space.
3. Digital Pharmacist
Nearly everyone gets the information they need about certain medications from their pharmacist. So, Digital Pharmacist set out to make this information more accessible by helping pharmacists go digital. While they do provide cloud storage and digital solutions for pharmacies, Digital Pharmacist also build apps for pharmacies.
These custom applications work to allow pharmacists to easily communicate with their customers about different medications, direct customers toward relevant medical articles through their subsidiary Rx Wiki, and make refills and process prescriptions all through the mobile application. Digital Pharmacist makes it easier for pharmacists to communicate with their customers while making the prescription fill process for convenient for everyone.
EverlyWell has not launched their app yet, so as of now everything is through their patient portal online. That said, this brand new company is shaking up the healthcare industry already. EverlyWell works to take the physical trip to the doctor out of the equation for a variety of common medical tests. From food sensitivity tests, to fertility tests, to cholesterol tests, and everything in-between, EverlyWell makes it easier for patients to get the answers they need.
Customers can simply log in to their online portal and order their desired test to their home. From there, customers follow the simple directions for completing that specific test and then mail it back to EverlyWell. Here, the team will analyze the test and provide results through a secure online portal. These easy-to-read results directly give the customer everything they need to know, all without having to make a trip to the doctor.
Therapists can be expensive and hard to get to. Talkspace makes it easier to get in contact with a therapist from the convenience of a smartphone. Through the mobile Talkspace application, customers are able to communicate via messaging to a real, licensed therapist whenever it is convenient.
In addition to offering online therapy, Talkspace also offers marriage counseling through the app. To begin, customers simply pay a weekly subscription fee to continue having access to the service, and the fee is significantly cheaper than copays and other fees associated with seeing a therapist in-person. As an added bonus, therapists are individually matched based on their specialities and your needs before you begin your sessions.
The future of ‘HealthTech’ apps in 2017
The five mobile applications above have already changed the way consumers think about healthcare and channels of communication with medical professionals. The common theme of these applications is that they work to cut out unnecessary medical visits, while prompting people to see a doctor when warranted.
It will be interesting to see how these mobile applications and others continue to evolve and adapt to the changing healthcare climate in the coming years.