People are often aware about the condition of their cars, more than they know about their health. They abide by their car maintenance schedules, take dashboards’ warning lights seriously and fill up the fuel tank whenever needed.
However, most of them don’t adhere to their medication routines. Many a times, they avoid going to the doctor’s office even when they don’t feel well and, instead, search online for medical information.
Earlier, people had to rely on their general practitioners for health tips, check-ups and diagnosis. But all of this is changing; fast and mobile health (mHealth) is a key catalyst. Medical apps have already initiated a change in how patients communicate with their doctors, and vice versa.
Apps are empowering people to have more knowledge and say in their medical decisions. This is excellent news for people who have always wanted to have an active role in their healthcare. They can now take charge of their health, and track activity levels, and manage chronic disease therapy.
A paradigm shift in how we monitor our health is happening gradually yet exponentially. Recent breakthroughs in healthcare technology allow us to use our smartphone, and a connected device to monitor our health and feed the results into a cloud-based database.
Patients can track their activity levels and monitor their health either through wearable devices (FitBit, Apple Watch), a downloaded app or with a built-in tracker on their smartphone. This is the best way to keep a tab on their health and continue following a healthy lifestyle. These apps include features like calorie counters, step counters and monitor heart rate, sleep patterns, etc.
A lot of medical apps also track fitness and wellness data, which greatly assist patients during a clinical appointment. By monitoring symptoms and medications, patients will be able to provide their general practitioners complete information about their health, potentially improving the level of treatment received.
Do you know smartphones are all replacing an in-person doctor consultation, with a virtual appointment? Well, medical apps now allow patients to get in touch with their doctors over their smartphones through video conference. People living in remote areas can actually benefit with this facility and get health tips from their physicians online. Also, these apps can track the patient’s health and alert him well before it got worsened that he needs to go to the hospital.
There is still time for mHealth from becoming a routine part of our health system. While we use our smartphones and the Internet for banking and insurance services, we may soon be making doctors’ appointments, discussing health concerns and finding our test results online.