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Do you know that in 2017 approximately 318,000 health apps were available on app stores all over the world? And as of now, around 200 apps are added every day.
Digital healthcare tools are fast gaining momentum. The mHealth market is valued at approximately $25.39 billion. People are becoming conscious about their health now more than ever. And technology has once again provided a solution in the form of healthcare apps.
With an array of apps available online, you can find information on any type of disease or health problem. From diarrhoea to cancer, and smoking cessation to meditation; a guide to everything is available on these apps.
However, when there’s too much information available online, it’s difficult to sort out the good from the bad. Some healthcare apps will provide you comprehensive information, while others will just fill the space. Worry no more; this article will help you out! It will serve as a guide for you, helping you select the best healthcare app so you can live a healthy life!
Narrow down your needs
First and foremost, assess your healthcare requirements so you know which type of app you are looking for. Are you looking for basic health information? Do you need a healthcare app that can keep track of your fitness and health data? Once you narrow down your requirements, it’ll be easier to search for the app.
Whether you want to track your sleeping habits, menstrual routine, brain functionality or the number of steps you’ve walked per day; there’s an app available for almost everything! For example, the Brain Test app enables people to evaluate and monitor their mental health. It is a scientifically validated app that has a compilation of evidence-based cognitive tests. It helps detect early symptoms of dementia, Alzheimer’s, and other mental disorders.
Beyond getting information, healthcare apps also help you store data in the cloud so it can be shared with your doctor or caregiver in real-time. These apps are known as dual-facing apps. They eliminate the need to visit a doctor, unless absolutely necessary. They are especially beneficial for patients with chronic disorders who need to engage with their doctors on a regular basis.
Check the ratings
Once you have selected a specific healthcare app, you need to find out if it’s quality is up to the mark. Rankings and number of downloads will help you assess that. You may not come across a 5-star app (as it’s very rare), but anything between 3 – 4 stars is good. Similarly, also shoot a glance at the comments section and see how many times the app has been downloaded. It will give you an idea of where the app stands in terms of value.
However, remember that every good ranking app is not for you. You may have to find one that suits your requirements after giving it a try.
Take doctor’s recommendation
Going through too many apps can be overwhelming. If you are unable to decide which app to rely on for your healthcare needs, ask your doctor. Asking for your doctor’s advice for a technology-related matter may look odd. But know that medical professionals are becoming more and more involved with patient’s overall healthcare needs. Prescribing healthcare apps is a step forward in that direction.
According to NPR Marketplace, Mount Sinai Health System has launched a digital health platform by the name of RxUniverse for physicians. The platform has a plethora of quality healthcare apps, catering to every domain. The doctors can go through the curated list and prescribe an app that best suits the patient’s requirements.
The cost factor
As per ihealthbeat.org, 90% of the healthcare apps available on the web are free. Whereas the remaining 10% cost $3 or less. Most of these apps offer free trial versions so you can try the app before paying the subscription fees. You can always go for the free ones. Nevertheless, the ones that cost money generally offer more features, such as making doctor’s appointments, storing medical data, video consultations, etc.
When it comes to storing patients’ medical records, the majority of the US doctors are opting for the technologically advanced option. USA Today reports that less than 10 years ago 9 out of 10 doctors used to store patient’ records in colour-coded files. However, this trend has changed now. Nearly half of all US doctors store the records in electronic form. Consider this when you are debating whether or not to spend money on a healthcare app.
Be cautious of the bugs
A sign of a good healthcare app is that it functions smoothly. Every app experiences occasional technical difficulties, such as crashing down or hanging up. However, when an app constantly logs out on its own or frequently freezes, you should remove it immediately from your device. These bugs will not only affect your experience but will also gradually destroy your device as well.
The bottom line
Once you’ve selected the healthcare app based on the above-mentioned pointers, download and try it out for a few days. See if it serves your needs. If you don’t find it useful, delete it. If it’s a doctor-prescribed app, talk to them about it before removing. They may tell you about the valuable features or suggest an alternative.
Healthcare and technology, both are consistently evolving and working in conjunction with each other. The result is sustainable healthcare solutions that make way for the improved quality of life. Finding the one that fits your requirements helps you get on the healthcare bandwagon and live a healthy, happy life!
About Ashley Rosa: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her on twitter: @Ashrosa2