With every year, there are more and more smartphone apps providing entertainment, information, and connectivity—and helping people receive medical treatment and monitor their health.
In fact, there were just under 100,000 mobile health apps available to users across the globe in 2013. By addressing the latest industry trends and technologies, these apps have revolutionized everything from the way people manage their daily care to how healthcare practitioners connect with one another.
Here are nine of the most innovative apps transforming healthcare:
Patients who need assistance managing their Type 2 diabetes can download the BlueStar app. Only available through a prescription, this app provides patients with a customized daily plan that helps both them and their healthcare providers track their condition. Throughout the day, users input data such as blood glucose levels into the app, which alerts them if they are experiencing high blood sugar. BlueStar can also help diabetes patients monitor their diet, nutrition, and medications.
In an effort to increase connectivity between healthcare professionals, the team at Doximity created a mobile networking app. An extension of its web-based platform, this application has helped more than half a million physicians connect and communicate with their colleagues. Fully compliant with the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) data security regulations, Doximity aims to ease the process of sending medical faxes between physicians. Available on both Android and iOS devices, the app also provides healthcare practitioners with the ability to read medical journals and earn Category 1 continuing education credits.
Kardia pairs a mobile application with a wearable health monitoring device to help users monitor their heart. The Kardia Band for Apple Watch takes medical-grade electrocardiograms (EKGs) within 30 seconds and can provide information on sleep patterns and heart palpitations. Kardia also offers a small EKG monitor that attaches to the back of patients’ mobile phones, facilitating even better accessibility to medical data. FDA-approved, the Kardia devices analyze all recorded information and help patients connect with cardiologists for diagnosis of potential problems.
A free app available for Android and iOS mobile devices, Mango Health helps users manage their medications and create healthy daily routines. Through the app’s simple interface, patients can create a schedule of when they need to take their various medicines, after which they will receive push notifications at specific times. In addition, Mango Health provides information about medication health warnings and dangerous drug combinations.
Created by a team in Singapore, the ScolioTrack app helps iOS and Android users track changes in their scoliosis condition, which causes the spine to curve laterally. Usable both at home and on the go, the application provides an alternative to X-rays. Those who have scoliosis can use ScolioTrack to upload photographs of their back and use the app’s grid feature to detect changes in their spinal curvature over time. The app then saves this information for later use during in-office visits.
One of the highest-rated neurosurgery apps, NeuroMind provides clinical decision support and reference information for neurosurgeons. In addition, the app offers a number of highly detailed anatomical diagrams that doctors can use to explain conditions to patients and students. Compatible with iOS devices, NeuroMind also has a number of other features, including grading systems and data export capabilities. The app has the approval of Surgical Neurology International and the European Association of Neurosurgical Societies (EANS).
Available on both Android and iOS operating systems, DoctorMole leverages augmented reality (AR) technology to analyze skin growths and provide information on their Asymmetry, Border, Color, Diameter and Risk (ABCDE). Users take a picture of their mole, and the app analyzes it and assigns it a color-coded risk level. With DoctorMole’s save feature, users can also track periodic changes to a growth. While the app does not replace an exam or diagnosis from a physician, the preliminary analysis it offers can encourage users to check more regularly for abnormal skin growths, and seek medical care more frequently.
A product of Gauss Surgical, the Triton app provides accurate estimates of blood loss during surgery for hospital staff. In the past, medical professionals have relied on visual estimates to determine the amount of blood lost. Using only an iPad, the Triton system can analyze photographs of surgical sponges and provide a highly accurate estimate of hemoglobin loss. A fully HIPAA and FDA-compliant app, it offers easy integration into workflow and helps surgical professionals provide safer patient care.
A telehealth app, MDLive makes it easier for individuals to seek non-emergency medical care remotely. Using the iOS/Android-enabled app, patients can schedule appointments and virtually connect with certified healthcare professionals over the phone or by video at any time. These doctors and therapists can offer treatment for anything from respiratory problems to stress disorders. MDLive also allows patients to obtain prescriptions more quickly.