12 Top Healthcare Apps for 2019
Technology has a way of changing our world. There's almost no part of modern life that hasn't been impacted by technological advances, and the way we manage our health is no exception. While technology has already improved standard clinical practice significantly, its effects have been slower than in other areas of our lives. But that's starting to change. People are using computers and smart phones to assist them in all sorts of medical- and health-related activities, and the pace of such modernization is increasing. Everyone wants and deserves premier healthcare services, but finding and paying for those services can be complicated. For many of us, the advent of a healthcare gov marketplace has changed how we select our doctors. Adding to the confusion, when we turn on our televisions, we're bombarded with healthcare marketing. While there are many useful healthcare apps available, the category that is most likely to improve the way we access health services is telemedicine. More and more, telemedicine apps are being rolled out by healthcare services groups to help their customers get access to medical care. As it's the most important category of healthcare apps that we'll be discussing, let's start with an overview of what telemedicine is all about, and look at two state-of-the-art offerings, HIPAA Video, and Health4Me.
Telemedicine Apps — The Digital Road Forward
One of the hottest new areas of healthcare software development is in telemedicine apps. Telemedicine benefits are becoming clearer every day, and this type of technology is poised to become a big part of the healthcare marketplace.
Telemedicine involves using telecommunication and the latest IT advancements to remotely provide clinical healthcare. For patients who are too far away from medical facilities or are physically incapable of traveling to see a doctor, telemedicine can provide access to medical services that would otherwise not be available.
While it can be used to save lives in emergency situations, telemedicine also plays an important role in standard treatment. Problems like infections, headaches, sinus congestion, and fever can be diagnosed remotely, preventing a delay in treatment that could result in complications.
One of the most challenging parts of developing telemedicine technology is ensuring compliance with healthcare gov regulations concerning the security and privacy of patient information. Serious developers of telemedicine platforms make regulation compliance priority one. They're committed to delivering systems that provide access to healthcare online in a safe and secure way.
Telemedicine is a fairly new idea, but it's gaining steam, and several innovative software companies have developed full-featured telemedicine platforms. This section discusses two such offerings.
1. HIPAA Video — Innovative Web-based Healthcare Communications
Fully embracing the telemedicine mindset is HIPAA Video, a web-based communications and video conferencing application that enables users to remotely access healthcare and medical services.
HIPAA Video represents a huge leap forward in healthcare consulting, offering a new medium for online interaction between patients and healthcare professionals.
HIPAA Video can change the way doctors and patients interact and has the potential to reduce the cost for healthcare world-wide. The innovative minds at Softermii (the software development services company that's behind HIPAA Video) took on the challenges of creating a world-class medical communications portal. The market demands solid reliability, data security, and privacy, and that's what HIPAA Video delivers.
As part of its rigorous HIPAA compliance, the app offers secure encryption of all your medical data. There are appointment scheduling features, and it makes paying for medical services easier. A whiteboard function, chat and VoIP features, file and screen sharing, and multi-peer conferencing combine to make HIPAA Video a powerful platform for communication and collaboration.
2. Health4Me — Care Management Help from United Heathcare
The United Healthcare app, Health4Me, helps you access all the resources of United Healthcare online and save time managing your family healthcare. You can use it to find physicians and pharmacies, manage your prescriptions, check your Health Savings Account (HSA) balance, and more. The app uses an enhanced log-in system that keeps your health information secure while allowing you to access many resources with a single username and password.
The Health4Me app's Cost Estimator feature lets you compare procedures, providers, and prices. You can forecast your health care and drug costs, and it lets you check the status of deductible and out-of-pocket spending. Healt4Me enables you to connect with an experienced registered nurse any time to get health information and advice. Plus, it gives you direct access to United Healthcare customer service if you run into any problems with your healthcare management.
Wellness Apps — The Key to Selfcare in the Modern Age
Our smartphones and tablets have found their way into every part of our lives, and managing our health and wellbeing is no exception. There are a number of ways we can use those constant digital companions to boost our wellness. Innovative companies have been engaging in custom healthcare software development, creating apps that do everything from track your exercise and manage your sleep cycle to reduce stress and stay on your diet. This section dives into five of the most popular wellness apps available.
3. Fitbit — Exercise Monitoring
The Fitbit app works along with Fitbit activity trackers and smart scales to help you become more active, eat better, manage your weight, and get better sleep. You can track daily goals and monitor your progress over time, analyzing your performance based on the number of steps you took, the distance you ran or walked, or the calories you burned. You can use GPS to track your exercise routes, share your exercise data with friends to engage in a little healthy competition, and log all your food to keep track of how many calories you consume in a day.
4. Noom — Health & Weight Coaching
Noom is a digital health coaching app that takes a serious, behavior-modification approach to improving your health. It was designed by a team of health coaches, nutritionists, doctors, and exercise specialists to provide clinically proven courses that help you achieve your weight loss and health goals.
When you sign-up, you'll provide some general information about your current health and weight loss goals, then you'll start one of the two 16-week programs: Healthy Weight and Diabetes Prevention. In both programs, lifestyle intervention techniques are used to help you reach your goals. The Noom Coach App is where you will log details about the foods you eat, your exercise routine, blood glucose readings, blood pressure, and weight. In-app messaging and group discussions let you keep in touch with your coach.
5. Headspace — Stress Management
The Headspace app helps teach you how to meditate and live mindfully. It offers numerous themed sessions covering all sorts of wellness topics, including stress, sleep, focus, and anxiety. It offers guided meditation in short sessions that you can fit into your day.
Studies have shown than meditation can reduce daily stress and bring about small, incremental improvements in focus and attention. Over time, meditating with Headspace can have a number of positive influences on your life, including enhanced compassion and more sensitive behavior toward others.
6. Clickotine — Smoking Cessation
The Clickotine app offers users a way to take part in a clinically proven digital smoking cessation program. It let's you create a personalized plan to quit smoking, and helps you stick with it while monitoring your improvement over time.
Support from friends, family, and other users helps you fight cravings and the app provides strategies that are effective in making sure your willpower doesn’t lapse. Clickotine offers adaptive text messages that are customized to each user's profile to give a more personalized form of support and guidance. There's even real-time access to coaches and counselors that can help you stop smoking.
7. Drinkaware — Alcohol Moderation
The Drinkaware app is created by an independent charity organization that wants to reduce alcohol abuse. The app helps you track your alcohol consumption and how much you spend on alcohol over time. It calculates calories from alcohol, and lets you set goals to moderate your drinking.
The Drinkaware app includes a large database of alcohol brands so your calculations will be accurate. It presents you with compelling facts about the health benefits of cutting down and offers support and motivation with regular feedback.
8. Pear reSET — Treatment for Substance Use Disorder
Pear Therapeutics offers an app called reSET for treatment of patients with Substance Use Disorder (SUD). It's the first FDA-authorized digital therapeutic for SUD, and it can be prescribed by your doctor.
When reSET is used along with outpatient therapy and contingency management, it's been proven to significantly improve abstinence and treatment retention compared to other care methods. reSET is a 90-day therapeutic that provides interactive treatment modules delivering cognitive behavioral therapy. Its dashboard allows clinicians to track patient-reported substance use and cravings to create better transparency and a deeper interaction between patients and clinicians.
9. Omada — Diabetes Prevention
The Omada app provides help that spans the entire spectrum of diabetic conditions and enables people to set and reach their health goals. It's a digital behavior modification program that is personalized to support people with diabetes or those at risk. It can be used to focus on the complications and management of prediabetes, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, and high cholesterol.
Omada provides healthcare solutions that work by giving participants the tools and support they need to build healthy habits. Professional health coaches have the experience and knowledge to offer helpful guidance whenever you need it, while online peer groups can provide motivation and encouragement.
10. BlueStar Diabetes — Diabetes Management
The BlueStar Diabetes app offers a crash course in diabetes management that's broken down into manageable chunks. This is no simple medicine reminder app. You can use it to engage with clinical support staff and get access to diabetes educators that help explain the ins and outs of diabetes self-management. Thousands of automated, customized coaching messages provide continuous guidance and motivation. The app also presents weekly challenges to engage users and encourage smarter health management. Plus, you can use it to connect with other BlueStar users via surveys, notifications, and email.
11. Kardia — Atrial Fibrillation Screening
Karia is an FDA-approved, clinical grade, personal EKG monitor. For patients who are monitoring a heart condition, Kardia is capable of capturing a medical-grade EKG in 30 seconds and is extremely portable. It helps patients know quickly if their heart rhythm is normal or if atrial fibrillation is detected. The app lets you take unlimited EKGs, track your weight and blood pressure, and email your EKG to your doctor.
12. Blood Pressure Companion — Hypertension Management
The Blood Pressure Companion app tracks blood pressure, heart rate, and weight. It can be used to visually monitor your blood pressure using a log or chart. Recording systolic and diastolic blood pressure, the system can also calculate the arterial pressure of each reading. The app lets users create reminders for measuring their blood pressure and share blood pressure measurements with their doctor.
The Doctor is Online — The Future of Healthcare
Technology has been improving medicine for centuries and it shows no sign of stopping. If you think about how digital technology has improved nearly every other aspect of our lives, it makes sense that it can improve how we access healthcare.
In fact, when you look at hot new tech like VR and self-driving cars, those applications of technology actually seem kind of trivial compared to its use in healthcare.
Telemedicine, in particular, is the most promising territory we're heading toward. Remote access to physicians may be a mere convenience for some, but for many others, it will be the only viable means of accessing healthcare services.