Posted by Lillie Schrock
Doctors are now using mobile apps to accomplish tasks more quickly and to help connect with their patients. According to Kalorama’s Worldwide Market for Mobile Medical Apps report, more than 50% of physicians were using a smartphone or PDA device “on a regular basis for everyday treatment activity” in 2010.
An article in The Columbus Dispatch titled Medical apps reduce burden on hospitals discusses the AirStrip Cardiology mobile application. Instead of having to wait for a fax from a nurse or logging onto a computer to download the information, doctors may check the results of an electrocardiogram test on their smartphone. Doctors are also using mobile apps to access patient information,
Also according to the article in The Columbus Dispatch, about 100 doctors at Baptist Health South Florida are saving time by using their own iPads to look at patient charts and medical images. Doctors at Memorial Healthcare System and Hospital Corporation of America are tracking maternity-ward patient vitals in real-time using smartphones and tablets.
According to a Health Care Communication News article titled Mobile app helps patients have relationship with doctors, Group Health Cooperative created an app that allows patients to email their physicians, schedule appointments, check the wait time at a nearby Group Health Lab and Pharmacy, and check their lab results. Ted Eytan, M.D., calls it “e-health” and says the app empowers patients. “It’s directed at physicians knowing their patients better over time, which is what primary care is supposed to be anyway,” said Eytan.
While many doctors are ecstatic about saving time and connecting better with their patients through the use of mobile apps, some doctors are weary. According to the article in The Columbus Dispatch, some doctors have concerns about privacy and security of patients records. Do you think these apps make patients’ records more vulnerable? Do you think doctors and nurses being able to track women in labor makes the process less personal? Do these apps strengthen or hurt patient-doctor relationships?