Mobile apps have drastically altered how people interact with the healthcare system.  There are over 140 million smartphones in use, enabling technology to supply timely and helpful health information, at the touch of a button.
Dr. Wayne Guerra, Co-founder and former Chief Medical Officer of iTriage, and former emergency medicine doctor, explains that iTriage helps people take responsibility for their health.  One should simply ask two questions:
“What could be wrong with my health?” And, “Where can I go for care or help?”
 iTriage helps gives answers to these questions.  It is one of the most widely used apps with millions of page views by monthly users.
How  medical apps improve patient care

 Dr. Guerra points out that the patient’s need for healthcare and medical information happens away from the doctor’s office. They want the information and they want it now.  Furthermore, more and more patients want What’s more, patients  to be involved in their healthcare and medical decisions, with greater access to information. This will only improve healthcare.

Mobile healthcare applications which can easily be downloaded to a smart device provides the solution with search and rapid retrieval of  information directly to the patient that’s timely and relevant, at the time it’s needed.  “They are empowered to make better decisions about their symptoms, their condition, about procedures and tests…they provide decision support, access to the healthcare system, and some apps help an individual communicate with their doctor.”

Dr. Guerra states,

“It’s all about the patient experience.” More informed decision-making is having the information that you need, at the time of need. And apps are uniquely qualified to do that.  Patient engagement is absolutely essential to achieving the triple aim of Improved Care, Lower Cost, and Improved Patient Experience.” Mobile apps need to continue to do “user-centered design,”  designing a UX (user experience) and UI (user interface) that directly addresses a specific need or problem. “And when we do that in healthcare apps, we will see increased patient engagement.”

Categories of apps 

The app categories include:

    • Diet Apps: For food education, caloric tracking, weight management,  nutrition recommendations and menu plans
    • Exercise Apps: For tracking and recording walking, exercise, activity
    • Health Management Apps: Helping guide better, more informed healthcare decisions, such as iTriage.
    • Health Information Apps: For deeper and more comprehensive information, such as WebMD.
    • Chronic Disease Management Apps: For the management or treatment of a specific condition, such as hypertension or asthma.

LISTEN TO  THE PODCASTlisten now podcast interview

    • Cleveland Clinic Speaker Series: Wayne Guerra, MD, Co-founder, iTriage, as he discusses the ability of mobile healthcare apps to enhance our patient experiences
    • 2014 Patient Experience Summit: Healthcare Game Changers in Mobile Apps

For more information about the Cleveland Clinic 5th Annual Patient Experience: Empathy + Innovation Summit, click through to this page.

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