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High technology has seeped into so many aspects of our lives; sometimes it's hard to remember what life was like before smartphones existed. A lot of times this technology remains social in nature, but every now and then an app comes along that really promises to revolutionize the way we do things.
That's exactly what's happening with the healthcare industry right now.
When you're a doctor or healthcare provider, there are hundreds of apps to choose from that promise innovation and to change the way you do business -- so how can a busy healthcare professional sift through all the options? We did some research and came up with a list of five of the hottest healthcare apps out there right now.
BuildMyBod (Free on iTunes; coming soon to Android)
Advertising that your business is up and running is the first step to creating an active clientele, and BuildMyBod can help. Developed by board certified plastic surgeon Jonathan Kaplan, the website, app and widget allows doctors to list all their services and pricing. Potential clients can then add those services to their virtual wish list, and after inputting their name, email and phone number they are given access to a breakdown of costs from the provider, while the doctor is provided with the patient's contact information. "Patients love us," says Dr. Kaplan. "We found that patients are more likely to schedule their procedure if they know the cost ahead of time -- to the tune of 41 percent more likely."
What started out as an app specifically for residents has now become an integral learning tool for thousands of medical students. Dr. Josh Landy created Figure 1 -- a photo-sharing app designed specifically for nurses, doctors and medical students -- after he witnessed how many young doctors and medical students took photos in the ER to share with classmates. The app helps capitalize on daily social media behavior to further enhance medical knowledge, but don't worry about HIPPA violations -- all identifying features are removed from photos before they go to post.
drawMD (Free on iTunes)
One of the hardest parts -- if not the hardest part -- of being a doctor is explaining to patients in a simple and straightforward way what is happening to them. When doctors and patients spend an average eight minutes together per visit, how can that even be possible? drawMD was developed to help bridge the gap between what a doctor knows and what their patient understands. Using images, doctors can personalize drawings for their patients by using sketching tools, text annotations and condition or procedure-specific stamps to create a visual their patients can easily understand. Drawings can also be shared via email or print.
Track My Health ($14.99 on iTunes)
Another app developed by a practicing physician, the Track My Health app helps you help your patients maintain their optimal health level. The app features templates for more than 35 laboratory tests, as well as blood pressure, pulse, weight and BMI inputs. Data points can be graphed over time to see if your patient's health is improving, and there are tips to help reduce risk factors for certain health problems as well. Suggesting patients use the Track My Health app as part of their healthcare routine enhances doctors' ability to provide optimal service and care when patients visit, as it can easily track what they have been up to on a daily basis.
Lingraphica TalkPath Therapy (Free on iTunes)
For healthcare providers who help patients with speech issues, Lingraphica TalkPath Therapy is changing the way therapy takes place. "The app provides more than 4,600 speech therapy exercises for adults to practice their speech skills," says Kate Williams, a marketing content specialist with Lingraphica. "This solution is changing the way professionals in the field of speech therapy think about speech recovery." As insurance regulations have been putting the squeeze on access to vital therapy sessions, Williams says that Lingraphica has been working tirelessly to fill the void. "We have already heard from our users that this is the case, and there is a booming industry that reflects this change in the marketplace."
Whether it's one of the five healthcare apps from this list or a different app altogether, using technology to increase the effectiveness of your healthcare practice is a good idea -- both for your practice and your patients.
Copyright (c) 2016 Studio One Networks. All rights reserved.
Cheryl Lock is a former magazine, newspaperand website editor turned full-time freelance writer. She has worked on staffat the Daytona BeachNews-Journal, More and Parents magazines, aswell as for Learnvest, theleading women's financial website. Her work has also appeared in Newsweek, Forbes, Ladies' HomeJournal and The Huffington Post, amongothers.