Doctors and nurses often cringe to find out that their patients have been consulting “Doctor Google” when they come into the office for help with a medical issue. Though it can be a bit of a nuisance when patients come in already convinced of a diagnosis because of internet research, internet use and mobile health apps and programs can be an asset to your practice. You simply need to incorporate a plan to embrace the available technology and help your patients to use it in an effective way to benefit everyone.
Encourage patients to use mHealth apps for tracking purposes.
There is far more to mobile health than just symptom checkers that can cause patients to misdiagnose themselves and either ignore important symptoms or convince themselves they’re sicker than they really are. Apps to track blood pressure, blood sugar readings, or interact with home medical devices to help them compile data to assist in diagnosis and treatment can simplify life for them at home and for you in the office.
Activity trackers are great tools for everyone.
Wearable activity trackers that sync with apps on phones and computers are a great way to help patients stay more aware of necessary activity levels. They’re also great for doctors and nurses to keep a close watch on their own activity levels to help stay healthier.
Use apps and websites to track medication schedules and drug interaction issues.
While at one time it was necessary to keep a log of medicines and consult with your doctor or pharmacist to ensure there were no bad interactions in your treatment plan, today’s patients can use apps to do the same. Interaction alerts and reminder messages make it easy for your patients to manage their medications.
Consult with a web developer to make your practice’s website mobile friendly.
By adding appointment scheduling, paperwork submission, and an easy way for your patients to ask simple questions to your practice’s website, you’ll free up some of your employees’ time in the office and make doctor visits faster and more convenient.
Stay informed of new technological advances in mobile health that will be a help to your patients and practice.
Be sure to do regular research to stay abreast of current developments and upcoming advances that can help you and your patients better manage their health. Read the technology sections of your favorite medical journals and subscribe to blogs and websites that regularly share updates about technology news and issues in the medical field.
These are just a few of the ways that mobile health technology can be incorporated into your practice to assist in patient diagnosis and treatment. Be sure to do some additional research into apps that are specific to your field and would be of use to your patients. There is so much available because of technological advances, it is always beneficial to be open to trying new technology and seeing how it can make your job and your patients’ lives easier and even more healthy.