Internet user experience expert Joe Arcuri helps cut through the confusion when it comes to...
The Latest Healthcare Brand-Aid
Some 6,000 consumer health apps are available on mobile phones, says mobihealthnews, which follows the mobile health industry, and more arrive every day. Most are free or cost $1 to $10 to download. Type in “diabetes” at the app store and you’ll find a huge list. But physicians and other healthcare providers worry that consumers won’t know which ones are good and which to avoid, says Dr. Joseph Kim, a founder and blogger on several websites including medicalsmartphones.com.
As the saying goes, though, a problem is an opportunity in disguise. Hospitals and other healthcare organizations are taking action to provide their own branded mobile apps, or to tinker with their existing websites so that they are mobile-friendly.
One example is the well-known Mayo Clinic, which recently launched a Symptom Checker that lets consumers browse disease or injury symptoms for adults and children and make an appointment directly from their mobile device. The app includes first aid advice as well as direct access to mayoclinic.com for further help.
Similarly, Health Management Associates now offers the ER Extra mobile site and iPhone app to patients of their numerous regional hospitals. The app provides dynamic location listings for HMA hospitals, live GPS directions and real-time updates of the current emergency room waiting time in each facility.
Going one step further, Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City has won praise—and improved patient outcomes—for its text message reminders to teenage liver transplant patients. The goal is to make sure young transplant patients follow their medication regimens, which range from three different pills once a day to three different pills twice a day.