‘There’s an App for that’ was the commercial tagline that was at the tip of everybody’s tongue when apple first came out with the concept. Innumerable applications have flooded the markets since then, for just about anything you can think of. Virtually all industries piped in to grab a piece of cake that this multi million software market is. The medical industry made their move, by inducting health based applications making it possible to gain easy access to clinical data anywhere. An exhibition at 2013 TED-MED conference, introduced the idea of the “smartphone physical” which demonstrated an assortment of gadgets that, when plugged into a Smartphone, give clinical reports on everything from collecting blood pressure to testing visual acuity. Clinical testing applications have been flooding markets ever since and here’s why.
How do these applications work for you?
Firstly, let us understand how this system functions. Various mobile apps can be used for the identification of diseases and providing answers to frequently asked question related to the ailments you search for. Personalized user profiles and databases are then created that cater to the patients precise needs and offer various suggestions. Then they will prompt patients to participate or volunteer in trials from the comfort of their homes that will help in analyzing their exact case and also explain to them how it will benefit them. Patients can thus utilize this information to manage their own health and share this data with their treating physicians. Over all, this holistic process a gets the patient at ease and gives him a better understand of his therapeutic options.
How do they benefit you (and why should you use them)
The idea is to revolutionize the medical care industry and for technology to ultimately benefit the patient, with enhanced products at reasonable prices. Mobile applications make this possible because:
The simplicity of these applications makes it a handy user-friendly tool for virtually anyone, which is what makes them so attractive. Infact they are tested for their efficacy, functionality and performance for encumbrance free usage. Obviously clinical researchers and users alike would prefer it over tradition clinical testing methods that take hours in labs and limit mobility.
The greatest incentive is their time and effort effectiveness. It augments the outreach of the research organizations by getting more participants, who would otherwise be reluctant to take such tests.
You will have a good time with it as it works on operational programmes that solve problems with pin-pointed accuracy and efficacy.
This technology travels right to you instead of the other way round, where you sit and wait in labs for hours.
The information received via these applications is more personalized, making collection of larger and more detailed samples possible. This is in turn used by researchers to create improved products for their customers. The former affect the quality of the latter.
What kind of applications are available in the markets today?
Applications range from general to specific, depending on what you are seeking. Here are a few examples of the options you can explore:
Echocardiography Atlas by Epocrates is an app which caters to specific diseases such as aortic valve disease, myocardial infarction, and infectious endocarditis.
The Heart Failure Trials app keeps you up to date with the latest in heart failure research and evidenced-based medicine.
The breast cancer diagnostic guide app, walks you through your breast cancer pathology report and other tests and information that help you decide which treatments which are suited for you with reference to your doctor.
The Diabetes Buddy allows users to record glucose values, physical activity time, carbohydrate intake, and water consumption.
Apart from these there are companies like WebMB, Calvin Labs and PPD that provide a wide range of information as well as diagnostic test apps that are compatible with various platforms:
CTEP (Clinical Trial EndPoint) has developed its product – RealWorld EDC – specifically for data collection. PPD’s application is proposed for those who may participate in clinical research; it also gives investigators the means to track and save trials for reference in a wide range of areas.
Pixmeo SARL is an app widely used by radiologists, neuro radiologists and other medical professionals, while OsiriX which was recently launched is said to have the diagnostic power of a full workstation: it diagnosed 124 out of 125 cases correctly.
What these apps will do best is change the way the medical industry functions. Doctors will no longer have to rely on gut feelings and take a good number of tests to determine the problem. Diagnostics of the problem will be easy with the routine monitoring by these apps. Previously, as you can recall, patients had to be kept in hospitals for monitoring – now, the process has become a whole lot easier. With proper mHealth apps, patients will no longer be in the dark about their disease and its cure.