Can Mobile Applications Raise Profits in the Healthcare Market Through Service Optimization?
Addressing varying service patterns in healthcare: Role of Mobile Applications
Service optimization in healthcare management can transform any country’s existing infrastructure. Through adoption of AI, automation and Cloud computing, the healthcare systems can envision a future where every citizen has seamless access to mobile-based personalized care and therapy. The US healthcare market is one of the biggest innovation centers in the world. It continues to grow at a tremendous rate. In 2020, it grew by 9.7 percent, acquiring $4.1 trillion in revenue. Currently, the US federal agencies spend between $10,000 and $13,000 USD per US citizen through various healthcare programs. Despite spending so much on individual healthcare, the US lags behind many countries, particularly in how healthcare service optimization is achieved measured through final outcomes of every treatment or diagnosis.
Service patterns vary largely in the healthcare market and so does the performance of the apps that are used to optimize various operations. Healthcare technology experts interviewed from across the globe acknowledge that the wide usage patterns of mobile applications by the modern healthcare professionals have brought in significant transformations in the operational dynamics of healthcare industry. These are mostly evolving around Big Data intelligence, data analytics, AI-based patient care management, chatbots and virtual assistants, mobility and the Internet of Things or IoT. For most of the healthcare institutions across the globe, the outbreak of the pandemic during March 2020 has actually facilitated the need to accelerate the adoption and technology intervention to raise productivity on a large scale. These in turn, have enabled healthcare companies to grow their revenues through service optimization.
The Digital Health Market: A Snapshot
According to top sources, the number of healthcare applications have collectively crossed 50k on Apple Store and Google Play Store. Users have so many choices available subscribing to the healthcare services provided by these mobile applications. Accenture, an US based consulting firm, has stated that, almost 74% of the global patients have found easy and accessible treatment and medical guidance on mobile applications. Today, there are healthcare apps for everyone– for patients, doctors, nurses, pharmacists and pathologists.
In 2019, the digital health market was estimated to be USD 106 billion. International media sources claim that the digital health market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 28.5% between FY 2020 – 22. Taking such facts into consideration, technology wizards state, mobile applications will be the major driver in supporting the growth. But, how exactly will mobile applications transform the global market related to digital health? Experts from the industry acknowledge that mobile applications in the healthcare segment can help by:
- Optimizing time management
- Maintaining health record and facilitate digital access of clinical information
- Communicating clinical data and put in for future records
- Engaging patients through useful content and resources
- Making doctors directly available at the patients’ doorstep
- Monitoring, storing and creating referrals of clinical data
- Facilitating decision making process with real-time health and fitness data
- Organizing and imparting valuable digital data to create clarity of understanding
Therefore, it is very clear that mobile applications are of great demand in the digital healthcare services segment.
Mobile Applications that can improve healthcare outcomes for the masses
Going through media information and research reports it is clear that, the most common mobile applications in vogue are those that create perfect access to ‘point of care tools’ besides facilitating low cost and non-invasive clinical procedures. At the same time, user experience of a mobile app is an important tool for creating high value patient engagement.
Let’s take a look at the most common mobile applications that can help in transforming the lives’ of the patients:
Apple Health or simply Health is a very reliable healthcare application for iPhone users. It collects data from wearable devices, fitness trackers and other apps. From helping you fix your sleep hours to alerting you about pills, Apple’s Health app can do everything and very quickly.
Apple’s Health app also stores verifiable immunization data, including COVID-19 vaccination, which can be downloaded and shared with others. Our favorite feature is its Emergency Medical ID.
To know more about this app, click here.
Uncorrected visual impairment is a major health problem at state, national and global levels. An early diagnosis of any kind of eye problem can help restore the sight and prevent permanent blindness. More than 1 millions US citizens are living with blindness. Due to many reasons, people under the age group of 40 years are more susceptible to visual impairment in the US, putting them at risk of losing their sight completely by the time they turn 65 years. Eyecare Live is a reliable healthcare app that enables users to schedule a free eye test. You can also renew your prescriptions if they are less than 2 years old. For additional services, you can opt to pay for fee and set up a meeting or eye test from the comfort of their living rooms. Its HIPAA compliant digital eye-care platform ensures you get the best healthcare services through your smartphone.
Epocrates is one of the oldest and the most popular modern day healthcare apps. It’s a free mobile application well organized to cater to patient requirements.
Available for iOS and Android operating platforms the application can help in exploring additional product features to help patients get digital treatment. Doctors can prescribe Rx and OTC monographs related to pharmacology, black box warnings, pregnancy and lactation considerations, and more using this healthcare app. The app itself provides additional information such as drug interaction checker: to prevent harmful interactions between up to 30 brand, generic, OTC, or alternative drugs at a time, along with a real-time pill identifier and recommendation. You can also subscribe to the paid version called the Epocrates Plus for just $16.99/month!
Similar apps available on Google Play Store competing with Epocrates are EveryDose Medication Reminder and PocketRx.
UpToDate is used more by the healthcare professionals. This mobile application can help in managing a large clinical database. Most popularly the application can be used in diverse geographies through getting information in regional languages as well.
WebMD Symptom Checker
WebMD Symptom Checker is a readily accessible healthcare app for generic users. But, many physicians also use this app to say informed about new symptoms and diagnosis, particularly pandemics that have emerged in the recent months. This include Monkeypox, etc.
The app comes with a localized search engine to find the nearest drug store, clinic, specialist and other services that help to improve access to best quality healthcare services in your locality. It is one of the few healthcare apps that comes with 100% data encryption in transit with stringent data privacy compliance. This app has been downloaded more than 10 million times from Google Play Store as on 31 July 2022.
Patients share their private healthcare record with the people they trust. But, did you know that patient data is one of the costliest data available in the dark web? That means, data hackers constantly look out for sources where this data is easily available. Many healthcare apps fail here. We chose to review Andaman7 because it helps in managing clinical data in automatic manner without compromising on privacy and data security. Tracking sensitive and private information, this is one of the most popular software applications used for treatment procedures related to gynecology. Helping the patients to manage data files on their own, Andaman7 can help patients to directly communicate with the healthcare professionals if required.
Today, more than 300 hospitals in the US share patient care information with Andaman7. Only those with the permissions from either the hospital or the patient have an access to this data.
Improving productivity for the practicing doctors, Doximity can help healthcare professionals in staying touch with the contemporaries. Helping the healthcare professionals to share opinion within a close network, the mobile application can improve healthcare outcomes for a large number of patients.
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An useful mobile application that can help the patient with virtual care-giving. Mitigating risks in care-giving the given mobile application can encourage the patient to manage a process flow on his own. Used by almost 80% of the patients in US, such a facility can help in managing automated information focused on health management. Right from setting alarms for medicine consumption, to managing valuable data related to health, CareZone is a popular option for the healthcare professionals to improve treatment outcomes of masses.
Managing Mobile Application to gain advantages: Some issues and challenges
Managing mobile applications can be of immense use, if the patient is well trained in utilizing the technology related to mobile applications. More often than not, patients fail to track information on mobile applications raising the risk of treatment disruption. Although a majority of mobile applications are menu driven, working as per directives sometimes gets tough for aged patients, suffering from chronic diseases.
Technology experts suggest that the healthcare professionals should intervene freely in guiding patients especially the novice ones to improve treatment outcomes as per expectations. On the other hand, such applications reduce physical pain and can give a wide access to the desired services being looked at.
So, if you are looking for service optimization of healthcare systems, mobile applications are very effective. These apps, undoubtedly, can improve productivity of healthcare professionals in the global healthcare market. Giving a one-stop access to world class treatment procedures at low cost, such managed applications are being commonly used by patients across countries like, USA, Germany and UK. Reducing costs of operation while managing time for the stakeholders, such applications are estimated to have a rising demand in a pandemic stricken global economy.