The US healthcare is in shambles in more ways than one. Healthcare spending is predicted to spike at an average rate of 5.6% annually from 2016-2025. By 2024, the spending pointer is expected to stand at $5.5 trillion. The number of available physicians is also going downhill. A 2016 report by The Association of American Medical Colleges shows that the total active physicians climbed less than 2%.
The AAMC has also forecasted a shortage of doctors between 61,700 and 94,700 physicians by 2025. Analysis by the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker demonstrates that despite the improvement in US healthcare, it still lags behind. In the light of uncertain healthcare quality, declining doctor numbers, and burgeoning costs, technology aims to play a revolutionary role. Smartphone technology has ended up in the hands of 77% of Americans.
At the same time, 80% of doctors use smartphones and medical apps. In fact, 93% physicians view health apps as a useful means to improve patients’ health. These statistics favor the growth of apps and their role in transforming healthcare. Brain test supporting apps are still a far-fetched idea. However, several apps are revolutionizing healthcare such as by cutting costs, improving patient safety, easing access to information and more.
Here are five apps that are transforming healthcare:
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1. Babylon health
A survey reveals that the waiting time for an appointment with a physician has soared to an all-time high. The appointment time has jumped to 24 days from 18, 20, and 21 days in 2014, 2009, and 2004 respectively. The rising population is outnumbering the physician availability, which is considered as one reason for such delay in appointments.
But even as appointments can wait, physical health conditions cannot. This sparked the need for an app that gets you an instant physician consultation. Babylon is an Artificial intelligence-based doctor app; much like Jarvis from Iron Man but with a specialization in the medical field.
The health subscription service can also connect you virtually to a therapist, specialist or a GP. The app allows you to monitor symptoms. It can also help with e-prescriptions. Moreover, Babylon can book your slot in a neighboring partner facility if you need scans, x-rays, or a blood test.
2. Good Rx
GoodRx aims at cutting the excess cash that you spend on prescription drugs. A QuintilesIMS report reveals that spending on prescription drugs is forecasted to shoot to $610 billion by 2021. This app helps you to track the prices of drugs from 70,000 plus pharmacies in the US.
In doing so, it presents relative drug prices so that you can purchase the desired drug at the lowest price. GoodRx also features coupons that can help you to scrimp as much as 80%. Financial barriers prevent 18% of the Americans from getting the needed health care. In this regard, this app helps in transforming healthcare by assisting in saving on medications.
GoodRx can also be used if you hold health insurance. The application still helps to limit your medicinal drug costs by hunting drugs of lower prices. If the drug’s cost is more economical than that covered by insurance, you can always use the app’s discount coupon.
Medical information is always advancing, which is why you often spot fat, medical books on your clinician’s table. Since the availability of information has taken to electronic format, UpToDate aims to provide the same to physicians. The app provides doctors with a wealth of knowledge, thus transforming healthcare by enabling them to make better evidence-based decisions.
To this end, physicians have access to expert-authored, 9600-graded recommendations. 6000 plus physicians, peer reviewers, and editors from 49 countries ensure that the information on the app is accurate and fully updated. They also work to make certain that each nugget of information is practically relevant as a resource in clinical decision-making.
A survey showed that 94% of the clinicians agreed that the app helped them improve the quality of care that they provided. Complex disease patterns, their treatment, and diagnosis can feed on extensive research. In contrast, UpToDate saves time and speeds up clinical decision-making with its bank of 10,500 clinical topics. It can be integrated into a hospital’s EMR system for quicker access, accelerating the clinical workflow.
4. First Aid by American Red Cross
First Aid aims to revolutionize healthcare by providing the necessary first aid information to people. A 2012 poll showed that 44% of the adults didn’t have first-aid kits. The sad part is, lack of information costs lives dearly. For instance, 70% of the deaths due to heart attack occur before the victims can get any medical aid.
Likewise, a UK survey shows that 140,000 individuals die from incidents that could have been possibly saved by first aid. First Aid by American Red Cross plans on saving these lives by patient education. It covers a vast range of topics that range from asthma attacks to bone fractures.
A stepwise approach is adopted by the app so that you can get clear and comprehensive guidance. Videos add to the understanding of the content. Safety tips for dealing with multiple severe weather conditions are also provided.
There is no assurance that you can’t get sick while on a trip to the Bahamas. In times like that, it is challenging to even figure a simple medical drug for flu or a headache. TravelSmart transforms healthcare by making travel-friendly.
The app facilitates a pool of emergency service numbers as well that belong to the destination that you are visiting. It uses GPS capabilities to pick out your location and offers not only numbers but hospitals in 129 countries. The authenticity of the list is ensured, as it is verified by Allianz Global Assistance, a prominent travel insurance company.
If you are not familiar with the local language, then communication can sound Greek to you. TravelSmart takes this into account as well by offering a ‘drug dictionary.’ It includes names of common medicines in numerous languages. Additionally, the app also assists you with the translation of first aid terms.