"Small, cheap, and powerful diagnostic tools could change the way healthcare is provided."
That statement could have easily been made today. Instead, it was taken from an article in the May 2005 edition of American Medical News, a publication of the AMA, no longer in circulation.
The article also included a quote by David R. Walt, Ph.D., researcher at Harvard Medical School, predicting the rise of medical technology applications and devices:
"We are moving toward a time in the not-too-distant future when we really will be able to conduct thousands or hundreds of thousands of tests in a small, inexpensive device."
The promise of Dr. Walt’s 14-year-old forecast has been realized. Now, the number of MedTech apps and gadgets designed to improve patients' health and access to care abound and cover a wide range of conditions.
The fulfillment of that promise also carries a warning: As a physician, hospital, or healthcare system, you have to be technologically relevant because your patients (especially millennials) expect you to be — and they will go elsewhere if you're not.
Here is a list of 17 medical technology apps, devices, and other resources you can recommend to your patients or providers that can help.
Apps You Can Recommend to Patients
For patients with diabetes:
Bluestar is an app designed to help people manage their diabetes. Using it, patients can sync their devices - such as activity trackers, blood glucose meters, and blood pressure monitors - receive personalized real-time coaching, and share their progress with their healthcare team.
Glucose Buddy is another diabetes tracking app that uses a mobile device or desktop computer. Patients can log blood glucose, medication, and meals in a single entry; track blood sugar, insulin, and related trends; and add notes to entries for future reference.
For patients with heart disease:
Healthy Heart 2 is a prevention and monitoring app used with iOS devices for high blood pressure or high cholesterol patients at risk of heart disease. It tracks blood pressure, pulse, cholesterol, blood glucose, potassium, and medication, as well as behavioral and environmental factors.
For patients with chronic physical or mental health challenges:
WebMD Pain Coach is a mobile app that offers a holistic approach to balancing lifestyle with chronic pain conditions. Physician-reviewed tips related to a patient's specific condition are also delivered daily.
Pain isn't just relegated to the physical realm. Talkspace is an online therapy platform that allows users to connect with a licensed therapist via text, audio, or video messaging.
For patients looking for telemedicine/telehealth visits:
Teladoc provides 24/7 access to care from board-certified doctors on-demand. The service applies telehealth technology that allows members to resolve many of their medical issues via the phone or video web visits.
Gadgets and Apps You Can Use to Reach Patients
For telemedicine/telehealth visits:
SCP Health offers technology-enabled eHealth solutions to a variety of healthcare services and settings. Care2Me, our consumer-facing eHealth solution, offers you the opportunity to provide convenient, low-cost, 24/7 answers for patients in need—all white-listed under your organization’s name. With the touch of a button, patients can access professional medical services via video and have a complete virtual visit performed in as little as 10 minutes.
For at-home symptom monitoring and evaluation:
This app and accompanying devices connect patients with their doctors for exams. Using it, providers can examine a patient's heart, lungs, throat, ears, skin, abdomen, heart rate, and body temperature, and diagnose and treat many common conditions, such as ear infections, cold, flu, and fever, without requiring an in-office visit.
KardiaMobile is an FDA-cleared, personal EKG monitor that captures a medical-grade EKG in 30 seconds from anywhere. It can detect a-fib, bradycardia, tachycardia, or normal heart rhythm. Patient's store EKGs on their phone and email them to their doctor with the press of a button.
10. Omron HeartGuide
HeartGuide is the first clinically accurate, wearable blood pressure monitor, according to the company's website. Patients can track heart data and learn how their behaviors impact heart health.
In addition to health benefits, such as heart rate monitoring and noise level notification, the Apple Watch Series 5 with the ECG app is capable of generating an ECG similar to a single-lead electrocardiogram. Electrodes built into the Digital Crown and back crystal work together with the ECG app to read the heart’s electrical signals.
For in-the-field diagnosis and collaboration:
The Medweb Hand-held Telemedicine Kit (HTK) is a deployable kit consisting of a fully-customized and integrated suite of digital medical devices needed to conduct first-line patient exams. It allows healthcare professionals working in the field to capture, store, and transmit encrypted, high-quality patient data and images over a tablet or laptop.
For Support Implementing Telemedicine Capabilities at Your Organization
With our industry’s continued physician shortage and increased costs, telemedicine has morphed from an alternative to mainstay healthcare delivery model. SCP Health works with hospitals to establish a customized telemedicine solution that benefits the facility and its patients, medical staff, and community.
For Providers Interested in Being a Telehospitalist
SCP Health has openings for hospitalists who wish to incorporate telemedicine as part of their career path. Jobs are part-time and home-based so that the provider can work from anywhere there is a stable internet connection.
Other Telehealth/Telemedicine Resources from SCP Health
This article helps hospitals, health systems, and provider groups answer the question of whether it's time to delve into telehealth or expand current telehealth services.
This blog post closely examines the role telemedicine is currently playing in hospital medicine.
Telemedicine, once reserved for treating patients in rural areas, has increased in popularity. This post discusses the current state of telehealth and telemedicine in the U.S.
If you would like to know more about implementing SCP Health's telemedicine solutions in your hospital, contact us.
Case Study: Telemedicine Innovation Improves Patient Satisfaction, Market Reach, and ED Utilization