Mobile Health Apps have made detailed medical information accessible to anyone. Now on a smartphone, you can find drug interactions, diagnosing information and more.
This easily accessible information is beginning to change the doctor patient relationship. Doctors need to prepare for more informed patients. While information alone will never replace medical training, patients are now more likely to be actively involved in their health care decisions. Correct or incorrect, a patient will often come to the doctor with an opinion of what they need already in mind. It is important for the doctor to take time to listen to what the patient has learned to help them make an accurate diagnosis and in order to help the patient avoid misapplication of information.
Doctors should encourage patients to explore mobile health apps and build trust by allowing them to be involved in their health care decisions. Open communication between doctors and patients will lay the groundwork for making the right decisions.
Patients should keep in mind that while they have access to much of the same information as doctors, the doctor has years of medical training and experience and can analyze, interpret and apply information to make appropriate decisions. Patients should not try to replace their doctors with their smartphones.
Technology will continue to change the landscape of the medical field. Working with and adapting to technology can improve the health care provided to patients. There will certainly be new opportunities to develop new health apps that move towards higher quality medical services.
Josiah Garber is head of online operations at Medical Support Products, Inc. His interest in technology has helped him develop and market an online ecommerce store at www.mspinc.com He believes that technology has the potential to help improve our health care system if used properly.