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07-31-2012, 02:21 AM #1
Health Related Apps on the iOS Platform Change How Patients Experience Healthcare
As the iOS platform continues to see a surge in growth, health related apps are proliferating quickly in the App Store. While most of them tend to focus on diet, exercise, and stress relief, there are some fast growing trends that show how the iOS platform is transforming the healthcare experience to consumers. According to the folks at MobiHealthNews, a company that provides an annual assessment of the market for mobile apps related to medicine, health, and fitness, there are three new trends that are emerging that could significantly reshape the experience of healthcare.
In its annual study, it was noted that most apps fall into one of the 12 general categories (all of which that are noted in the chart above) with apps that support cardio-related fitness, diet and meal planning, stress reduction, strength and weight training, and women’s health being the five most common categories. This year, the health news service notes that there is a significant growth in areas that weren’t previously identified as distinct categories until now. These include: allergy information and management apps, interactive apps for specific doctor’s officers or healthcare groups, and physical therapy apps.
Of the new categories, allergy management is considered one because the majority of apps related to allergies have been launched in the past ten months. The category which seems to be emerging is dedicated to seasonal allergies rather than to most serious types of allergies such as shell-fish, types of nuts, and bees, all of which can be fatal. It was noted that some of these apps are ranked highly in the App Store. The interesting thing here is that multiple allergy management apps are produced by pharmaceutical companies, which provide useful information and serve as marketing vehicles for specific drugs.
The second set of apps is established by health care providers like individual doctor or provider practices, medical groups, hospitals and insurance carriers. Healthcare professionals seem to be embracing consumer-oriented apps as a way to distribute provider information and general health references. Some of them even offer direct interaction for things such as scheduling appointments, paying bills, and getting in touch with doctors, nurses, or other providers directly through the app.
The third and last category was physical therapy apps. Most of these apps tend to focus on specific injuries, conditions, and areas of the body. They seem to provide reference guides to help patients with exercises to help improve their recovery rate. According to MobiHealthNews, doctors and physical therapists are likely to “prescribe” these apps in the coming future.
Given the rate at which iOS devices continue to penetrate the mobile market, it is being expected that apps will be a better marketing punch than other types of ads when it comes to the healthcare field. Ultimately, if healthcare professionals work on educating and empowering patients to take more active are of their health, then there will be a positive impact for individuals as long as they are using reputable apps. Hopefully apps like these continue to help individuals and there is an improvement of knowledge when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle.
Source: MobiHealthNews via CultofMac