Making the Most of Health Apps

Making the Most of Health Apps
By Taylor Biesterveld, Registered Nurse

Did you know that just two years ago there were over 260,000 health-related apps? In fact, the healthcare mobile app development industry is one of the fastest growing today. 

There are many different ways that health apps can be utilized in everyday life, such as monitoring diet and meeting physical activity recommendations. The increasing usage of apps among health care professionals, patients and general public can play a role in patient education and disease self-management. 

In February, I had the opportunity to present to the National Lipid Association about the practical applications of mHealth apps at the Spring Meeting in San Antonio, Texas. In my presentation, I explained that "mHealth" stands for mobile health and refers to any digital technology related to health. 

mHealth apps can be used with mobile phones or a wireless technology. This allows you to access information about health, wellness or a disease process. The different types of mhealth apps can be categorized by how they are used in three primary areas: 

  1. Informing 
  2. Communicating 
  3. Managing Health 

Some apps can be used through the help of a healthcare provider, but many are used by individuals to track or assist in their own health. 

Here at the Mobile Health Team office, we utilize several different apps, each for a specific purpose. These apps were carefully selected based on the needs of our patients. The one you may be most familiar with is our patient portal. This app allows you to communicate with us electronically through our Electronic Health Record, meaning that the information transferred through that vehicle becomes part of your medical record. 

As a medical practice, we believe your privacy is of utmost importance. There are also apps that we use for HIPAA compliant texting and to aid in health coaching (such as nutrition or activity tracking).  As clinicians, we use several different apps to ensure that we have the most current information on health issues, as well as tools that aid in the diagnosis and treatment of various cholesterol issues.  

If you would like more information on how to utilize mHealth apps for your health, feel free to contact our office at 844-547-4343.

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