(This content was originally posted on Medical Billing and Coding.)
With healthcare records going digital and doctors using iPads to manage patient care, it should come as no surprise that many prescriptions are going beyond medications these days. Major news outlets all over the world are reporting that doctors are increasingly prescribing health-focused applications to patients, helping providers to manage care, diagnose conditions, and educate patients about a variety of health issues. With the launch of a new pilot program called Happtique that allows doctors to easily prescribe apps, the role of smartphones and tablets in health care is likely to grow ever larger in the coming years and may become standard practice in our increasingly digital era.
While growth is inevitable there are already hundreds of apps available through Happtique, iTunes and Google Play that are being prescribed and recommended by doctors. Here are just a few that demonstrate the amazing range and potential of the app as a serious medical tool for both doctors and patients:
- Allergy Caddy: With the Allergy Caddy app, those with food allergies can easily find out which restaurant dishes are safe and which may contain allergy triggers like peanuts, shellfish and MSG.
- DiabetesManager: This popular medical app allows patients to track glucose results, carb intake and insulin doses, and can easily transmit that information right back to a trusted doctor.
- HealthySteps: This app allows patients to work with their doctors to make and work towards health goals. The app keeps things on track by sending reminders for just about everything health-related, from taking medications to sticking to a certain diet.
- Doc’s Diet Diary: If a doctor suspects that a patient’s health problems may be caused by diet, this app could be a useful diagnostic tool. It allows patients to easily track what they eat and note any symptoms they may be having.
- Medication Dosage OTC: Not sure how much aspirin to take? This helpful application can make it simple by using the same formula physicians employ to calculate dosage for age and size.
- MyEpilepsyDiary: Patients with epilepsy can get help pinpointing triggers and obtaining treatment for their condition with this tracking app that makes it simple to note seizures, medications and symptoms.
- Thyroid Tracker: From medications to mental and physical symptoms, this application is a great go-between for patients and doctors who are trying to work out the ideal treatment for a thyroid issue.
- Pain Diary Pro: Unexplained aches and pains are distressingly common and it can be hard for doctors to figure out what is causing them without some background information. This app provides that background, allowing patients to track their pain along with other things like diet, medications, weight and body temperature.
- Week by Week Pregnancy Guide: While regular visits to the doctor are essential throughout pregnancy, some women want a bit more information. That’s where this app can come in handy. It tracks the development of the baby, helps moms keep their weight within a healthy range and lets expectant parents know what’s happening every step of the way.
- zPatient: zPatient makes it easy for patients to make and track doctor’s appointments, pay bills, see x-rays, review medical histories, find medical records and even submit refill requests for medications. Essentially, it’s a go-between for patients and doctors that makes every aspect of care more patient-friendly.
- Drugs Guide: For patients who are afraid of mixing up drugs or who are taking too many medicines to be able to easily track what might interact with what, this app could be a lifesaver. It provides detailed information on every FDA-approved drug out there.
- my Allergy Cards: Ensuring that those who have a food allergy aren’t exposed to anything that could trigger a reaction is tricky enough at home, but can be downright dangerous in a foreign country when language is a barrier. This app helps by offering up allergy cards that list a patient’s allergies in a wide range of languages.
- NCITrials@NIH: Many oncologists suggest that their patients install this app from the National Cancer Institute. It provides instant access to all the clinical trials going on in the U.S., opening up potentially lifesaving treatment opportunities for patients.
- NumeraNET: This app requires Numera devices, like those measuring weight, blood pressure and steps, to work. For those who already have one or all of those devices, it can be an excellent way to track progress and communicate that progress to a doctor.
- Orientate: Recovery from a stroke can be a long, hard path, but apps like this one can make it a little easier. Loss of laterality recognition is a common side effect of strokes, and this app is a doctor-approved method of retraining the brain.
- Behavior Tracker Pro: Parents of children with autism may get some help out of this application. Behavior Tracker Pro makes it simple for parents to track a child’s behavior, analyze the data and work to find solutions that make it easier for kids with autism to interact with others socially.
- Instant Heart Rate: Those with a condition that requires constant monitoring of pulse and heart rate levels may want to ask a doctor about this app that can instantly measure heart rate, no attachments needed.
- PTSD Coach: PTSD is a condition that can take years to learn to overcome and control. Some mental health professionals are using this app to help with treatment. It offers a way to help manage symptoms and to connect with resources for help.
- MDS Tracker: Doctors can prescribe this app for patients who have to undergo frequent blood transfusions. Through MDS Tracker, patients and doctors can keep a close eye on iron levels in the body.
- RxmindMe: Remembering to take pills can be hard, but this application makes it easy by sending out a reminder at the correct time every day.
- Nutrition Advanced: Tracking specific vitamins and minerals in a patient’s diet is simple with the help of this fully-featured nutrition app.
- mySymptoms Food Diary: Doctors who want to correlate symptoms with food intake to pinpoint conditions like IBS, food intolerance and allergies can easily get help gathering data by prescribing this app to patients.
- Sodium One: If a doctor wants to help a patient with high blood pressure or heart disease keep sodium intake under control, this application can be a useful tool. It makes it a snap to track daily salt intake and to share the data.
- Asthmapolis: This incredibe FDA-approved app can be a valuable tool for patients who suffer from asthma. Working with a sensor loaded into an inhaler, the app tracks medication use, warns of triggers and passes on critical information to healthcare providers to that both patients and doctors can better control asthma symptoms.
- iHealth BPM: A wireless blood pressure monitor is required to use this FDA-approved app that’s becoming popular among doctors. Patients simply slip on the cuff, start up the app and can easily monitor blood pressure changes throughout a given time period.