“High-impact learning is all about — bringing information, skills and capability to people in the most compelling and practical manner possible.” – Josh Bersin
Mobile Apps is enabling to do just that. I am sure you might have read a lot about Mobile Apps, what they can do, how they can be used etc. You probably are using one of them.
I have been following up on Mobile Apps myself but I am amazed at the rapidity and diversity with which Mobile Apps are changing the world of healthcare across the world. Mobile apps seem to be making inroads into eLearning and mLearning domain looking to providing a niche for itself.
Mobile apps in healthcare space can be broadly classified as follows:
Wellness & Health
Some health facilities are using apps to help educate patients and general public on health matters. A Cleaveland clinic has a fully mobile-compatible website with access to maps & directions, physician directory and medical directory among other information. They have also launched three mobile apps – A tip-of-the-day iPhone app or Let’s Move It app to urge people to exercise and a stress meditations app.
The British National Health Service (NHS) released NHS Direct to enable patients to do some preliminary diagnosis on their symptoms resulting from common ailments such as common cold and flu. This reduces the load on the British health system where waiting time to get appointment with physicians is rather long. There are other apps to help you check your BP, eyesight, heart rate, diabetes, etc.
Healthcare representatives (HCRs), physicians and care givers are being aided by mobile apps to help them do their jobs easily, quickly and perhaps more efficiently. Apps on tablets help sales representatives to better organize their data and capture the attention of a busy physician. Physicians themselves are using tablets to access drug information for accurate prescription, reference materials and more. Healthcare providers in remote locations can be guided through step-by-step medical decision making so that they can accurately diagnosis symptoms and illness; so that emergency care can be administered immediately.
A children’s hospital based in Texas is investing in a patient access mobile app that helps patients book appointments, review clinical reports, check-in using QR code when they come in for appointment among other things. This app integrates into their existing IT system, making it easy not just for the patients but also for the healthcare providers. On the other hand, physicians can manage their time and appointments more effectively with information readily available on their mobile devices. The Ottawa Hospital, Canada has seen visible improvement in patient-doctor interaction. Doctors are no more required to confine themselves to the desktop computer; they can now use the Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) system – an iPad mobile app for doctors.
There are several mHealth projects that are providing training to healthcare workers. Some projects are enabling the use of mobile phones to connect up with other healthcare workers, physicians and specialists. Healthcare providers can now access resources from online database and libraries. Physicians who had to carry a huge set of books once upon a time can now access the same information by logging in to one of those online resources, thus making life simpler.
Mobile apps tend to cater to the demands of immediacy by patients, physicians and healthcare workers. In many ways, it can address the knowledge transfer needs of professionals who work in extremely stressful situations, where time is a scare commodity. Have you used any of the health-related mobile apps? Do share your thoughts on how beneficial they can be or cannot be.