Tag: HealthTap

Are Mobile Health Apps Really Making A Difference?

By James Cumming, CEO, Daily Posts UK.

James Cummings
James Cummings

Smartphones have come a long way over the years and have become far more than simple tools for making calls and sending texts. Now, your smartphone can make financial transactions, secure your home or car, and yes, monitor your health and lead you towards a healthier lifestyle.

A variety of mobile health apps currently exist for android and iOS devices, and each app brings something unique to the table. Some are entirely free, while some charge a small fee for their services. But before we look at some of the reigning health apps currently available, let’s first look into the usefulness of mobile health apps in general. 

Do mobile health apps really work?

According to Domains4Less, “Gone are the days when health professionals could only see and help patients in person. And limited are the days when websites and phone calls were the only alternative to physically speaking to a patient. Health apps are the new frontier …”

The current breed of mobile health apps available serve mainly two functions, one of which is  the recording or collection of your vitals which, depending on the app, may then be shared with a health care provider. Other apps function by providing you immediate access to health information like workouts and nutrition data which can help you live a healthier lifestyle. This means that with the help of an app or a combination of apps that deliver the above functions, you can stay healthy and may not actually need to see a doctor unless you are suffering from very serious symptoms.

Even though there is no empirical evidence yet of how much health apps contribute to healthy living, there is proof that such digital tools do make you take greater notice of changes in your health, such as weight increase, the need for more physical activity, or an erratic heart rate and thus gives you an opportunity to get these issues under control. If you use such apps consistently, they are bound to eventually contribute positively to your health.

Other ways specialized health apps can help include:

Some mobile health apps that are changing lives 

  1. Doctor on Demand

This app is free to download but requires subsequent payments. The price is worth it, however, considering the benefits of the app. With Doctor on Demand, you can conveniently organize video visits with certified physicians who can promptly provide you important medical advice anywhere you are in the world via your phone. Doctors on the app can provide treatment via the app for cough/cold, allergies, minor infections, flu, as well as emotional health concerns. The services are also covered by insurance (depending on your health insurance provider).

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The Web Has Become Our Confidant for All Things Health Related

Should any of us really be surprised at this point, more than 20 years after the web really took hold in society, that so many of us turn to it for advice, guidance and a little help navigating our health diagnosis and outcomes.

According to a recent report featured in American Medical News, most of us in America are turning to the web to help in dealing with our symptoms. What has traditionally been a vehicle to identify the condition associated with our symptoms and has now taken on the role of confidant in all things healthcare related.

For example,  we are hitting the web to research which  physicians to see, what treatment options there are, services provided by care facilities and pharmacies, and thing else we believe will be useful to our longevity and comfort.

This is not surprising. We live on the web. Just this week I went online before deciding to call my daughter’s pediatrician to see what to do about her fever and if it was getting to high. While there, I also took a look around to find tips for breaking it and to see whether I should be packing her in blankets or letting her “breath.”

In the end, all of the information I found about my daughter’s condition turned out to be true and was verified by her pediatrician.

Apparently, this is exactly how about 75 percent of the rest of us feel. Granted, if I were in a real emergency or needed immediate care, I wouldn’t be hitting the web first, but I’m actually scratching my head a little about why this information, about people turning to the web, is such a revelation.

As we all continue to move online, the web is going to become more and more a part of our lives. And really, we’re already seeing services like telehealth and remote video consults filling voids where services are required.

On top of this, there are companies like HealthTap that actually allow patients to interact with a panel of physicians online and ask questions or seek medical guidance. Clearly this is the new normal, the present path.

So, again, I’m left wondering why it’s so interesting that three quarters of the U.S. population taps a few keys to find the best information available to them. If nothing else, this should mean we are the most educated patients in the history of mankind, which could lead to better results, and … wait for it … more engaged individuals.

I leave you with the following bit of info about others like me (though I’m without chronic condition), pulled directly from American Medical News (thanks, guys!):

Chronic care patients rely on information online

A Manhattan Research survey found that 54 percent of patients who use the Internet say their healthcare decisions, including choices of physicians and medications, are influenced by information they find online. And 79 percent of patients diagnosed in the past three months with a chronic condition are likely to use what they see online. Percentages of patients who are influenced by online health information by conditions:

72%: Angina

70%: ADHD

69%: Crohn’s disease

68%: Fibromyalgia

68%: Insomnia


68%: Rheumatoid arthritis

66%: Acne

66%: Bipolar disorder

66%: Epilepsy

66%: Skin cancer

66%: Hepatitis C