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Updated 26 Feb 2020

7 Innovative apps that give doctors and their patients access to information

Digital tools can help you speed up and improve your patients’ experiences during treatment. This can go a long way in improving your chances of repeat (and referred) clients. 

Nicole Crampton, 09 July 2017  Share  0 comments  Print

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Use apps to give your medical practice a competitive edge. How? These seven apps can help you improve your knowledge, access to information and increase your customer base.

A continuous move towards innovation and digital advancement is creating solutions to address the needs of the South African people, today and in the future – and the healthcare industry is joining in on the digital revolution.

However, there are some tasks that could be digital automated but remain offline, such as booking of appointments, filling out forms along with general administration within your practice. Innovation in practice administration is being driven by the growing online generations, who will soon make-up the predominant portion of your patient base.

Here are seven innovative apps that will give you and your patient’s access to the information you need:

7. RecoMed

Reco Med

RecoMed can help you to expand your customer base. This app is to help patients find and book an appointment with a healthcare professional online. If you sign up for this service, your patrons can easily find and book you online, according an HPCSA report.

This app, RecoMed, also works closely with you to create an online practice profile, which will include all the information your patients will need to make informed healthcare decisions. To date, hundreds of practitioners and thousands of patients are enjoying increased access to healthcare by using

Related: 4 Game changing agriculture apps

6. Vula Mobile

Vula -Mobile

This mHealth app has helped doctors to remotely diagnose eye conditions in difficult to reach locations. This app will help you to reduce unnecessary visual impairment by streamlining eye care referrals. Vula Mobile has incorporated a flexible referral and patient tracking system, which will help you to automate the referral process, and ensure your patient is on the right track.

This medical referral platform helps you to connect with medical specialists and health workers. It gives you direct and instant communication, which speeds up the referral process while ensuring accuracy and privacy when sharing patient health information, according to HPCSA. This can help you to coordinate with multiple professionals speeding up the treatment time for your patient, and ensuring that your patient isn’t double dosed or misdiagnosed.

In a world where 80% of visual impairments can be vented or cured, giving your patients quality assessments and referrals is of high importance, says HPCSA. Vula Mobile has already facilitated over 1100 referrals and is set to diversify its service to become the go-to referral platform across medical specialties.

5. Aviro HIV Mentor

Aviro -HIV-Mentor

This app will allow you to increase your quality of care. It’s an ARV treatment mentor, which helps to support your practices decision making ability. Aviro HIV Mentor provides real-time, immediate feedback and guidance for your practice, according to HPCSA. This will help you conduct excellent and reliable care to every patient.

The app offers step-by-step guidance as you interact with your patient, which allows you to follow the correct guidelines and offers you a procedural checklist that ensures quality of care. The Aviro HIV Mentor app also includes input for adults, paediatrics ad pregnant mothers, and provides information on antiretrovirals, viral loads and drug interactions.

Related: A guide to setting up your own medical practice

4. Synthesis Mobile

Mayo -clinic

Mayo Clinic has designed multiple Apple compatible apps for the medical field. This allows you to use your iPhone or iPad in consultation with your patient. “Now I can sit with a patient, have an eye-to-eye conversation and show them their CAT scan or a video about treatment options,” says Dr Brad Leibovich. “I can use Synthesis Mobile to notify staff to change an IV setting, or do order entry and charge capture right from the application.”

Synthesis Mobile enables you to reduce the amount of menial tasks between patients and helps you work smarter. “I’m more efficient and faster, and I’m doing less work between patients,” says Leibovich.

3. Patient

This app, also created by the Mayo Clinic, allows your patients to securely access their own medical records, while also giving them public information about your practices’ facilities and services. “The future is going to be amazing technology-wise,” Henderson says. “Mayo Clinic is just touching the surface of what’s possible. In terms of trying to be more efficient and providing the best care, the apps we’ve written have definitely given us a vision of where we can go in the future.”

This app can help your patients feel more in control of their treatment plan, as well as keep up-to-date on your practices’ facilities and services.

“It really brings us back to the time when healthcare was a personal interaction between the physician and the patient,” adds Leibovich. He continues “We can integrate iPhone, iPad and apps seamlessly with patient interactions, without the technology getting in the way.”

2. Hello MD and Vitals

These apps are just two examples of how you can increase your target audience. These apps allow new patients to search for medical practitioners including: Radiologists, general practitioners, physiotherapists and even a neurologist.

“Vitals is easy to navigate, enabling viewers to get the information they need in an easy to understand manner. By explaining medical conditions, procedures and medications, patients are empowered to make better choices with treatment options,” says Barbara Hales, m.d.

Related: A guide to managing up your own successful medical practice

By signing up with these types of apps you can connect with new patients looking for your services and even set up an appointment within 24 hours. This application also allows your patients to rate you, which means the better your bedside manner is the higher up on the list you’ll appear when potential clientele are searching for you.

"Our vision is to create a competitive health care marketplace for consumers. We're building better tools and offering consumers cost and quality information that provides value throughout the patient journey and connects them to the right provider,” says Heyward Donigan, President and CEO of Vitals.

1. Anti-Doping app

The SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport has launched a mobisite and an innovative iPhone app, giving SA’s 5,000+ professional athletes as well as doctors, access to the most updated drug information, to help ensure banned substances are not consumed by athletes.

This is according to SA Institute for Drug-Free Sport’s CEO, Khalid Galant, who says that SA is one of the early adopters in term of developing and implementing an education tool of this kind. “The Swiss and German anti-doping agencies also launched their versions of apps and we are the third anti-doping agency world-wide to do one.”

This anti-doping app can also ensure that you aren’t administering a drug that is no longer approved to your athletes. To avoid a situation like Maria Sharapova where a drug was recently-banned and her doctor wasn’t up-to-date, resulting in her being suspended for two years. Know which drugs are acceptable and which are not, using this Anti-Doping app.

You can use all these apps to improve your facilities, reduce time wasted on admin and reach more potential patients than ever before. If you aren’t using the latest innovative app, you’re already falling behind your competition.

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Nicole Crampton

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