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Medical apps that empower and engage

Associate Creative Director

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With over 13,000 health apps in the Apple app store, it’s not a case now of finding an app, but finding the BEST app, and – given that this is a health issue – one that is accurate and safe.

Creating effective apps for children and adolescents can result in a new generation of patients who are both connected and medical app-ready. Reality is that our younger generation interacts differently with digital media and each other. They write, work, study and meet each other online before they do in person. They buy books and music online without even having visited a library. This generation will self-educate and research online before leaving their house.

This will have a big influence in how information is shared with them and how they will choose an app, service or device.

So, what’s defining effective apps in healthcare today?

Medical Apps for Children and Adolescents

Children's smartphone toys

Patient engagement is now an integral part of existing medical apps used by adolescents with diabetes. Apps aimed at children with other more severe diseases where medication adherence has greater implications are also needed. Gamification and incentives are critical elements of such apps. Nowadays, children are given smart phones with games as mental pacifiers much the way television was for baby boomer children. But, unlike television, the children are challenged to find new and innovative ways to use the devices and the devices encourage communications with friends and family.

DIY Apps

Research company Technavio predicts that the global mobile health applications market will reach USD $4.1 billion by 2014 and that consumers will look to their mobile devices absolutely every moment of the day.

Sanofi's iBGStar iPhone glucose meter and tracking software

Devices like these are always connected so that users, their families and care providers not only have comprehensive information in real time, but the patient can also use the tracked information to improve their diabetes care. We live in a world bristling with technology but we benefit most from devices and systems that are immediately easy to use.

Cellnovo diabetes management system

The Cellnovo device is built into the case and provides the same features as the iBGStar.

Without a simple and elegant interface, the benefits of technology stay locked inside impenetrable cases. But with a focus on excellent design and software, the Cellnovo system helps make these benefits accessible to all who need them.

These tools allow for data to be analyzed and shared through reports

With a single click, all the data for a patient is analyzed and charted to identify trends, patterns and problems. Using the portal, clinics can completely re-organize the way in which patients are managed. Text and email can be used to check on recent events. Clinic visits are focused completely on current and accurate information.

HealthTap

The Healthtap app

This app is like an Interactive Health Network that connects patients and healthcare providers. It provides education to those who seek it and disseminates trusted, vetted, peer-reviewed health information far and wide.

This amazing app gives doctors the opportunity and tools to build their online and real-world reputation while making a difference. It allows them to attract new patients and give them all the educational tools they need regarding their condition, while also improving the quality of health information online.

As for the patients, they can search for the best local doctors and make in-person appointments, based on what’s most relevant to them.

My conclusion: all these new apps create exciting new channels to get our therapies in front of patients and doctors more than ever before and help them manage their health from the screens of their smartphones.

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