What do Medical Apps Mean for Your Practice?

Medical practices have adopted more technology throughout the years and currently more practices have been adopting Electronic Health Records systems (HER). However, patients have been using technology to track their health, while health care providers have been using it to keep track of their patients’; Medical Apps are growing steadily. Patients can track their own health and wellness, while doctors can view a patient’s x-rays on their mobile device. One major concern is privacy. The FDA has made efforts to regulate mobile apps by overseeing the safety and effectiveness and they ask for feedback from health care providers, but is this enough? More than 50 percent of doctors use a smartphone for work purposes. A doctor in a hospital or medical practice can use their phone to receive pages or to access EMR/EHR systems. Since the use of EHR/EMR systems is on the rise medical practices will need to make adjustments to accommodate the new technology. Maintaining patient privacy needs to be the number one priority. In order for medical apps to be effective both patients and doctors need to become mindful of pros and cons. Doctors, Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants should make patients aware that although some medical apps can help them stay on track with diet and health, they should only be supplementary to care they receive from a doctor. Doctors should also be careful about accessing EMR/HER information through a mobile device, and using the proper password protection to ensure patient confidentiality.