The world has been significantly dominated by Smartphones and mobile apps. Apple trademarked the ubiquitous catchphrase, "there's an app for that." Years after the tagline was introduced, the statement continues to hold true.Apps have transformed the way that we work and live. Dying to know that song playing on the radio? There's an app for that. Need a quick way to understand what your baby's crying means? There's an app for that, too.
Apps have also changed how many industries operate and thrive, and the healthcare industry is no exception.
When we introduced our SMS-based product verification service(Mobile Product Authentication™ (MPA™)), we wanted to help people actively avoid dangerous counterfeit drugs and contribute to global anti-counterfeiting efforts. We then developed our mobile apps with the same premise, recognizing that the apps have the incredible potential to be a source of education, communication, and empowerment.
While we develop more ways for our mobile apps to bring greater value to consumers around the world, we reflect on other apps that are transforming the way we view health and wellbeing. Here are five apps that truly illustrate how health care and technology can intersect in amazing, productive ways:
Be My Eyes connects volunteer helpers all around the world with blind people via live video chat.
How it works When a blind person needs any assistance, like knowing the expiry date on the milk or navigating new surroundings, he/she requests assistance via the Be My Eyes app. Volunteers can then accept the request and connect via live video to help.
How it transforms health By tapping into an entire community of volunteers, Be My Eyes is making a significant impact for how blind people live.
Dexcom is a recently FDA-approved app that enables people to remotely monitor blood sugar levels of diabetic patients.
How it works The Dexcom Share system is a complement to the G4 Platinum Continuous Glucose Monitor (CGM) System that allows patients to share their glucose levels with others. It even alerts people when glucose levels are low. While the app is particularly useful for parents with young children who have Juvenile Diabetes or children of older parents, the CGM data can be shared with any family members, health care providers, and even close friends.
How it transforms health The Dexcom app helps with real-time information sharing for Diabetes patients and their caretakers, making it easier to ensure that patients stay on top of their glucose levels. It gives peace of mind to caretakers and allows people to take greater control over the disease.
You may have Googled a few symptoms in the past and stumbled upon the WebMD website. With over 5 years of consumer insights and feedback, they finally created an app that gives users the same great health information and expertise we have come to trust.
How it works WebMD has an app that offers physician-reviewed health content, interactive diagnostic tools, and on-demand healthy living information. WebMD's innovative health improvement program helps people create and sustain healthier habits.
How it transforms health While WebMD's app is an extension of its website, its impact on patient empowerment is still noteworthy. WebMD helps consumers actively manage their health by providing them with objective healthcare information. It also enables healthcare professionals access to clinical reference sources, stay up to date with the latest clinical information, and provides a forum to communicate with their peers in the medical community.
Instant Heart Rate
This app helps you monitor your heart rate wherever you are in less than 10 seconds.
How does it work To use the app, place the tip of your index finger on the iPhone’s camera, and in a few seconds, your pulse will be shown on your screen. The app detects a change in color on your fingertip with every heart beat and utilizes an advanced algorithm to show you your heart rate.
How it transforms health The app's main purpose is for those interested in monitoring their heart rate during exercise in order to obtain optimal caloric burn. While this app is not a complete substitute for a doctor or nurse, the app may also help those with heart conditions monitor their heart rate.
This interesting app provides step-by-step instructions for emergency first aid situations.
How does it work GotoAid was created for the non-professional responder with easy to follow instructions for emergency situations. There are appropriate responses for everything from bee stings to weather related emergencies to a complete sudden cardiac arrest incident.
How it transforms health This app can empower people to respond appropriately during certain emergencies or life threatening situations. While it is no replacement for rapid response teams or a health care professional, the app has the potential to save a life when time is of the essence.
This is in no way an exhaustive list of transformative apps that exist to change the health care industry. Do you know other interesting and helpful health and wellbeing apps? Tell us all about it in the comment section!