• Articles
  • February 17, 2021
  • Gareth Morris

The apps changing healthcare


Budget planning – there’s an app for that. Turning your heating on – there’s an app for that. Seeing what you’ll look like in 50 years’ time – there’s an app for that. Mobile applications have transformed the way we live, communicate and play, and now they’re about to transform healthcare. 

Following on from our recent blog post on the top tech revolutionising healthcare, we’re looking at the top apps transforming the healthcare industry and changing the way we monitor and improve our health forever. You’ll notice that many of the current apps are US-based, providing lots of opportunity for UK development and mobile developers. Let’s take a look. 

Medical reference apps

Keeping on top of the latest medical best practice, research and medication is difficult, which is why medical practitioners often postpone appointments to conduct additional research and confer with colleagues.

Medical reference apps aim to make this a thing of the past. Point-of-care access to medical information and community support on diseases, procedures and drugs enables medical professionals to diagnose conditions and provide medical advice quickly and accurately. This has the potential to reduce appointment numbers, speed up treatments and improve diagnosis. 

Current apps: Medscape, VisualDX and Epocrates.

Patient health tracking apps

Never has the general population been more connected with their own health and fitness. Health tracking apps are encouraging people to walk further, exercise more, sleep better and take an active interest in their general wellbeing. 

Not only are patient health tracking apps aiming to improve overall health and fitness, but they’re also providing medical professionals with detailed information on heart rates, diabetes, blood pressure and other insights that can highlight medical problems earlier. 

Current apps: FreeStyle Libre, Sleepstation and Fitbit

Medical record apps

It can be a surprise to hear just how many professionals need access to medical records. From doctors and nurses to pharmacists and physicians – the more professionals who can view and add to medical notes, the better the medical care. 

Medical record apps aim to centralise medical records and access. Not only will this lead to more informed care and significant timesaving, but it will also lead to more comprehensive records that could include dental notes, eye tests and health tracking information. 

Current apps: VirtualHub Chart and Oxygen.

Doctors’ surgery apps

Local doctors’ surgeries in the UK have a bad reputation. Unavailable appointments, engaged dial tones and long waiting times sour everyone’s experiences. Doctors’ surgery apps could be the solution. 

These apps provide patients with a quick and easy way to view doctor availability, book appointments and cancel or amend an existing appointment. Plus, with the ability to handle repeat prescription orders and remind patients about appointments, these apps have the potential to relieve an overburdened system and reduce missed appointments. 

Current apps: Patient Access.

Telehealth apps

But will doctors’ surgeries even exist in the future? Telehealth apps certainly don’t think so. Best described as a ‘doctor on demand’ app, these apps instantly connect users with a medical professional via chat, video and audio calls. 

Doctors can access medical records, talk with the patient and prescribe action or recommend an in-person appointment or a visit to A&E. These apps are ideal for patients who struggle to get to general practices because of mobility issues, work schedules or their health. 

Current apps: Steel Kiwi, KRY and Ada.

Diagnostics apps

If we’re asking whether doctors’ surgeries will exist in the future, then we might as well ask the question – will doctors will exist in the future? Most likely, yes, but as technology advances, we’re seeing AI diagnostics apps come onto the market – offering human-free medical advice. 

From detecting eye diseases to identifying early stage skin cancer, these diagnostics apps use machine learning and years of research and medical cases to assess patients and refer them for further treatment quickly. Not only will these apps save time, but they’ll also save lives.

Current apps: Microsoft InnerEye, IBM Watson Health and SkinVision

Other apps

And that isn’t all. We’ve seen many other exciting app developments on our travels including applications that virtually queue you in A&E, connect and network medical professionals across the globe and assist pharmacists in dispensing the right medication. The future really is here. 

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