Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Best mHealth Aps

One of the most engaging things about tablets and Smartphones is that they come loaded with tons of mobile apps that can help you whip up a meal, navigate from point A to point B, check planets, stars and constellations and so much more. But now there are mobile apps in the market that are changing the way health care professionals deal with diagnosis too. There are some that are designed for doctors that allow them to monitor a person's glucose levels, blood pressure, or asthma symptoms, and some that comprise databases about diseases and drugs. Then there are those that are designed for patients, either to gather diagnostic data or to help patients keep track of their medical conditions and their treatment. Here are some of the best.

Epocrates is one of the most established medical apps out in the market. It provides information about certain drugs, the correct dosage for children and adults as well as warnings about harmful interactions. Due to the app, many physicians have done away with their copies of the Physicians Desk Reference.


UpToDate provides medical practitioners with the reference material that they need in order to make diagnoses. The app is especially useful for diagnosis the symptoms of patients who fail to respond to the existing hypertension therapies.


Isabel allows doctors to make a diagnosis by entering a patient’s symptoms into the app. The app then lists out every possible diagnoses and the medications that could cause the symptoms. The app was created and developed by Isabel Maude’s parents. Isabel was a British girl who died in 1999 at the age of 3 after being misdiagnosed. Many doctors claim to be quite intrigued by Isabel, the app, and tools that offer these kinds of diagnostics. But some say that the app isn’t finely tuned enough to recognize some of the symptoms and to reach a diagnosis. According to the team at Isabel Healthcare Ltd., the tool has been created not to replace a doctor’s diagnoses, but to assist it. It offers a whole host of possibilities and then the doctor has t sift through them to work out the probabilities.


Alivecor is an app that runs on the Smartphone of a patient to produce electrocardiograms. This portable heart monitor app entails patients placing their fingers over the sensors on the monitor, which then communicates wirelessly with the phone to produce the EKG. This app is especially recommended to those patients that suffer from irregular heart rhythms, to assure them that they are in the clear.

Ihealth Wireless Pulse Oximeter:

This app is especially useful for people who have sleep issues. The app allows people to record their blood-oxygen level during the night. Doctors can use this data to diagnose if a patent suffers from sleep apnea or not. Patients suffer from sleep apnea when the airways are blocked or narrowed abnormally and the air is therefore prevented from flowing into the lungs. This causes a sudden drop in the oxygen level in the blood. Obese people are more likely to suffer from sleep apnea as they have excessive fat tissue which thickens and narrows the wall of their windpipes.  Patients who want to use the app need to wear a fingertip sensor when they go to bed. This sensor links wirelessly to the phone and tracks their blood oxygen levels. Many doctors claim this app to be more efficient than the otherwise expensive sleep studies that are conducted at hospitals.


This app allows doctors to look at images such as X-rays on their tablets or Smartphones as soon as they are available.  While the image resolution may be lacking a bit to make a diagnosis, no one can deny how handy this app really is.

Cellscope Oto:

With this app, a doctor can turn their Smartphone into an otoscope. The app along with the optical device is extremely useful in recording videos of a child’s ear and then showing it to family members to explain their symptoms and diagnostics. The app can be instrumental in cutting down on the need for antibiotics as well.


There are some hospitals who have unofficial observers to determine whether or not staff, doctors and nurses are being scrupulous and following hygiene guidelines or not, while there are some that don’t. This infection-control app works well in collecting and subsequently displaying data whether the staff is being hygiene focussed or not. Observers can send their deductions via a wireless device to a central database where they are calculated and shared with staff the same day itself. It is important this is done on the same day itself, because sharing it a month later won’t have any effect on altering behavior. If medical practitioners see the info at the end of their shift, they are more likely to take it seriously.

Breast Cancer Diagnosis Guide:

Breast cancer patients can use this app to enter and subsequently stack the details of their disease and treatment, right from the size of the tumour, to the absence or presence of estrogen receptors. The app helps patients deal with the onslaught of information they get when they are first diagnosed, which can be quite overwhelming for many. It also helps them keep track of many details when they consult different doctors, surgeons, oncologists etc.


CliniCam is an app that allows doctors to take photos of a patient’s medical condition and sends them directly to their electronic medical record without storing them on the phone. This ensures no violation of any health-care privacy laws, which it would if the doctor left the photo on his or her personal mobile device. These pictures are helpful as they help illustrate conditions like rashes, skin lesions, wounds etc. The app is especially useful for plastic surgeons who routinely use photos.

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