Can you think of a company that does not have a mobile app? There are probably very few. From your favorite stores to supermarkets and restaurants, most establishments have some sort of digital presence. This could be due to being cost effective or perhaps that 25% more people use mobile then desktop in the United States (1). An industry I never thought about until now is mobile apps in the medical field. I recently had a procedure done, and the main take away was I needed something to monitor my heart rate while being able to live my day-to-day life. Instead of connecting me to a bulky heart monitor that involved stickers and wires, they gave me a portable monitor that fits in my hand and connects through bluetooth to my phone. It’s small, lightweight, and cordless. If there are any irregular rhythms the app notifies me and I am able to send it to my doctor in real time. My doctor is then able to analyze it to provide further advice.
The app I use is called Kardia (2). The app is easy to use, FDA approved, can take an EKG reading anywhere, compatible with smartphones and recommended by doctors. At first, I thought this is great, but with technology comes human responsibility. This means remembering to bring the monitor, not losing it, having it readily accessible to record irregular rhythms. Regardless of human error, we are also putting our health in the hands of technology, into a phone. Is the machine and app acting as it’s supposed to, technical difficulties, etc.? To ensure the app works, as most weary users do, I read reviews. The reviews were very reassuring. Customers with more serious needs used this app and swear by it. The medical field has really come a long way.
To my surprise there are more than 328,000 health apps available worldwide. Mobile apps in the medical industry are expected to generate around 111.1 billion by 2025. To back this up, 75% of US consumers alone said technology is necessary for managing their health (3). Think about it there are Fitbit and MyFitnessPal for aid fitness goals, Talkspace and BetterHelp for mental health needs, MyChart which maintains patients’ health records and many more (4). Mobile has become like an extra hand, all information with a touch of a button. This experience made me realize the importance of mobile apps as well as our reliance on it.
Questions For Reader: What industries have apps that surprise you? What apps do you use to better your health? Would you trust medical apps? What is something you wished a health app could do for you?
1 “Mobile vs. Desktop Usage in 2020.” / Perficient, Inc., www.perficient.com/insights/research-hub/mobile-vs-desktop-usage.
2 “Kardiamobile.” AliveCor, Inc., store.kardia.com/products/kardiamobile/#reviews.
3 Georgiou, Michael. “How Healthcare Mobile Apps Are Transforming the Healthcare Industry.” Imaginovation, Imaginovation LLC, 9 Aug. 2019, www.imaginovation.net/blog/infographic-mobile-apps-transforming-the-healthcare-industry/.
4 “14 Best Online Medical Apps That Make Personal Health Easier.” Online Doctor, 10 Apr. 2021, www.onlinedoctor.com/15-best-online-medical-apps-that-make-personal-health-easier/.