Health Care Trends With a Social Media Twist
We’ve all heard the saying, “There’s an app for that”: Trying to locate your stolen handbag? There’s an app for that. Need help managing your caffeine intake? There’s an app for that too. There’s even an app that allows you to keep track of how long you’ve been brushing your teeth (no cheating allowed).
Recently, I’ve become fascinated by the variety of medical apps that are available for download – it seems as though there truly is an app for all of your health needs. One of my favorites is Epocrates, which serves as an instant drug reference for doctors and nurses, allowing them to look up the dosage information, interactions, and side effects for almost every drug. Crain’s New York Business recently reported that when an HIV patient who is already taking multiple medications walks into a Hospital’s emergency room, doctors can use Epocrates to check potential adverse drug interactions – very valuable.
However, one thing I never considered was that one day apps would be prescribed like medicine. On Wednesday, the UK Department of Health announced that general practitioners may soon be directing their patents to free or cheap apps to allow them to monitor and manage their health more effectively. Health secretary Andrew Lansley was quoted saying: "So many people use apps every day to keep up with their friends, with the news, find out when the next bus will turn up or which train to catch…I want to make using apps to track blood pressure, to find the nearest source of support when you need it and to get practical help in staying healthy the norm.” (Click Here for complete story). What are your thoughts? How would you react if you left the doctor’s office with a “prescription” to visit the app store?