Parents already know the fear that sets in when you think your child has an ear infection.
Then there’s the mind-numbing screams that your child will make during the time it takes to get to the doctor, fill out the necessary forms and wait to be seen.
All in all, an unpleasant experience for both you and your child (and your eardrums).
Now what if that process was dwindled to using your smartphone to snap a photo of your child’s ear and uploading it to an app. From there, a doctor could diagnose the infection and prescribe the medicine. You’ll bypass doctors’ offices and lines altogether.
Mobile apps like this already exist and are attempting to simplify patient care. But researchers at Rock Health have found that even though there are more than 13,000 digital medical apps, patients have yet to flock to the trend.
Working with health startup Greatist, Rock Health produced this infographic to explain the power of mobile healthcare.
“It’s here and it’s happening,” Leslie Ziegler, Chief Evangelist of Rock Health, tells Mashable. “Theres still a long way to go but it really has the power to impact peoples lives in a very meaningful way.”
The mobile healthcare industry has made significant strides within the healthcare provider community. Rock Health found 75% of small and medium size medical and dental offices will purchase tablets within the next year. And almost 40% of physicians use medical apps on a daily basis.
The digital healthcare field is also alleviating the costs of patientcare and increasing the scale at which doctors and nurses can help people. The healthcare industry is already strained, Ziegler says, and a shortage of primary care physicians in years to come will only exacerbate the problem. She says mobile apps can bridge that gap.
But patients have been slower to realize the impact apps could have, Ziegler says, potentially because the apps force people to take notice of their health.
“No one wants to actively track what they are always doing, so we really want to make the experience passive,” she told us, adding, they are working to make tech and apps that “provide incentives for people to manage health more efficiently.”
Consumers are also generally unaware of how quickly the space of mobile health is growing, David Tao, Chief Research Officer at Greatist, tells Mashable. He says once consumers realize the vast industry already accessible, more consumers will begin utilizing the products.
“Mobile health isn’t a replacement for healthcare, it’s a supplement,” Tao says. “These companies aren’t replacing doctors’ keen eye or experience, but the apps are just bettering communication between doctor and patient.”
Do you use mobile healthcare apps and if so which ones? Tell us in the comments below.