How medical apps are streamlining health care

Written by  Facing Cancer Together
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“When I think about the ways that doctors are accessing medical applications and patient data now, I think of keywords like value and convenience,” says Dr. Michael Ripchinski, Chief Medical Information Officer and Family Physician at Lancaster General Health. “It is valuable for them to have access to record electronically so they can can continue to deliver care for patient even in the off hours. And, it is convenient that they don’t have to travel back to office to initiate or continue care for their patients.”

medical-apps-chartDr. Ripchinski says that a lot of physicians on his staff are using cell phones and tablets to find patient info quickly and to be able to interact with their chart on the go. This allows them to deliver more efficient care and to be more connected with the medical information in their record. Medical apps also provide quick access to reference materials that can be used to diagnose a patient during a visit. Scroll down for the video.

As a family physician, he says that he will oftentimes prescribe apps for his patients to use at home. He highly encourages them to access their own medical chart, which is one of the biggest ways in which they can engage in their health care. It also increases the chart’s accuracy. For others, he will prescribe wellness or fitness apps that can track exercise, diet or sugars. He says that using apps has helped his patients improve their health care because apps are easy and fun to use.

health-appsDr. Adelle Kurtz, a Family Physician with Partners in Family Health PC, says, “There have been more studies recently on lifestyle, If someone watches more than four hours of TV per day, they are more likely to die early. If a person eats more sodium than they should, they are more likely to suffer sudden death. So, if they can track blood pressure, sodium, exercise- they’re going to live longer.” She highlights the fact that most apps are inexpensive and many are free. A ranking system will help a person decide what might be worth trying, and if a certain app doesn’t fit your needs, it is easy to delete and download a different one. Look below for a list of Dr. Kurtz’s favorite apps.

“For those people who are hesitant to try apps, I will show them an app in the office and show them how easy it is to access. It shouldn’t be scary to use apps because it provides great information to them,” Dr. Ripchinski says.

apps-mobileDr. Adelle Kurtz's list of favorite apps:

Blood Pressure Companion app
Salt Tracker app
Brainy app
Heart Rate Monitor app
Weight Tracker app
Glucose Buddy app
Diabetes app
SuperTracker online tracker

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