The majority of current mobile health apps on the market track fitness, wellness, provide medical reference or even information on nutrition. On the other hand, mobile apps which are used for medical diagnoses account for less than ten percent of health apps. Although a part of a small minority, researchers have developed a mobile health index for remote monitoring of patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) that could be incorporated into a smartphone app!
They are available for patients with IBD that track symptoms, record meal details, and manage medications. These apps can create reports for providers but do not allow for real-time interactions between patient and provider. While helpful, researchers stated that simply engaging patients with smart phones, wearable sensors, and telehealth will not simply improve health outcomes, avoid complications and unnecessary services, or decrease the cost of care. They believe that health apps must be integrated with the provision of care to make a substantial difference.
The measurements taken by these apps are known medically as patient-reported outcomes (PROs). They are used to evaluate health status, and are being used in outcome measurement, symptom management, and now, healthcare apps. Although previous studies aimed to identify PROs for disease monitoring, either by adjusting existing questionnaires or using subcomponents of existing questionnaires, researchers found that they were able to prospectively identify PROs relevant for clinical disease monitoring and validate those in an independent cohort.
The innovation and use of health apps for the use of monitoring patient health will be a tremendous asset for both providers and patients. Stay tuned for more information regarding health monitoring apps and reach out to one of our highly trained physicians to determine if their office participates in the use of such apps.
Information was retrieved from: AGA Journals: http://journalsblog.gastro.org