As wearable technology and health-based mobile applications become more prevalent among patients, there is a growing demand for healthcare professionals to be able to recommend these to patients. Many people simply see this as an extension of medical advice, after all you are already recommending medications, treatments, and care options. Realistically, the decision to recommend these is left to each healthcare professional, but here are a few things to consider if you think you’re ready to do it.
A growing number of doctors are being quizzed by patients about which healthcare apps and wearable technology they should be using. Last year, healthcare market research company MedPanel conducted a poll that found only 15 percent of doctors are speaking with patients about the benefits of these.
With the popularity and prevalence of both technologies set to increase over the coming years, doctors are going to have to decide if these will be something they recommend or even advise patients on. It can be a tough decision but here are a few of the issues you’ll need to take into consideration before making your choice.
What devices/operating systems do you feel comfortable with?
The problem for many healthcare professionals is that the sudden expansion of the mobile apps and wearable technology market left them out of the loop when it comes to these. A lot of doctors are apprehensive about making recommendations without knowing the ins and outs of how something works and this is why many of them are avoiding this subject when dealing with patients.
Realistically you will want to figure out what operating system you prefer to use. Chances are if you use an iPhone, it will be easier for you to download and test apps for iOS than Android. It should be the same with wearable technology devices. Take a few out for a test drive and learn more about them. This way, you have a general idea of what they can do should a patient ask about them. It’s also possible to have your technology provider arrange a demonstration of any of these devices and a better explanation of just how they work.
Figure out the scope of your recommendations
One thing doctors tend to notice when exploring the world of health apps and wearable technology is just how massive and varied it can be. If you’re a specialist, it will be much easier to figure out what you want to recommend to patients, but for general health practitioners and others who cover a broader range of medicine, you might find yourself lost in a neverending world of technology.
When it comes to wearable technology, it is a little easier to figure out the items patients will be interested in and what they probably won’t ask you about. However, when it comes to health apps, you need to be on your toes. Because the scope of these can vary wildly from nutrition and medicine reminders to heart health and stroke prevention, you are going to want to focus your recommendations on a few areas you feel comfortable with.
Talk to your patients
A lot of doctors don’t take the time to speak with their patients about what mobile health apps or wearable technology they use or are thinking about using. By talking to them, it will help you get a better idea of what your patients want from this technology and make it easier for you to figure what you should be focusing on.
Ask a tech expert
Just because a piece of wearable technology or a mobile app works great for you, doesn’t mean your patients will have the same experience. There are a lot of technological factors when it comes to wearable technology and mobile apps and learning more about these will be important to you and your patients. Tech experts, like those found on our staff, are able to let you know if mobile health apps or wearable technology is secure and able to adequately protect your personal information among numerous other issues. There would be nothing worse than you recommending a technology that contains viruses or other harmful problems to your patients.
If you want to be able to recommend wearable technology and mobile apps to your patients, get in touch with us first. We’ll make sure your picks have a clean bill of health.