Mobile Tech in Medicine

Mobile Tech in Medicine

Not long ago, our mobile phones were merely a convenient way to connect with people wherever you were. Today, they’re pocket computers that include phone calls among their hundreds of functions. There’s an app for just about anything, including aspects of personal health care that go far beyond keeping track of one’s appointments.

With little effort, you can find health-oriented mobile apps for:
• Accurate information about ailments and illnesses, medications, treatments, potential drug interactions, and similar topics
• Understanding your symptoms
• Tracking your recovery progress—noting milestones and dealing with setbacks
• Maintaining medication schedules with dosage reminders and easy renewal of prescriptions
• Dealing with the many issues of chronic diseases

According to management consultants Accenture, 69% of patients like to use mobile apps for after-hours communication or to set follow-up appointments, 84% of providers use them for post-discharge support, and 96% of the health care providers that use apps have seen better patient-satisfaction outcomes.

Chad Brisendine, vice president and chief information officer at St. Luke’s University Health Network, agrees that the concept is trending nationally, but adds that the St. Luke’s app is unique. “Most medical apps come from a vendor called Epic. We use multiple vendors for ours, so we can incorporate their best-in-class features,” he said.

Those distinctive features result in a powerful app.

The MyChart function lets you see test results, communicate with your care team, ask for prescription refills, and track your overall health status. Link profiles of your kids or other dependents to your account and you can access their information as well.

Comparing care options 24 hours per day and selecting the best one for you is simple using our ‘Not Feeling Well?’ feature,” said Brisendine. “The app can help you find the most convenient practice, lab or walk-in center for you. In addition, it can help you find a specific doctor for your condition and schedule appointments on line. Most exciting, the St. Luke’s app features on demand Video Visits which allows you to connect with a doctor immediately, right from your phone for all your urgent care needs.

“You can use it for paying medical bills,” Brisendine said. “It makes bills easier to read and understand, and lets you set up a payment plan if needed.

“We’ve rolled out various features over the last 24 months or so,” Brisendine added, “and more are in development. By the end of the year, patients should be able to complete their check-in paperwork ahead of time. Just walk in and wait to be called; the app will signal that you’ve arrived.”

Download the free app by visiting the Apple or Google Play store, and simply search for “St. Luke’s.” 

Follow @LehighValleyMarketplace on Instagram