Patient-Focused Mobile Apps

EdwardKeiperKey for Your Practice to Gain a Competitive Edge

By Edward Keiper, President and CEO of Velocity

Michelle checks her exercise app on her phone. She sees that her friend Julian has logged 250 more steps than she has that day, and she’s determined to beat him. She decides to take the stairs instead of the elevator when going to her next meeting.

She logs the food she had for lunch in a diet and nutrition app. While waiting for her train on the way home, she switches to a banking app to pay a bill or two and then pops over to a vitamin and supplement website to order her next batch of nutritional shake mixes.

Michelle depends on connectivity to manage her health and wellness. So you can bet that when shopping for healthcare practitioners, Michelle is going to gravitate toward practices that offer mobile connectivity for things like appointment scheduling, referral requests and prescription order refills.

Novelty No More

Technology is rapidly changing patient care into an interactive experience. Sure, at the present moment many patients are accustomed to relying on phone calls and paper, but researchers believe that the next few years will usher in a new era of interaction.

In a recent article at, Murray Aitken, executive director of the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics said, “We can see within five years [medical] apps moving from novelty to mainstream.” He added that it will likely become the norm that patients will leave their doctors’ offices not only with prescriptions for medications, but also for apps.

The Coming Wave

Right now many mobile apps are either practitioner-focused, i.e., providing information on diagnoses or prescription information, or consumer-focused, i.e., providing a platform to track health and wellness goals.

However, be sure to keep an eye out for new technologies that will converge the doctor and patient experience online and extend the relationship beyond the exam room. Plus, keep in mind that most people spend less than 60 minutes per year with their doctor. Being able to connect with patients to send reminders and monitor health conditions will not only be a selling point for your patients, it will improve the quality of the care you’re able to provide.

Early adopters of technologies that allow patients to manage their health the same way they would their Netflix or bank accounts are likely to see a significant competitive advantage.

This article was originally published in the Velocity blog and is republished here with permission.