Health Apps Not just for Laypersons, Soon to be FDA Approved

We have seen health apps all over the app stores, and sometimes we just have to stop and think, “do these really work?”  The Food and Drug Authority is also taking a closer look into these apps and conducting a study to prove whether or not these apps do really work as advertised.

I know you’re thinking that these are just apps, what harm can they do?  But what if I tell you that on your next medical check-up, your doctor might use these apps to help diagnose or prescribe medication to you?  Whacked right?  Well, not really.  There are a lot of health apps around that can really help save lives.  As a nurse, I’ve been drawn into downloading apps that are health related like Oxford’s Medical Dictionary, First Aid app and others.

There’s also an infographic that shows how technology is being incorporated into how doctors diagnose and prescribe medication with the help of an iPad, iPhone, Windows and Android powered devices.  Don’t freak out, it’s really not easy to memorize all the medications out there, so there’s nothing really wrong with that.

The infographic shows that 63% of physicians consult their devices regarding issues unrelated to their practices because patients have a lot of questions that sometimes it’s not in the area of their physician’s expertise anymore.  The infographic also looks at some reasons why physicians consult their devices: to access electronic medical records 86%, proper medication prescription 83% and to monitor patients in the hospital 74%.

Azumio, the creator of the Instant Heart Rate app, raised $2.5 million in Series A funding from Founders FundAccel Partners and Felicis Ventures.  The funding will be used to expand product development.

“Azumio’s success has been based on providing easy-to-use biofeedback tools accessible on a device that more than 35 percent of all American adults already have – the smartphone,” said Bojan Bernard Bostjancic, Azumio’s co-founder and CEO.  “This new investment will allow us to accelerate our product development and introduce new services targeting today’s biggest health issues.”

“Azumio’s vision of providing simple solutions for the biggest health problems really resonates,” added Founders Fund’s Brian Singerman. “Mobile technology is changing the healthcare industry and Azumio is part of the next generation of companies leading this transformation. We’re delighted to invest in the company and support them in the realization of this vision.”

And as for other health app highlights, The Pentagon and the Veterans Affairs Department have developed apps to help treat post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries “T2 MoodTracker,” “PTSD Coach” and “Breathe2Relax.”.  Though these apps are not substitute for the real deal, they can help patients identify and self-soothe when therapy cannot be scheduled immediately.

“We find there’s a lot individuals can do, as well as their families, to help build this resilience and that it doesn’t have to be a negative impact when they go off to war,” officials said at the conference. “There are actually positive steps they can take so they can rebound and come back to the person that they were.”

The FDA has already issued 30 pages of guidelines for health apps, specifically targeting those that could endanger patients if they don’t work correctly. The guidelines will provide a “roadmap for software developers” who wants to know the regulatory bounds of their industry, said FDA spokeswoman Erica Jefferson.

Apps have come a long way from just being for entertainment purposes to now aiding in the promoting of the quality of life of everyone.

++ Click to Enlarge Image ++
The Doctor's Tech Toolbox  | Infographic |
Image Source: Spina Bifida