By 2012, the amount of doctors using smartphone technology in their everyday lives will be up to about 81%, compared to the 72% of usage in 2010. This validated in an online survey of 3,798 physicians conducted by QuantiaMD. What is the cause behind this recent upsurge in smartphone usage at the doctor’s office or hospital? It is largely due to the growing number of “apps” that are available to both doctors and med students and the usefulness alike. Here are all the reasons why doctors embrace smartphones in their everyday practices.
There’s an app for that”, although we have all heard the saying, some may not know what an “app” is. An “app” is a small application that lives on your phone and performs a task. Apple touts that it has over 425,000 secure apps for the iphone and Google with over 250,000 for Android. In a previous post "is my phone smarter than yours" we highlighted some specific medical apps. Here are a few general things you can do with an “APP” on your phone.
Drug Treatment Information: Doctors need to ensure that they are giving their patients the correct prescriptions, and that the patient in turn knows what the prescription is called. Drug treatment reference material is the top leader. Doctors can use their smartphones to access an app known as Epocrates, which allows them to put in specific characteristics of each pill such as the color, shape, size, and more. This app then displays pictures of similar pills so the doctor can see which pill the patient is taking.
Access Diagrams: If a doctor needs to explain a procedure to a patient, a pull-up diagram may be available for the doctor to use as well. Whether that means getting a diagram of a specific part of the body or illustrating how to perform a specific surgery, these are all at the doctors disposal via the use of numerous medical applications on a smartphone.
EMR Access: Many of the sophisticated ERM programs allow for provider to gain secure mobile access to patient information via their phone.
PACS: On the more technical side of things, doctors can also use smartphone apps to look at the results of a patient X-ray or MRI.
Every smartphone has basic functionality such as email and a web browser, where similarly to your computer you can use to browse the Internet without any restrictions (except screen size): Here are a few things that do not require an app.
Access your schedule: One of the main reasons that doctors embrace smartphones is because they can use a simple web-browser. This is handy to check the status of their clinics a on call schedule or even the daily schedule for the office. This is possible through the scheduling element of iCal, a popular app on the iPhone. This program can synchronize with the work schedule application that doctors may use, and the two coincide with each other quite perfectly.
Vacations and Personal Time: In the event that a doctor wants to request some personal holidays, vacation time, or shift swaps with another doctor,(make a provider request) he or she can go into the work scheduling software located on the smartphone and plan all of these things out in advance. There are many different work scheduling (Adjuvant) programs available with this capability.
Email: Pretty self explanatory. Check all of your email accounts and have the ability to reply with ease.
SMS: Curbside consults have become much more advanced over the years. Sending a simple text message from one provider to another is an efficient means of communication.
Documentation: You never know when a 5MP digital camera or a HD video recorder will come in handy.
The most popular smartphone currently used in the medical industry is the Iphone with the Andriod as a close second. No matter what phone the doctors choose the plethora of apps for doctors and all health care providers offers enough support for the reason why many doctors embrace smartphones.