More than ever before, digital health is playing a massive part in healthcare. Rather than treating diseases and illnesses, apps and developers are beginning to focus on encouraging healthy lifestyles and wellness to prevent patients from becoming ill. With 93% of physicians believing that mobile health apps can improve a patient’s health, digital health is on the rise.
Additionally, people are increasingly willing to try non-traditional methods for accessing healthcare services, especially due to the pandemic changing the face of in-person care.
Join us and explore the world of digital health, including digital health trends for the coming year and some cool examples of digital health apps you can download today.
What is Digital Health?
Digital health uses computing platforms, software, connectivity, and sensors designed to enhance healthcare delivery efficiency to make medicine more personalised and precise. Critically, digital health is driving a revolution in healthcare, from mobile medical apps and software supporting doctors’ clinical decisions to AI and machine learning.
Digital health and mobile health apps are prime examples of Tech for Good, improving doctors’ ability to accurately diagnose and treat patients as well as enhancing health and wellness care for individuals.
Benefits and Challenges of Digital Health Apps
Digital health apps have the power to transform healthcare and come with a wealth of opportunities to improve medical outcomes and boost efficiency. But with great power comes great responsibility, meaning that digital health and mobile app development comes with its challenges.
Digital health apps can empower us to make better-informed decisions about our health and provide new options for preventing injuries and illnesses. Medical apps also increase the chance for early diagnosis of life-threatening diseases and help manage chronic medical conditions outside traditional care.
Additionally, with people’s growing openness to non-traditional healthcare developers have a wealth of opportunities to create and connect users through to digital platforms. Access to wearable devices, smart trackers, and AI also adds to digital health platforms and mobile apps’ benefits.
When developing apps and software with digital health in mind, security and data storage is a major challenge. To build trust with users, your digital health solution must keep their personal information protected. The best way to overcome this challenge is to work with secure and encrypted technologies that keep your users’ data safe.
Another challenge is the sheer amount of digital healthcare tools that already exist. You must make sure the application can integrate with other tools and platforms, which can be tricky. Although, when sharing data between platforms, organisations and apps, we unlock exciting opportunities for the future of healthcare.
What Are the Main Digital Health Trends for 2021?
As technology evolves, new digital health solutions will emerge. Below are some key trends we can expect in the coming year:
Mobile health apps provide easy access to useful information and tools to help people manage their health. GPs, dentists and other healthcare providers can also use apps to allow patients to make and manage appointments easily. In addition, mobile health apps can allow users to manage their overall mental and physical wellbeing.
Virtual consultations have increased significantly during the pandemic as physical encounters are limited for populations worldwide. This practice proves that virtual consultations aren’t only possible but incredibly easy and often preferable (and also likely to become a standard practice in the future).
Another trend that will play a huge role in the digital transformation of healthcare is AI. The AI healthcare market is expected to exceed $34 billion by 2025 because of its usefulness for creating tailored treatment plans, optimising drug development and much more.
Wearables and self-monitoring solutions
From exercise and heart rate tracking watches to blood sugar monitors for diabetics and oximeters measuring blood oxygen levels for respiratory patients, wearable self-monitoring tools like FitBit empower people to take charge of their own healthcare.
Examples of Groundbreaking Health and Wellbeing Apps
There are countless digital health apps out there, but we’ve gathered our favourites for you here:
Headspace is a worldwide leading mental wellbeing and meditation app. Led by former Buddhist monk, Andy Puddicombe, the Headspace app helps users control their minds by meditating for ten minutes per day. Users report better attention spans, alertness and instant calm after using the app.
The BlueStar Diabetes App is an award-winning FDA-approved app developed that captures blood-glucose information and provides real-time coaching to diabetes patients. Users can track readings, set reminders for medications, sync fitness and training devices and receive real-time feedback to manage their condition better. The app also offers lifestyle tips, recipes, meal plans, and much more.
Exhale is the first emotional wellbeing app for and by black, indigenous women of colour (BIPOC) to inspire self-care, mindfulness and rest. Founded by Katara McCarty, BIWOC cultural leader and expert on race relations, Exhale offers meditation, coaching talks, affirmations, guided visualisations and breathwork. The app is also designed to offer advice and aid users in need.
Personal wellbeing is affected by a whole suite of factors, from physical and mental to environmental and financial. ZavFit uses a combination of financial data and psychological support to aid people’s everyday financial wellbeing. Pioneering the money fitness movement, Zavfit harnesses open banking and increased awareness of mental wellbeing to help people get ‘MoneyFit’ with technology.
Andrew Johnson Meditation
Andrew Johnson has been helping people relax, change and create the lives they want for over 25 years using a combination of self-care recordings, guided meditations, apps, online courses and workshops. With over 17 million downloads and streams to date, Andrew’s recordings top the “Self-help” recordings list on the Apple and Android App stores.
Digital health and mobile health apps are here to stay. As technology progresses and these solutions’ capacity and efficiency increase, the positive impact on people’s overall health could be remarkable.
Digital Health at GearedApp
Here at GearedApp, we go beyond simply developing new and innovative Tech for Good mobile app solutions. In our day to day working lives, our team aims to inject health and wellbeing into operations where we can.
To date, we’ve completed fit days, participated in zoom posture workshops, and successfully implemented flexible working policies that allow our team to stop, breathe, and re-energise. We’ve found huge success in giving our team the digital health tools to maintain their wellbeing.
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