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According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, “Smartphones, connected medical accessories and apps have been underutilized by the healthcare industry.” But, not any more! Recent studies report a shift in the way consumers are caring for their health, as usage soars for health-related apps and technologies.
In 2016, it is predicted that we will see an even larger shift in consumer access to personal records, video diagnoses and even monitoring of our own health. Many of us have alarms set up on our phones already, reminding us to stay hydrated. Others are connecting smartphones to small devices that clock sleeping patterns and restlessness in the night.
This year alone, ensa introduced International audiences to a HIPAA-Compliant app that allows individuals to access healthcare records at any time of day, whenever they please. Most recently, a “Good Habit App” was released by ORCAS to curb bad habits by monitoring cause and effects on health conditions, while instituting good habits in developing healthier individuals. In late 2015, GreatCall acquired Lively, Inc. in supporting the health needs of our growing niche of tech-savvy senior citizens.
For years, consumers have been heading to the Internet to research every sneeze and every scratch that we encounter in our daily lives. Now, we have the capabilities to provide ourselves with the same “anytime, anywhere monitoring, diagnosis and treatment” that we can expect from visiting a healthcare professional in-person.
As healthcare companies are becoming hip to a consumer desire for improved lifestyle decisions, they are seemingly partnering with technology companies to delver solutions and provide a jumping board for promotion of their product and service lines. And, we are loving it!
Taking charge of our lives, a growing consumer niche is moving away from prescriptions medicines as much as possible, while working towards natural healing through diet and exercise, discipline and monitoring. Others are finding life too demanding to visit a physician during office hours and are finding it easier to consult via smartphone.
Forbes reports that one in three consumers have at least one health app on their smartphones. This number has actually doubled over the last two years with an increase of viable solutions in the app marketplace. This also has increased with growth in consumer proficiencies during that time.
The Walgreens Boots Alliance app was first released in 2009 and is now one of the most downloaded apps on the marketplace. It has led to a heightened interaction with consumers via mobile platform, as Walgreens is now showing an average of one prescription fulfillment per second – ordered by mobile app! Now, how is that for productivity?!
You can run, but you can’t hide. If you are one in two-thirds the consumer base not already using a smart app to monitor health or encourage healthy choices, you may very soon become just that. Innovations are being seen every day, as the health industry leads new technologies in promoting healthy lifestyles to a global consumer base. Now, whether or not you become part of this culture, the question truly is – are you actually going to use it? Let’s hope so! Here’s to a wonderful New Year full of health, happiness and innovation!