Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Patient Advocacy: Healthcare on your side


Patient Advocacy: Healthcare on your side

   by Martine G. Brousse
Healthcare Specialist, Patient Advocate, Certified Mediator


In our portable world with an estimated Android 900,000 apps and over 1,200,000 in the iTunes store, finding useful and valuable apps may seem an impossible task. The healthcare corner alone, 2 to 3% of the total, is host to apps in the tens of thousands. 
While compiling a list of even the 100 best ones would certainly lead to a mental breakdown and would be obsolete the moment it was published, here are 5 apps that have attracted positive attention, excellent reviews, and whose vast majority of users have given it a thumbs-up.

PokitDot: Free for iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch, soon for Android
This app caters to savvy healthcare shoppers, to those likely to pay cash for a medical or dental service and for all of us who care about pricing transparency.  Locate providers in your area, compare costs and services, review options, request quotes and negotiate a fair price directly with the office or facility with this app. 

Noom Weight Loss Coach:  Free for Android, iTunes

Plan and execute your weight loss goals with this app. Track down calories and learn about healthy eating habits; create then follow a personalized exercise program; schedule and record your workouts and meals; enjoy fun challenges and get support and information on how best to reach and maintain your ideal weight. 

           Mango Health: Free for iPhone
        Keep track of and never miss taking your prescriptions again with this app. Be alerted   of negative or dangerous interactions between prescriptions, foods and supplements (who knew fish oil and aspirin should not mix??). Learn about safe dosage and drug   indications. And do it all in fun and with rewards for compliance.

Music therapy for Sound Sleep: Free for Android, Kindle
Drift into deep sleep listening to the low speed Alpha wave 8 musical numbers and 12 nature sounds on this app. This is not your usual relaxing soundtracks, but scientifically based sound frequencies which encourage relaxation and promote sleep quality. 

iTriage: Free for Android, iPhone, iPad, iPod Touch
List your symptoms and get feedback on possible causes, and their severity. Learn about conditions, treatments and medications. This app will help you determine your next step, whether advising you to go to the ER or helping you locate and make an appointment with a local medical provider. You may also store and access your medical health records, save information such as insurance coverage or medication lists, keep track of your meds and set refill reminders. 

None of these apps can, of course, replace or be substituted for the expertise of your physician, whose advice should be sought at the appropriate time. Caution should always be exercised, especially if self-diagnosing or self-treating. 

Now that the FDA has ruled on Sept 24, 2013 that it will focus its oversight on those apps that are meant as mobile platforms or an accessory to a medical device, we can expect the explosion of apps helping us manage our general well-being and fitness to continue.

©  [2016] Advimedpro.
©  [2016] Martine G. Brousse.
All rights reserved.

My objective is to offer you, the patient, concrete and beneficial information, useful tips, proven and efficient tools as well as trustworthy supportive advice as you deal with a system in the midst of sweeping adjustments, widespread misunderstandings and complex requirements

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