Patients and doctors need to be able to communicate with each other in order to receive the best care possible. Effective communication can provide insight to the physician who can then make recommendations, order tests, and prescribe appropriate medications.
However, communication skills may not be the doctor’s or patient’s strong area. Using phone applications (apps) can be a quick solution to inadequate patient/doctor communication. Phone applications (apps) can be extremely useful in monitoring our lives, including the areas that contribute to our health and well-being.
Due to this, patients can share their apps and data with doctors in order to share insight into their lives. There is no need to review the 3,000 plus healthcare apps on the market. This list includes the best healthcare apps that can improve patient and doctor communication today:
Sleep is incredibly important to our health and well-being. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute “getting enough quality sleep at the right times can help protect your mental health, physical health, quality of life, and safety.” However, people often do not make the connections between their sleep and their health. Doctors may ask about a patient’s sleep habits and cycle, but patients often do not provide enough information.
SleepScore is a phone app that tracks your sleep cycle, allows you to set sleep goals, and more. If used consistently, this application can be a resourceful tool that improves patient/doctor communication. Ideally, the patient will show the application to show their sleep cycle, which will then allow the doctor to visually see any patterns and areas of concern.
Food is the foundation of health and when our diets do not have the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and fiber, our bodily systems will be impacted. Doctors will complete blood work to gain insight into someone’s diet. However, blood work can take a few days and may not provide the full picture of someone’s eating habits.
MyFitnesPal is a phone app that keeps track of what you’re eating and the calories of each meal. This application can improve patient/doctor communication because it provides straightforward insight to a person’s eating habits.
Since everyone cooks differently, simply telling a doctor that you eat “eggs” for breakfast isn’t providing enough details. For example, frying eggs and boiling eggs will provide two completely different nutritional profiles. However, with this application, the doctor can read through your meals and see the ingredients you’re using and how you prepared them.
You have probably heard people tell you all your life to drink more water. As simple as this task is, with work, children, cleaning, and other responsibilities, people forget! Although people often skip drinking enough water, water consumption can impact your mood and health to a great extent.
Doctors may ask their patient’s how often they water, but, by no fault of their own, patients will quickly answer with how many cups they think they are drinking, which may be incorrect.
Waterlogged is a simple app that monitors how much water you’re drinking in a day. Having this information available to your doctor may help them narrow down what is impacting your health.
They may notice that you aren’t drinking enough water or that you are drinking too much (which can contribute to a series of complications)
Although it is important to talk to a doctor about mental health, many patients skip out on this conversation or have difficulty capturing the depth of their moods.
Monitoring your moods is critical to finding out what can be done to improve them. That is why Daylio is one of the best healthcare apps on the market.
This app allows people to track their moods without words. Through the use of various smiley faces, a user can indicate how they are feeling throughout the day and identify what they are currently doing (ex: shopping, working) at the moment.
This type of journaling is effective for patient/doctor communication because a doctor can quickly scan through the different smiley faces and get an overall sense of what a person is experiencing. This app can be especially useful in the following situations:
- If a patient just started a new medication and needs to track their moods while on it
- If a caregiver completes the application for their child to share with their pediatrician
- For a patient looking for mental health treatment and needs a referral from a doctor
Doctor’s often ask the question”when was your last menstrual cycle?” to menstruating individuals. This question is often answered with a “umm I’m not sure? Maybe the beginning of the month?” or some other vague response!
This can be challenging for the doctor because this information helps a doctor to assess a patient’s general health, make prescription recommendations, if they may be pregnant, etc.
Period Tracker is an app that does exactly what the name says. It allows people to track their periods as well as their lifestyle, moods, and symptoms that go along with it.
This simple, yet effective tool can help patients not only remember when was their last menstrual cycle, but also what they experienced during that time of the month.
Medication compliance is a big topic within the medical world. This is because many patients are not compliant with their medication. From being forgetful, to not wanting to, to simply running out when the pharmacy is closed, can all get in the way of someone not adhering to their medication regimen.
Doctors need to know this information because depending on the reason for infrequent use, doctors can recommend a prescription or routine that is better for the patient.
One of the best healthcare apps to help with monitoring medication intake is Round Health. This app allows people to track when they take their medication and set reminders.
The best part is that this app also tracks when a patient did and did not take their medication and this can be shown through a monthly view. This feature is excellent for patient/doctor communication because when a doctor asks “how often do you take your medication?” a patient can now show this app, instead of responding with possibly vague responses like “most of the time.”
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