How healthcare apps are transforming the healthcare industry and improving people’s lives

Susanna Kahr

Every year, the world’s biggest software developers come out with another healthcare app. These app creators are all motivated to improve people’s health, well-being and awareness about healthcare issues.

The trick is to stay aware of new software and the benefits it brings. But it can be difficult to keep track of all the new apps coming out when you are already busy focused on developing your own career. To help you become familiar with new tools, here are details on some of the latest apps from organizations such as Apple, Google and Microsoft.

ResearchKit and CareKit by Apple

Apple’s ResearchKit and CareKit are not themselves apps that run on smartphones. They are what developers refer to as software frameworks, meaning that they are tools used to create new apps. Apple notes that CareKit helps “developers to build apps that let you manage your own well-being on a daily basis.” Examples of apps made with CareKit include OneDrop for managing diabetes and Corrie Health App from John Hopkins for patients recovering from heart attacks.

ResearchKit is designed to simplify the process of scientists enrolling participants into research projects and then conduct studies. Researchers often find it hard to find new people for a study, but since so many people carry iPhones, the pool of available participants expands.

Individuals use their device to sign up for a study instead of having to drive to a distant hospital. Sensors in the iPhone help it collect medical data for regular transmission to the researchers. Current apps made with ResearchKit include Autism and Beyond, Concussion Tracker and EpiWatch for monitoring and predicting seizures.

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Streams by Google

Google built the mobile app Streams with input from clinicians, engineers and even translation researchers for its artificial intelligence-fueled healthcare software. According to a report from Google’s DeepMind project, “Our vision is for Streams to now become an AI-powered assistant for nurses and doctors everywhere – combining the best algorithms with intuitive design, all backed up by rigorous evidence.”

Streams is based in London and is lead by a former surgeon from the UK’s National Health Services in partnership with the NHS. To date, Google’s work with Streams has led to clinicians detecting signs of eye diseases faster than when done by human experts, discover when patients are deteriorating in condition based on information from their electronic medical files. The software is also used to help plan radiation therapy for cancer patients not in hours but in a matter of seconds.

“Google is an amazing company that looks to improve the skills and experience of their employees.” – anonymous employer review at Google

Health Bot by Microsoft

Microsoft is using artificial intelligence to create an “AI-powered, compliant, conversational healthcare experience at scale.” This service from the software giant combines a wealth of medical information and natural language capability to provide useful information patients can trust.

For example, a patient can ask the smartphone app about the cost of a co-pay for a particular test and the information will come up immediately based on insurance provider data. Or, an individual can find out the location of the nearest in-network hospital, as easily and as naturally as speaking with a real human.

“Many good things, benefits are great, working with smart people, technology is great.” – anonymous employer review at Microsoft

New Software Means Changes Are Coming for the Healthcare Industry

These new software tools are changing the healthcare industry in a variety of ways. For one, they empower patients by providing them with a wealth of data about their own condition and make it easier to report details of their conditions to healthcare providers. Apps also make it easier for physicians to make the correct diagnosis.

Carrying a smartphone or tablet loaded with these useful apps serves to streamline the time medical professions need to arrive at the ideal solution for the patients under their care.

 

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Individuals who are devoted to working in the medical field will appreciate the ability to provide better care for patients thanks to new apps being developed by companies such as Apple, Google and Microsoft. But actually there are a lot more great companies out there where you can make an impact. Check them out on one of the world’s largest employer rating platform at kununu.

 

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