Are there apps that you open, without fail, every time you check your phone? Terribly tedious things such as monitoring plane ticket price fluctuations suddenly becomes easy. I use apps to manage all aspects of traveling – maps, plane tickets, bus schedules, etc. so why not do the same for my health?
An app that helps organize everything needed to monitor and improve daily health would make prioritizing health so much easier! Recently, I’ve been dreaming of a “Target” of health services in the form of a mobile app, something practical, streamlined, and reliable.
When I was trying to lose weight, I discovered MyFitnessPal. When I wanted to train for a half marathon, I was obsessed with Nike Running. What if these two amazing apps merged into one and had another range of health related functions? – fit bit (activity and sleep tracker), medical records, doctors’ appointments, doctors recommendations and prescriptions — what can we NOT fit into a phone app?
In my imagination, I debated on whether or not to include insurance companies in the endeavor. The moment I decide to involve them, I am sure it will become an issue that is too daunting for any entrepreneur. However, the answer was clear once I thought from a patient’s perspective. Would I want to read about an insurer’s policy when I am sick? No way. The only thing I want from an insurance company at that point is to know how much I am going to pay. The app would be a good place to help organize the bits and pieces of information that the hospital and insurance companies mail out over the course of months. If each patient has a specific profile on this apps’ database, everyone can send correspondences to a secure and organized location.
Before I knew it, I felt a sense of dread trying to visualize this Ultimate Health App. I had to pause and strive to simplify my dream app a little bit at a time. There are only a few ways to simplify things: deconstruction or centralization; I think managing health becomes more efficient when simplified by centralization because it requires intense cooperation among multiple aspects.
Naturally, all this thinking led to a list.
Functions of an Ultimate Health App include keeping track of:
- Your own health – including physical activity, food intake, mood and vital signs.
- Doctors’ recommendations – including medication and goals for life style changes.
- Doctors’ appointments and billing – including paperwork and scheduling such as regular checkups, test results, and insurance company correspondences.
Wouldn’t it be ideal if everything is all in one app? On the other hand, sensitive information may be an issue, but even banks have apps to let people move money around securely; there must be a way to keep medical records private as well.
In a way, condensing all these functions would result in a complicated app, but certainly more centralized and efficient. In a much more ideal world, an all-inclusive application would provide the potential platform of a mobile doctor available through Facetime or even the possibility of real time recommendation updates based on current data or new findings. But that involves a whole other session of debate.