Healthcare Apps: The Future of Access to Healthcare

This article discusses healthcare apps and their benefits and considerations for use. Nurses General Nursing Article


Healthcare Apps: The Future of Access to Healthcare

Technology has changed our lives for the better. We can shop online, connect with friends and family on social media, and now, we can access health care services right from the comfort of our homes. Healthcare apps are making it easier to get the medical care we need without having to leave the house. Look at your mobile device app store, and you will see plenty of healthcare apps. As of 2021, more than 350,000 healthcare apps are available1. Additionally, the impact of COVID-19 on healthcare apps is significant. According to the CDC, there was a 154% increase in the use of Telehealth during March 20202.

What Are Healthcare Apps?

Healthcare apps are mobile applications that deliver various services, such as patient monitoring, consultations, and communication with medical professionals. Some applications offer health education and allow patients or healthcare professionals to manage their visits and schedules. These services are delivered through a mobile device like a smartphone or tablet.

Benefits of Healthcare Apps  

There are numerous benefits associated with using healthcare apps, including cost savings and honestly, who doesn't love to save money? Some healthcare apps offer services at discounted rates compared to traditional visits to the doctor's office or hospital. There is also no need to travel to a virtual appointment, leaving more money in your pocket.

Using healthcare apps means no longer sitting in crowded waiting rooms filled with sick people. This factor is beneficial now that hospitals and clinics are overburdened with patients due to the pandemic. Additionally, these apps give users more control over their healthcare since they can communicate directly with their provider without waiting for an appointment. Finally, these apps offer improved access to specialists since users can easily connect with providers worldwide who may not be available locally.  

How Will Healthcare Apps Change Access to Health Care?  

Healthcare apps will revolutionize access to healthcare by providing users with an easy and convenient way to receive medical attention from their homes. Users will no longer have to spend hours on hold trying to speak to a doctor's office to schedule appointments. People no longer have to take time off work or spend hours waiting in a doctor's office; instead, they can log into their app and connect with a provider. Additionally, users can even receive lab results directly to their smart devices.

Considerations for Healthcare Apps

While healthcare apps are beneficial and can potentially improve the healthcare market, there are important considerations to keep in mind. 


Many people are uncomfortable sharing their personal information online because they fear hacking and other malicious activities. It is crucial to ensure patients' private medical information is safe and secure. Healthcare app companies must guarantee that systems and hardware are in place to keep patients' sensitive information confidential. Additionally, users should read the app's terms and conditions carefully before downloading or entering any personal information.  


Patients have expressed frustration with repeating their stories to various healthcare team members. While your family doctor may have access to the information on the app, other members of your healthcare team may need access to the information on the app. Healthcare app developers must develop a solution to provide all healthcare providers involved in the circle of care access to information for a more seamless patient experience. 


Not everyone has access to computers or smartphones or understands how to use these technologies. Healthcare providers need to consider this when using healthcare apps in their practice. Healthcare professionals must ensure that those who do not have access to these technologies are still a priority. 


Not all conditions can be treated virtually. Some visits will require individuals to see a healthcare professional.  

Healthcare apps are quickly becoming a popular way for people to access medical services from anywhere in the world. These revolutionary tools are changing how we access healthcare by giving users more control over their healthcare needs and eliminating unnecessary costs associated with physical visits, travel expenses and long wait times. However, there are important considerations with using these apps, such as privacy and accessibility. Either way, patients should speak to their healthcare providers and do research before downloading healthcare apps. 


1Consumer Health Apps and Digital Health Tools Proliferate, Improving Quality and Health Outcomes for Patients, Says New Report from IQVIA Institute

2Trends in the Use of Telehealth During the Emergence of the COVID-19 Pandemic — United States, January–March 2020

Rebecca Minott, BScN RN, is a registered nurse and freelance health writer with experience in acute care and community health. Her passion is writing engaging health content to empower and educate communities.

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