2016

Apps to empower patients

Apps are little tools that can have a big impact, helping patients take control of their lives.
When co-developing products with our partners, first we speak to potential users, ideate, sketch, design and then implement. If we get the chance, we stay in touch until the product launches in the market, and from this we have seen that patients are empowered by the apps we have designed. Here are some life-changing examples. 
TAKING ACTION

We all know that going to the doctor can be an inconvenience, which is why so many of us tend to ignore our body’s warning signs and continue on with our lives. But an early diagnosis can be crucial. Health apps are motivating patients to initiate next steps to improve their health.

Peter, a 42-year-old from Germany, performed an accurate self-diagnosis with CardioSecur, an app that gives you feedback on your heart condition in a matter of minutes, and was able to immediately seek treatment. “Without CardioSecur, I would still be undiagnosed,” he said.

Mimi, an app that enables you to test your hearing, prompted one user to  take a much-needed visit to an audiologist. Another user highlighted how the app has given him the motivation he needs to continue monitoring his health – an important factor, as hearing conditions can worsen over time. “[It’s] a totally encouraging, supportive and non-intimidating way to check your hearing health, with a fun and engaging process.”

(RE-)TAKE CONTROL OVER THEIR LIVES

Apps can support patients to (re-)take control over their lives. Being diagnosed with a serious condition can be quite a dramatic life event but, over time, an app can lighten that burden.

Paul, 34, from Germany, says knowing his heart rate gives him the peace of mind he needs to forget about his condition and move on with his life. “Now I don’t have to panic anymore as I can take an ECG (electrocardiogram) the minute I experience pain and know right away how my heart is doing.”

Logbook apps give users a similar experience. CardioSecur provides patients with a  monthly overview of their health, using colors to indicate when they felt good and when their condition was worsening. This information gives patients the know-how to take control, positively influence their condition and feel better!

There is huge opportunity to push the potential of these types of apps further; for instance, by linking personally logged data with publicly available databases to create more in-depth assessments and forecasts. Once this is combined with real-time data – collected through sensors in devices, or even inside the body – we can create a holistic system that enables patients to learn even more about themselves and really take control of their condition.

APPS CAN BE LIFE SAVING

In rare events, an app can be lifesaving. Some diseases can only be diagnosed at the moment the symptoms show, but by giving patients the technology to conduct real-time testing you increase the chances of identifying a problem at the right moment.

Hans, a 51-year-old from Belgium, was one of the lucky ones. “One day I performed a reading and was told to see my doctor immediately. I was diagnosed with a blocked artery. I owe a lot to CardioSecur!”

In the future, we envision many more lifesaving apps and stories like these as technology commoditizes. Do you have a life saving idea? Let’s work on it together!