I’ve started listening to NPR on the way to and from work. On the way home yesterday, I heard a story that mentioned diabetes. Of course my ears perked up at the mention and I was intrigued by the angle the report presented. The story was about the use and effectiveness of health care apps (read or listen here).
I have reviewed a number of diabetes apps on my blog – as recently as two weeks ago. I have presented on apps to a diabetes educators group in Florida. I have a full page of health care related apps on my phone. And I use them very rarely.
In the report, a popular app developer touches on one of the reasons I do not use the apps more but describes it from a different angle. He thinks that when people with chronic health concerns using these apps have a doctor’s appointment they
… [come] in, [pull] out their phones, and [say], “Hey, have you seen this app?”
Maybe I am missing out, but I have yet to find a doctor who has the time or interest to look at a new (and often untested and unregulated) health care app. If it isn’t directly connected to one of my medical devices, it doesn’t fit into the 15 minutes allotted by insurance. I feel like I want to find an app that fits into my lifestyle long term and offers long term benefits to my health. I am just not sure we are there yet. As the story concludes,
many unresolved questions swirl around the data collected by medical apps, including whether the information patients collect become part of their medical record, how would this work, and what will insurance cover.