Medical Apps: A mobile healthcare revolution (at last)

Known for its history of poor UX and change-resistant attitude, the healthcare technology sector seems to be undergoing a major mobile revolution. If its any indication, this year’s 2012 SXSW official mobile ‘hackathon’ hosted by Health 2.0 and AT&T, challenged designers and developers to create and prototype a healthcare app. I did not attend SXSW 2012 but I can only imagine the endless possibilities that could arise when you combine healthcare insight, technical savvy and a room full of creative minds…

The burgeoning frontier of mobile and healthcare is completely unprecedented sothe sky is the limit – but is mobile healthcare really ready for take off? 

Having worked in the healthcare technology sector from academic, start-up and industry perspectives, I am excited though somewhat skeptical by the hype known as ‘healthcare experience design’ (HXD). I am excited because there are over 12,000 health-related apps are at the Apple’s iTunes store and that nearly everyone, from patients to doctors, has a smartphone with at least one healthcare-related app.

I’m skeptical because there are still many things that need to change – current healthcare politics and IT policies!

So what type of apps are trending? And what makes these apps stick?

For my next few blog entries, I will classify the medical and healthcare apps into five types. Patterns in each category can shed light on the above questions.

  1. Educational
  2. Quick References
  3. Administration
  4. Process & Procedure
  5. Personal Health/Fitness/Wellness
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