Why aren’t healthcare professionals creating apps?

Number of smartphone users in Australia

Most people have their smartphone or tablet near them at all times – the typical user accesses his/her phone an average of 150 times each day. By having an app such as BeatPain on their device, the user can access information, if or when they require it, without having to search online or find that sheet of paper they know they have put ‘somewhere’. So, why aren’t healthcare professionals creating apps?

As users of smartphones and tablets become more accustomed to finding the information they need on their devices, they will increasingly rely on healthcare professionals to provide them with an app. So why aren’t they?

I know that the development of apps in Australian Health Care is not yet a burgeoning field, in fact it’s in its infancy, especially those apps focused on patient care and used by the patient and not the clinician.

So why aren’t healthcare professionals creating apps?

So why aren’t healthcare professionals offering an app to improve patient care to the extent that smartphone and tablet users might expect? I have asked clinicians I know in private practice why they have not considered an app and these are the reasons they have given me:

  •  It has never crossed their mind that an app could be useful;
  • They don’t know which apps would be useful;
  • They would like ideas for an app they could use in their practice;
  • They may have thought about an app but didn’t know where to start;
  • They’re not really sure what apps are or what they can do;
  • They’ve considered an app but thought it too expensive to build;
  • They’re not sure an app would benefit their patients any more than the practices they currently have;
  • They don’t think there’s a need;
  • They feel their clients would not be interested in using an app;
  • Their clients don’t own/know how to use a smartphone or tablet.

In my experience in creating apps, I have found a content-based app can complement – or be an alternative to – paper-based information.

Finding the right developer will step the healthcare worker through the process, instilling them with the knowledge, confidence and tools to ensure they get the app they planned.

Apps can be more cost-effective than printed and paper-based information, as there are no ongoing printing costs and no wasted printed handouts when your information becomes out of date. This information can be updated regularly on an app.

Ideas for the use of an app are all around us. Ask your clients what they would like to see in an app?

Survey

It would be great to know what the real reasons for not creating an app are.

If you have time, it would be appreciated if you could complete a very short survey below. Australian residents will (if they wish) receive a free hard-copy of my book: ‘Planning and designing an app to enhance patient care – a guide for health care professionals’, for completing the survey.  Thanks.

 

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