Your patients are not just living longer – they’re living longer with chronic conditions. To make the best of it, they need to be empowered to look after themselves. It just so happens we have an app for that.
Practical Apps is dedicated to giving patients the tools they need to look after their health in collaboration with you, their primary care provider. On your behalf, here we take a critical look at mobile health apps to figure out which can actually help patients and which are just digital snake oil.
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Changing Behaviour with Apps
Practical Apps #13
Dr. Andrew Chou
Prior to medical school, when the Internet and I were much younger, my usual approach to any medical question was to Ask Jeeves. Of course I didn’t rely solely on Jeeves: I made sure to get second opinions from the ‘experts’ on Yahoo! Answers and to pay a visit to good old Dr. Google. While there was never any shortage of advice to find on any given topic, even back then it could be hard to actually know what to believe. While the answers were always quick and convenient they were often confusing and contradictory, and of course I had no idea whether they were even remotely accurate.
Having now gone through medical school, I no longer need to rely on Siri for medical advice, but I know from my patients that obtaining credible and relevant information outside of a doctor’s visit is still just as difficult. There are more resources than ever, but they are just as confusing: websites may use different medication brand names, use standards from different countries, have hidden commercial interests or, sometimes, feature all around blatantly false information.
In an age where many individuals have increasing interest in and concerns about medicine and health, easy access to credible information from relevant Canadian sources is more important than ever. In Part Two of our health promotion series, we review Canadian-developed apps that are helping to make sense of the vast wilderness of medical information.
Practical Apps is a collaboration between the Ontario Telemedicine Network (OTN) and the Women’s College Hospital Institute for Health System Solutions and Primary Care (WIHV).
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