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Using Electronic Apps As Prescriptions For Health

By Expert HERWriter
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you can use electronic apps for your health iStockphoto/Thinkstock

I truly enjoy seeing patients and helping them create practical ways to create health in their lives. It is one of my greatest pleasures. I am interested in ways to use technology as a tool to share information with my patients as well.

Before I went to naturopathic medical school, I was a computer consultant for several years.

Having a background in using technology to solve problems is helpful in providing people with tools they can use in their everyday life to answer and track health-related issues.

It is clear that smartphones, iPads, tablets and other electronic devices have fascinated people and become part of our daily lives.

There are people that can’t live (or at least would not be happy) without their devices and the accompanying applications (apps) they use.

On a weekly basis I have friends and patients that tell me about how they use apps to simplify their lives or make their lives more fun. I am always investigating apps my patients can use to make healthy living easier for them too.

I have found weight loss companies that allow people to track calories to help with weight loss. There are numerous fitness apps to help people track the number of steps they take, or how much in the way of exercise or calories they expend every day.

These can be very helpful tools in allowing people to become more engaged in healthy behaviors to improve their health.

In the last week I have become aware of apps that are being created to get health information for doctors to use to support patients. This is a way to engage patients with their love of using their electronic devices and get information on their daily activities to help me adjust my treatment plans for patients.

While some of them are free or inexpensive, because of their need for accuracy some others can be quite costly.

These new apps are called prescription apps. There are fewer than ten that have been approved by the FDA for use in treating specific diseases.

An example is WellDoc.com which is a diabetes management system that collects information about blood glucose levels, dietary intakes and medications. It provides advice on managing diabetes specific to patients.

This app is very costly to patients however two insurance companies have agreed to pay for it if it is prescribed by a physician.

I think apps can be a great vehicle to help patients and doctors exchange information to improve treatment outcomes. It is a way to engage patients and doctors as a team.

I hope technology continues to evolve to support better health through education and a doctor-patient technology team approach.

Live Vibrantly,

Dr. Dae

Dr. Dae's website: www.healthydaes.com
Dr. Dae's book: Daelicious! Recipes for Vibrant Living can be purchased @ www.healthydaes.com

Dr. Dae's Bio:

Dr. Daemon Jones is a Naturopathic Physician who maintains a holistic practice by treating patients all over the country using Skype and phone visits. She helps her patients harvest health and feel great, using a combination of safe and effective naturopathic and conventional methods.


" WellDoc > Home." WellDoc > Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Aug. 2012.

"Coming Next - Doctors Prescribing Apps to Patients - NYTimes.com." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 Aug. 2012.

Reviewed August 20, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.