Ask any reputable web designer what the most important aspects of a website are, and you’ll get a myriad of answers—but most will include responsive design and mobile readiness. Responsive design is exactly what it sounds like: Designing a website so that it “responds” well no matter what device, platform or browser is being used. It’s incredibly important now that the majority of consumers are using mobile devices to go online, and there seems to be new smartphones and tablets being released daily.
Mobile readiness is part of responsive design. It can include creating a mobile version of a website (popular with banks and healthcare sites), a mobile app, or both. There’s been a surge in healthcare apps, helping to change the healthcare industry for good. However, healthcare is also lagging behind the Digital Era because of European laws like the Privacy Directive and U.S.-based healthcare laws such as HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). Privacy laws, particularly with healthcare, require much more red tape to wade through and rules to follow. It’s not as easy for a medical clinic to go paperless, even though a paperless environment is generally safer than one stuffed with hard copies. Abiding by privacy data laws keeps healthcare industries, workers and their patients protected, but it can also slow down the embracement of mobile product management.
Healthcare Here to Stay
Healthcare offices themselves might be slowly but surely moving to a digital environment, but that doesn’t mean tertiary areas have to keep that same sluggish pace. Healthcare apps, whether designed by and for a particular clinic or simply downloaded via your app store, has helped a multitude of people become more informed, educated, and prioritize a healthy lifestyle. Apps can help you track nutritional intake, drink more water, monitor your sleep, move more, and provide recommendations on rest days, protein intake and much more.
Many of these apps are free or low cost, and integrate seamlessly into any lifestyle. In fact, there are so many healthcare apps that regular “best of” lists can help you narrow down the prime contenders.
Another popular trend is fitness trackers, from the beloved Fitbit to the Apple Watch and a variety of heart rate monitors. Fitness trackers might include their own apps or integrate with existing apps. They’re now designed to complement daily wear, not just fitness wear, and it’s not uncommon to see people in grocery stores, at work, or even on a night out tracking their steps and heart rate. Although there’s some controversy over fitness trackers encouraging orthorexia or obsessive prioritization of “health,” for the most part they’re considered reasonable and healthy technology.
The Doctor Will Skype You Now
When we think of mobile product management, we don’t usually envision that particular “product” as a living, breathing being—but he or she can be. Seeing a doctor can be a big ordeal. Oftentimes, they’re busy, it’s tough to get an appointment, and when you do it’s when most people are working. Checking in with a doctor for regularly non-urgent appointments (such as mental health therapy) or video conferencing with your doctor when it’s just a minor ailment or question can save everyone time. Doctors who offer this service are more accessible, sometimes offering night or evening appointments. They have less overhead since they can connect from anywhere, which means they’re still earning a fair wage and patients get faster, more convenient, and sometimes more affordable professional care.
Having access to online records, recommendations, prescription refills and health histories is beneficial for doctors, clinics and patients. It makes sharing of information between clinics quick, easy and error-free. Having a trackable, mobile file sharing system can reduce double work, improve efficiency and help everyone get more done in less time and with less hassle.
Emily Walters is an experienced content writer. She has written about an array of topics, from business, healthcare, and technology to travel, culinary, education and even fashion & lifestyle. In her free time, Emily enjoys traveling, training for half marathons, and cooking for her family.