How to perfectly recommend an app?

4 min read

    Doctor holding a smartphone with both hands recommending an app to patient

    As technology continues to advance and become an integral part of our daily lives, it's no surprise that the healthcare industry has followed suit. There are now countless health and wellness apps available, making it easier than ever for patients to take control of their health.

    Importantly, many of these patients will turn to their health care professionals for advice on what to choose. 30% of individuals would like a tool to be recommended by their clinician.(Accenture Report,2021)

    However, with so many options to choose from, recommending the perfect app for a patient can be a daunting task. In this article, we'll take a closer look at how to recommend the perfect app for your patient.

    What to take into consideration prior to the app recommendation

    Feasibility

    Patients are at different stages in regards to the use of technology

    • lt is possible that the patient in front of you:

      1. Does not have a smartphone or email address to communicate with

      2. Does not have a smartphone, but feels ready to answer questionnaires on the web

      3. Owns a smartphone and/or tablet, but does not currently use a health app

      4. Already uses a health app on his phone or tablet

      5. Already uses a connected health device for self-monitoring of his condition

    Motivation

    Patients go through different stages of engagement when it comes to their health. Prior to recommending an app, you need to make sure that patient you have in front of you is a connected patient.

    This term refers to a patient who is equipped, empowered and engaged in their health decisions and health care. He is connected regarding his care. A connected patient can, for example, produce his own health data, be involved in analyzing it, create health information (e.g. on a blog), use technologies, etc.

    It will be difficult getting the patient to adopt a different device than the one he/she already uses (particularly because of costs and adaptation, etc.). On the other hand, getting a patient to adopt an application without a cell phone is obviously impossible.

    Education

    Recommend a technology by starting with why?

    Once feasibility is confirmed, you may want to recommend the technology in this particular order:

    1. Clarify what are the benefits for the patient to use a technology

      • Make it specific to the recommended technology

    2. Provide support and direction on the clinical objectives

    3. Share your own trust and success

      • Focus on the benefits of the pharmacy care episode and the efficiency generated by the use of the digital resources at its disposal;

      • Share how easy it is to use digital resources;

      • Express how dangerous apps may be and that finding a safe one was done for them.

    4. Make sure you follow up on the use of the health app

    What to take into consideration to find the perfect app

    When you have all of that covered, you’ll need to find the app that corresponds best to your patient.

    Identify the patient's needs

    The first step in recommending an app to your patient is to identify their needs. What are they hoping to achieve with the app? Do they need help managing a chronic condition? Are they trying to lose weight or improve their fitness level? By understanding their goals, you can recommend an app that is tailored to their specific needs.

    Consider the app's features

    Once you've identified your patient's needs, it's time to consider the features of the app. Does it have the tools and resources necessary to help your patient achieve their goals? For example, if your patient is trying to manage their diabetes, you may recommend an app that includes a blood glucose tracker and a food diary. If your patient is looking to improve their fitness level, you may recommend an app that includes a workout plan and a step tracker.

    Evaluate the app's user-friendliness

    Even the most feature-packed app won't be useful if it's too difficult for your patient to use. When evaluating an app, consider how easy it is to navigate and how intuitive the interface is. A user-friendly app is more likely to be used consistently and can help your patient achieve their goals.

    Check for clinical evidence

    As a healthcare professional, it is important to recommend apps that are backed by clinical evidence. Look for apps that have been studied in clinical trials and have been shown to be effective. This can give your patient confidence in the app's ability to help them achieve their goals.

    Consider the cost

    Many health and wellness apps are free, but some do come with a cost. Consider the cost of the app and whether it's a feasible option for your patient. If the app is cost-prohibitive, it may not be a good option, even if it has all the features your patient needs.

    Follow up with your patient

    After recommending an app to your patient, follow up with them to see how they're doing. Are they finding the app helpful? Are they using it consistently? If they're not using the app as much as they should be, it may be time to reevaluate and recommend a different app or approach.

    Conclusion

    In conclusion, recommending the perfect app for your patient requires a thoughtful approach. Therefore, there is no better app or better technology than the one that will work for your patient. And The success of your digital health interventions will depend on your ability to adapt to the patient, by identifying the situation in which he finds himself.

    By identifying your patient's needs, evaluating the app's features, considering user-friendliness, checking for clinical evidence, and evaluating the cost, you can help your patient choose an app that will help them achieve their health and wellness goals. And by following up with your patient, you can make sure they're on the right track and adjust your recommendations if necessary.

    Your health care professional can help you choose

    Feeling confident is important. Get all the essential information about health apps by talking to your healthcare professional.

    AppGuide provides reliable information about mobile health apps that allows patients and healthcare professionals to make informed, shared decisions about using a health app to track health status or act on your priority health goals.

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