No matter how advance we claim ourselves to be, the reality is that the pandemic of COVID 19 has been harsh for all of us. Be it technologically advanced industries or the common man, the restrictions and lack of flexibility in the society brought a halt to day to day operations and made us reconsider our choices.
The industry that has been most challenged due to the pandemic has been the healthcare industry. The number of patients struck by the pandemic significantly increased and shook the world. There was even a point in many healthcare systems around the world when a decision had to be made about who needs to receive the treatment. This was mainly due to the extreme shortage of hospital beds and healthcare personnel who needed to address the people.
However, unfortunate these situations might seem, the patients who were not impacted by the pandemic also had to face several challenges for healthcare. These mostly came in the form of lack of regular health checkups, long time diseased patients along with those that needed emergency services.
While the entire healthcare system was occupied in treating COVID 19 patients, others were barely paid attention. But, all was not lost. Thanks to the efficient planning and technological advancement in the healthcare system, a lot of patients found help through the means of healthcare apps.
The Age of Healthcare Apps
Healthcare apps helped in the proliferation of telemedicine, another gift of technology in the healthcare sector. This meant all those who needed medical assistance could book an appointment with a physician or their long time doctors over the app. When the time pf appointment comes, the services are imparted through a video call. Even though it is not wise to expect that healthcare applications are the solution to all of the patient’s troubles, they are, in fact, pretty good in managing a lot of them.
Telemedicine has become popular due to its growing convenience and extended safety measures due to the pandemic. People who want assistance can receive them in the comfort of their homes without putting themselves at risk in the hospital. Moreover, long waiting hours, unnecessary queues, and a lot more hassles are avoided via healthcare apps.
One of the most drastic benefits experienced by healthcare apps has been in terms of paperwork. Paperwork has been a bottleneck for the system since and patients had to wait for a long time just to get them done as prerequisites for receiving care. However, as times have changed, organizations did already start reducing the burden of paperwork by adopting digital practices. Android application development services companies have taken it to a whole new level and are helping in healthcare apps to bring the culture of efficiency to the system.
Are Healthcare Apps Healthy?
Even though everything about healthcare apps seems flawless, there are hidden variables that need consideration. For example, what about the safety of data and patient records? This is the fundamental problem with the healthcare system that has been in exitance for ages. The digitization might seem like a great step towards advancement but has also opened the healthcare industry to several threats.
If you take a look at the safety measures deployed by the healthcare organizations, you will find the state quite shocking. Most of the organizations have their safety protocols, either outdated or not monitored frequently to check for any loopholes. As a result, data theft, breaches are quite normal in the healthcare industry.
The reason why hackers and cybercriminals are interested in data is that there is a huge demand of healthcare data in the black market. Each patient’s records are sold for a significant amount of money. Moreover, there is no tracking as to what happens once the data is stolen. They could be used to alter existing patient records, changing the course of treatments, or sabotage scientific studies with inconsistent data.
Since healthcare apps are pretty new to the world, no one knows how hackers are preparing to breach these. Even if healthcare organizations take safety measures, it will be hard to anticipate when and how a particular attack will take place. The worst part of all this is that sometimes an attack goes on for as long as months, even without the host organization realizing it.
Therefore, for now patients need to be very careful in choosing the healthcare app. They must not fall prey to any unofficial ones since there is no guarantee of data security in such apps.
Statistics suggest that more than 200 Android application development services are being added to the app store all over the world on a daily basis. This clearly shows how healthcare organizations worldwide are interested in implementing the new digital system. These healthcare apps address various issues, such as preventing diseases, managing them, treating them with care, and taking care of a particular disorder. While this is a very helpful step in bringing treatment and care services closer to the patient’s doorstep, it has its risks.
The Need for Regulation
With so many apps already there in the market, which is to check their authenticity. Who will ensure that these apps do what they claim? And like any other course of treatment, whether or not healthcare apps have side effects to their use. In any of these cases, there is a need for a strong regulation that ensures the patient’s safety and well being.
Even if you keep the data safety aside, the healthcare issues with the apps have to be paid attention to. Given the nature of medical services, like ay doctor or hospital, these apps must be provided with licensing to ensure their authenticity. Furthermore, it must also be ensured that the services imparted by these apps are state of the art. A proper evaluation system would mean taking note of the properties, effects, effectiveness, and data handling capabilities of these apps. This would quintessentially ensure that both the legal criteria around government policies and the safety of the patients are ensured.