How the tides have turned.
Many would agree that perhaps the COVID-19 pandemic is all the nudge telehealth needed for an upward shift in demand.
The use of telehealth apps is being encouraged across the U.S. and all over the world to control and discourage the spread of COVID-19 pandemic, allowing physicians and patients to connect virtually with each other via video chat, call or message.
COVID-19 is certainly 2020’s most prodigious issue hampering many Americans from getting proper healthcare. However, telehealth apps provide a pro tem solution for many chronic illnesses, follow-up consultations, and minor health concerns.
Which is why, we have composed a list of the 10 best healthcare apps, based on ratings, quality, and reliability to get you the healthcare you need amid the coronavirus crisis.
However, before we get to that list, let’s first understand what telehealth is, how it works, and what technology is working behind the scenes.
What is Telehealth?
Telehealth is generally a mesh of technology and healthcare. It is an overarching term that covers ‘telemedicine’ and can be defined as the use of digital information combined with communication technologies such as your personal computer and smartphone devices, to access remote health care services.
An essential thing to bear in mind here is that ‘Telemedicine’ doesn’t imply you’re never going to visit a doctor’s office ever again. That’s a myth.
How does ‘Telehealth’ work?
The wizard behind the curtain is none other than the ‘Internet of Medical Things (IoMT)’.
It’s simple: the Internet of Things (IoT) has opened to us a plethora of possibilities in medicine whereby, standard medical devices help gather relevant data when connected to the internet.
Not only that, they offer extra insight into the conditions and patterns of a disease, they allow remote care and access, and generally allow patients to be in control of their treatment.
It is owing to the IoMT – telehealth apps – that people with limited access – elderly populations, working parents, and patients who are less ambulatory during post-operative recovery – can all benefit from being seen by a clinician without having to travel to the doctor’s office.
It’s a win-win for both the providers and the patients. How?
Providers also benefit because the virtual visits have lower no-show and cancellation rates than in-person appointments, which is handy in maintaining a physician’s schedule on track. In addition, these appointments normally take less time than seeing a patient in person, increasing the productivity and allowing more patients to be seen by the physician at the same time.
By now you have probably some idea on what telehealth is and how it works and what technologies it leverages, so let’s browse through the list of telehealth apps we have compiled.
What are some telehealth apps you could use in Covid 19?
1: My Fitness Pal
My Fitness Pal, available for Blackberry, Android, iOS and Windows, is every fitness buff’s best friend. It keeps track of your diet and workouts to determine the best calorie intake and nutrients for your goals. Using game-like elements it motivates you to keep up.
- You can record a diet plan from anywhere in the world
- It has a food database of about 3,282,000 various kinds of food items
- You can customize recipes and can also add them to the food database
- Its ‘Community’ feature allows you to socialize and exchange fitness tips and advice with fellow users
- Offers you 350 workouts
- Provides workout stats based on your height, weight, and gender
- Has a Calorie Counter that records your calorie intake
- Lets you set your daily goals and select multiple foods at once
For minor concerns, telehealth apps like Teladoc come in pretty handy. It allows you almost instant access to a certified medical professional from any place on Earth with a phone signal.
- Provides services to both health professionals and the patients
- Using telecommunication services and videoconferencing technology it provides you with on-request remote medical services
- Allows doctors to diagnose, recommend treatment and prescribe medication if and when necessary
- You can also consult with a psychiatrist or psychologist
- Diagnoses a broad spectrum of minor yet complex health issues such as casual cold and flu symptoms, allergies, skin diseases, infection, and rash etc.
Using a series of colorful goofy cartoons, Headspace shows you how to meditate. The app was designed for absolute newbies. Presuming you’ve never meditated before, it starts with the basal aspects of meditation in the first 10 days.
- Helps you learn the basics of breathing through visualizations
- Based on scientific methods and understanding of the human mind and body
- You have access to a 30-day foundation pack, which has the fundamentals
- You have to subscribe after 30days for the rest of the exercises
- Offers promo codes for discounts
- You can choose from a variety of packs: Foundation, Health, Relationships, Performance, Headspace Pro
This eye-health application is developed for people with macular degeneration and other visual impairments. It works together with a wearable VR headset allowing the legally blind to zoom in on far away objects and cope with various visual impairments without compromising the quality of their visual display.
- App comes preloaded in the Samsung Galaxy devices and works with its wearable Samsung GearVR headset.
- Based on powerful VR technology
- Has a wider field of view allowing you to see through a wide FOV
- Its Bubbleview feature lets you zoom in on pretty much everything without compromising the context of the rest of the scene.
- Lets you stream videos on youtube (using wifi)
- You can take and save photos and view them later on
- It comes with a personal voice assistant
- Its latest and coolest feature, IrisReader, reads to aloud whatever you want to read
5: Google Fit
Launched in 2014, the app was Google’s footprint in the healthcare market, a robust player against Apple’s health app.
Using built-in sensors of your device it automatically tracks your daily activities such as walking, running, jogging or biking to provide health metrics.
- Enables you to keep track of fitness goals and weight-loss progress based on a daily, weekly and monthly basis, alongside the calorie intake and burned calories.
- If you buy the Android wear watches, the app is already downloaded in those
- Encourages you to move more and earn ‘Move Minutes’ per every activity.
For high-intensity workouts you earn ‘Heart Points’
Looking for a medical and psychological expert? This app offers treatments for both minor and major health issues that can’t wait. Once you have registered, you can browse through their network of certified professionals. You can speak to the doctors on the phone or online, after which they recommend treatment, prescribe you medicine based on your symptoms.
- Is available 24/7 and 365 days
- Allows you to select from over 1,800 board-certified doctors and therapists
- You can consult a medical expert in family practice, pediatrics, internal medicine, emergency medicine and mental health
- Provides treatment for over 50 conditions
- Average wait time is (under) 15 minutes
- Is Hippa-Compliant hence, secure to use
- Finds you a physician on the basis of price (limit you have set), insurance and specialty
In an emergency you can call the doctor and they’ll advice you
This is an online doctor and pharmacy mail order service. However, it isn’t exactly free. They provide their services at an affordable price. The app offers the diagnosis and treatment in a simplistic manner.
- You have to pay a small fee of $25 to avail their service
- Once registered, you have to fill a short health questionnaire
- You can choose from a bevvy of medicinal treatment and delivery options such as depression and anxiety, cold sores, sinus infections, hair loss, hypothyroidism, STD testing, acid reflux, acne, blood sugar and cholesterol tests and birth control etc.
- Once you have discussed your symptoms, you’ll be connected to a health practitioner immediately via video consultation
- Average wait time is 2 minutes
- While there’s a consultation fee, the medicine delivery is free
- Want to get your medicine from a pharmacy instead? Select the nearest pharmacy
This health app is all about workplace wellness. It provides medical health services to businesses and enterprises. If your company doesn’t provide a medical service, introduce them to Dialogue. The family of employees can also avail the service.
- For newbies, it provides a demo and a short video
- Offers progressive, premium, and affordable healthcare
- Unfortunately, the app is for Canadian businesses only
- You can have a live chat with the nurses to discuss your concerns
- App offers video-consultations with the medical specialists, nurses and mental health specialists
- Prescriptions renewal and medication delivery are free of cost
- Offers treatment for physical as well as mental health issues including stress, sleep problems, relationships, depression, etc.
- Need to see a Dermatologist? Well it provides treatment for rashes, hives, eczemas, and other skin infections etc.
The app helps you find a path to a healthier lifestyle. Its interface is simple, fun and interactive. The app is your next best support-system and even rewards you for taking steps to improve and continue healthy behavior.
You don’t have to be a fitness buff to use the application, you can register with Go365 to stay active. Losing a few pounds is a cherry on top.
- You can connect your Go365 app with other apps and devices
- Provides insights into your health and habits to offer a suitable program to get you started
- Challenges you to engage in healthy activities
- You can earn Go365 points by indulging in various activities such as biking or running
You can spend your Go365 points at a Go365 mall.
All-round terrific service. It’s one of the leading online counselling services out there and a prime hub for those who want to lead a happy and stress-free life.
- The app is very simple and has a great user interface
- When you register, you’re welcome by a chatbox and are required to answer certain health related questions and provide your email
- You’ll be providing your information to a specialist, however, he isn’t your specific counsellor
- You’ll be paired with a specialist after the chat
- Provides a variety of plans to choose from: Unlimited Messaging Therapy Plus, Unlimited Messaging Therapy Premium, LiveTalk Therapy Ultimate
- Also provides couples therapy
- Available for iOS and Android both
- Communication takes place via texts, audio or video messages, 5 days a week
- They take confidentiality very serious
- Some areas of service include addiction, anxiety, bipolar, depression, and eating disorders etc.