IPhone Medical APPs Can Help Caregivers

Women of A Certain Age — There is an APP for That

Apparently, at least according to George Miller‘s recent article in FiercePharma, I’m an anomaly amongst my fellow members of the “Boomer Generation. ” I am an early adapter, who has followed every twist and turn of publishing’s technology trail.  My first publishing gig was as a proofreader who worked in close proximity to the Mergenthaler Linotype hot-metal typesetter, back when hot metal did not refer to a band. I quickly adapted to ‘cold-type’ as phototypesetting was called back in the 70s. By 1986 my partner and I opened the fist Desktop Publishing service bureau in Denver. During the late 80s and early 90s I was a professional trainer working throughout the United States, Canada and Britain and Scandinavia, teaching Desktop Publishing, Digital Image Processing and Quality Management systems for publishing departments. I love technology.

I especially love APPLE technology. The iPhone has an APP for that has become almost a joke among friends showing the latest, coolest way to expand the definition of hand held device or PDA. These latest sets of APPs discussed in the follow article have real application for women like me. Women who have become caregivers for parents.

There have been volumes written about the demands of care giving. For me the biggest care giving issue has been the medical record keeping. My professional life has been devoted to print production management and project management. Keeping track of mom’s medications, medical records and appointments I have used every skill I ever learned in my long career. Currently, I use a notebook system. I have mom’s complete medical history summarized and recorded by section in a 3-ring binder.  I have copies of all current meds,  all her doctors with addresses and phone numbers, a list of previous operations and hospital stays, current and historical INR readings, current and historical blood work, EKG readings, bone density test, previous hospital records. Anything that relates to the historical medical baseline of that 100-pound chemistry experiment we call mom, is recorded, categorized and carried to every doctor and emergency room visit. I wanted to store the data on a flash card, but most hospital emergency room databases are proprietary and direct download is not possible. However, fast accurate data entry from “the binder’ has helped get through the intake process more quickly.

I will be following and reviewing any the medical record iPhone APPs with keen interest. The binder idea works, but its getting to weigh as much as mom.

iPhone medical apps on the rise

By George Miller

iPhone Medical APPs

iPhone Medical APPs

Pity the Boomers who wrote their college term papers on typewriters and have endured careers in which telephone land lines have become cell phones and computing has gone from room-sized to desktop to laptop to notebook and iPhone. Not all have kept up every step of the way; there are holdouts who proudly report that they refuse to carry cell phones.

But as the population ages, its creating huge markets for medicines and medical devices. Fortunately, there’s an app for that. In fact, there’s been an explosion of iPhone medical apps–some 500 out of the total 35,000, according to a report in Ad Age.

Some of these apps–like a prototype that lets diabetics connect their glucometers to the iPhone for reading by a database that measures, charts, and interprets, helping the user adjust medications and diet–could be a great help to patients.

A 2008 Rubicon Consulting analysis, however, shows the sweet spot for iPhone users is the 26- to 40-year-old age bracket; there’s a big drop-off in the over-50 crowd.

Yet medical apps are the third fastest-growing category for Apple, trailing only games and travel downloads, according to O’Reilly Media as quoted in the Ad Age article.

– read the Ad Age report

-read Rubicon iPhone report (PDF)


Author: H. Sandra Chevalier-Batik

I started the Inconvenient Woman Blog in 2007, and am the product of a long line of inconvenient women. The matriarchal line is French-Canadian, Roman Catholic, with a very feisty Irish great-grandmother thrown in for sheer bloody mindedness. I am a research analyst and author who has made her living studying technical data, and developing articles, training materials, books and web content. Tracking through statistical data, and oblique cross-references to find the relevant connections that identifies a problem, or explains a path of action, is my passion. I love clearly delineating the magic questions of knowledge: Who, What, Why, When, Where and for How Much, Paid to Whom. My life lessons: listen carefully, question with boldness, and personally verify the answers. I look at America through the appreciative eyes of an immigrant, and an amateur historian; the popular and political culture is a ceaseless fascination. I have no impressive initials after my name. I’m merely an observer and a chronicler, an inconvenient woman who asks questions, and sometimes encourages others to look at things differently.