How Mobile Apps are Set to Transform your Healthcare Experience

The smartphone has become our very own virtual assistant. From managing finances to our social network, is there anything that we cannot do from our smartphones today? Much like everything else, we can also put our smartphones to good use to manage our health and fitness. In this blog, we explore seven ways in which the smartphone can completely transform your healthcare experience.

1. Medical history management

We all, at some point, have reached a doctors consultation only to realize that we are not carrying our medical records along with us. Or we are in a strange city but need access to our medical history. What do you do then? Your smartphone can come in handy to save all your and your family’s medical history and make it accessible for you anytime, anywhere.

2. Test and Prescription Management

Medical test records and prescriptions can be very hard to keep since these can become voluminous in no time. It also is very easy to lose these bits of valuable health information owing to improper filing. Now instead of rummaging through piles of paper we can use our smartphones to manage all test results and prescriptions. Goodbye, paper hassles!

3. Disease management

Mobile phone applications can help in disease management by providing reminders and maintaining health logs. For example, diabetics can use their smartphone to ensure that their food and medicine intake is on time. Smartphone applications can also monitor heart rates and blood pressure, track salt and calorie intake and also track sleep, all of which can help in chronic disease management.

4. Medical Finance Management

Keeping track of medical finances can be tough but the smartphone can make it very easy. Right from medical bills and expenses, insurance claims and related details can all be stored and accessed from our smartphones whenever required.

5. Analytics

Do you know how many times you fell last year? Can you tell if you fall sick at a specific time in a year or after eating something in particular? Do you remember how many times your physician has asked you to take ‘a particular’ medical test? Well, your smartphone can come in handy if you want to gain access to these medical analytics. Smartphone apps can compare previous medical history, assess all the crucial checkpoints, and throw up relevant data that can give you intelligent insights into the current state of your medical health.

6. Tracking Nutrition

We are what we eat but isn’t it hard to track nutrition levels? Mobile apps on your smartphone can not only track their nutrition level by keeping a food diary that helps them identify how many calories you are consuming but also help you set calorie goals.

Such apps give a breakdown of fats, carbs, protein, vitamins, sugar, and sodium and help you understand your food habits. What’s more is that the daily decided calorie intake can be modified when a regular dose of exercise is included in the daily routine!

7. Fitness Tracking

Technology has been blamed for making us lazy. Now we can use technology to prove that we are not. Fitness-tracking apps are a great way to assess your daily fitness levels. From tracking the number of steps you take in a day to measuring distance covered while walking, running or biking, these apps also provide you information on the number of calories you have burnt while doing these exercises.

Presently, there are approximately 5,820 health and fitness apps available according to The World of Health and Medical Apps. With global smartphone sales predicted to hit 1.5 billion units by 2016, the mobile app ecosystem is only going to grow stronger. And much like the smartphones, that are becoming increasingly smarter. It will come as no surprise that these applications too will become progressively intelligent.

10 Uses of Your Smartphone beyond Candy Crush

Over the last decade, the smartphone revolution has radically changed our lives. From banking to retail the smartphone has become a powerful tool meant for collaboration. Much like everything else, medicine and healthcare have not remained oblivious to the charm of the smartphone. Innovative digital technologies, cloud computing, machine intelligence have dramatically changed the perception of healthcare.

In this blog, we take a look at 10 ways in which physicians can leverage their smartphone for things other than checking emails.

1. Practice Management – Practice management for doctors on the go can be a huge task. Who has the time to shift through multiple files and databases to get information? Smartphone apps can help busy doctors manage multiple clinics and their related administrative concerns from a central repository.

2. Patient Management – Doctors can now very conveniently convert their smartphone into their personal assistant. Right from accessing important patient information and history to logging complete patient interactions within seconds, doctors can leverage their smartphone to access medical records, previous prescriptions, lab tests etc.

3. Appointment Management – Who wants to manage multiple calendars that anyways run overfull all the time? Busy doctors need an efficient appointment management application that can help them plan, schedule and organize their days without overlaps easily.

4. Case management – How much of precious time is wasted looking for the relevant case file which has to be fetched manually by an already overworked hospital worker. With the help of smartphone applications, doctors can get all the case related data right in the palm of their hand.

5. Referral Management- How many times in a day do you think doctors refer patients to other doctors? How many patients do doctors meet in a day? Now try isolating who you had referred to which doctor and who you hadn’t referred at all. While referral management might seem very easy, it can sometimes snowball into something quite unmanageable. Use your smartphone for easy referral management instead.

6. Record Management –When everyone is going paperless wouldn’t it just be easier to go paperless when managing patient records as well? A smartphone application with specialty-wise templates can help doctors enter and manage patient records easily with minimal typing. Minimum effort but maximum benefit.

7. Multiple file storing – When we say medical files, most people assume reports and prescriptions. However, medical files also include X-Rays, pictures, videos along with test results. Doctors can use save and access these files from their smartphone quite easily.

8. File sharing – Just having access to online medical records is not enough anymore. A smartphone application that is smart enough will allow doctors to not just view all files, reports, X-Rays of patients but will also allow them to share it with the concerned people.

9. Practice Analytics – Doctors can now put their smartphone to good use for practice analytics. With the help of data-driven insights, they can understand the kind of patients they are getting, commonalities between patients, identify frequently

conducted tests, factors contributing to recurring ailments etc. all of which contribute greatly in disease management.

10. Financial Management – With everything that they already need to manage, do doctors have the time for managing their own finances, transactions, billings, referrals, consultation fees etc.? Most would say no. However, doctors can use your smartphone to manage all these and know exactly how their finances are shaping up.

Using the smartphone, physicians and doctors can early remove the barriers that impede optimal performance for them. All they need to ensure is that they get a single solution with multiple capabilities that can meet all their needs.

Win the health battle this festive season

It’s that time of the year again when most of us are getting our calendars sorted to bring in the festive season. Kicking off from Navratri and ending at Diwali with Eid, Durga Puja, Dusshera and often continuing along till Christmas (or maybe even New Year?), for most, this time of the year spells indulgence. Most of us have hit the gym with a vengeance and are following the latest diet with a religious dedication to make sure that we look show-stoppingly great in all our festive finery. And why not? After all this season only comes ones a year, right?

However, for most of us, the much awaited festive season just becomes an extended period where our health goes for a toss, stress levels soar and the battle of the bulge begins yet again. It’s the same story every year, repeating itself with vicious relentlessness. So this year, as you get ready to sort out your wardrobe and ready your social calendar, take a moment and plan how you are going to manage your health. Lucky for you, we have a ready list of simple and smart moves that will ensure that you enjoy to your fullest and don’t compromise your health.

Navigating the food landmine

With all the celebrations comes the food landmine. Sweets loaded with ghee, sugar and dairy and fried and calorie rich foods is what this season seems to be made up off. However, over-indulgence can spell doom for your gut, skin, hair and overall health. Let’s not even talk about what it does to your waistline! However, no one wants to feel deprived during this season so the smartest way to go about it is to follow the principle of ‘eat what you love, leave what you like’ as Lindsey Joe, Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist suggests. Pick only the foods that bring joy to you and leave the rest in the side-line.

Choose your treat day smartly

Yes, the festive season is all about indulgence but that does not validate over–indulgent eating all through the season. Be sensible about your ‘day of indulgence’. That’s right – we said ‘DAY’! Instead of going all-out on all days, choose your one day of indulgence smartly and just let go on that day. The best thing is if you plan to binge you can prep your system beforehand. Eat smaller healthier meals on the days leading up and after to the big party and most importantly, have a small snack before get there. Chances are if you’re not hungry you’ll not hog!

Nix the guilt with the law of diminishing returns

Just like in economics, apply the law of diminishing returns to your diet as well. So while you might want to chomp down on that whole plate of your favourite sweet or savoury treat, remember that the first three bites of your favourite food will satisfy your hunger and emotional delight but with each additional bite your ‘returns’ will diminish. Learn to master this method of eating and you can nix the guilt that comes from over-indulgence.

Choose the ascending order when it comes to calories

This one is simple. When you are at the food table start with the foods that have the lowest calories and then move up the calorie ladder. Chances are, if you start with a simple salad/soup, move to lean proteins and then by the time you’ve reached the gulab jamuns with ice cream all you will need are just a few bits to feel happy and very satisfied!

Avoid holiday food heaven – just because it is festive food, you don’t’ HAVE to eat it

This one is for those who eat festive food because it’s, well, ‘festive’. Get this one rule right – YOU DON’T HAVE TO EAT FESTIVE FOOD BECAUSE IT’S FESTIVE FOOD! So if you wouldn’t normally eat balusahi, lapsi, mawa – kachoris or laddoos, don’t feel compelled to do so just because it’s that time of the year when everyone’s eating them.

Balance the booze and the cola

Well, for those who love the bubbly (or any other drink) remember that you consume almost 100 calories a day from alcoholic beverages. The sneakier colas and packaged fruit juices rack up to 250 calories per 12 ounces. While completely avoiding these might not be possible, alternating one drink (alcoholic or non-alcoholic) with one glass of water, sparkling or still, will help you keep things festive and also under control.

To eat out, work out

Most of us complain that we have no time to exercise. But if you want to remain healthy exercise is essential. Build a ten-minute power workout into your daily routine and managing the festive excess will be a breeze.

Avoid the stress – be it financial or health related

Festive seasons are meant for you to be happy. So consciously make an effort to weed out stress by giving yourself a break when you are feeling overwhelmed with all the action around you. Budget everything – from your shopping list to your food to your health to make sure sneaky stress from these don’t catch up

Finally, remember that the festive season is about connecting with your loved ones. Go to the social gatherings to connect with those who are present and keep your focus on them – not solely on the food table.

5 Reasons you should take control of your Personal Health Records

Personal Health Records – Helping Patients be in Control of their Health and Wellness


With your every visit to a physician, hospital or healthcare provider, you add a new record paper in your medical file. Your file cabinet is filled with your medical files, reports, X-rays, and prescriptions. Whenever you want to access any old report, you dig out all the files to find the right information. Any follow-up visit to the doctor or a consultation with a new doctor needs an hour of preparation because you need to collate all the past reports, prescriptions and other such details.

Today’s smartphone savvy generation has got all the things in control through their phones. They also have a lot of fitness apps installed on their phones which track their fitness goals, calorie count, tablet reminders and all such things. But somehow maintaining a consolidated medical health record online has slipped through the cracks. For many of us, a complete record of all the personal health information still cannot found in a single location at any given time.

Let’s look at some of the advantages of maintaining a personalized digital health record, also called as Personal Health Record (PHR), and that will convince you to look for options to use your smartphone for your healthcare needs as well –

1. Manage your Health and Wellness

Having one place to access the healthcare records and information helps you stay on top of your health. You can maintain a list of your medications, health history, lab results, scans and X-rays, and all such details at a single location. It makes it easy to search and look for information – anytime, anywhere. You don’t need to have physical access to the report files in case you need some information urgently. With PHR, you can track patterns and better manage your health and wellness.

2. Better Inform your Doctors

Whenever you visit your doctor, you can get the most from the visit by updating your doctor with your latest health information. You can share the up-to-date list of medications, reports, or allergies. If you are tracking blood pressure, blood glucose, or weight at home, then you can easily share the latest information with your doctor. Such up-to-date information can help the doctors in improving the quality of care.  With such readily available information, you also reduce or eliminate duplicate tests, and receive faster and safer treatment.

3. Be Better Prepared for Medical Emergencies

In case of emergencies, it is important that the doctors know your previous medical history, the medicines or foods you are allergic to, your current medications and dosages, immunization records, a record of your surgical procedures, results of your recent medical tests and even emergency medical contacts etc.  During a crisis, it can get difficult to remember such important information and easily accessible PHR can be life-saving in such situations.

4. Chronic Health Management

Living each day with chronic ailments or medical conditions like blood pressure, obesity, depression, anxiety, or diabetes, is very difficult to deal with. There are many things which need to be done to properly track patterns and manage these conditions. PHR apps which can assist you in keeping track of medications, appointments, readings etc. can be very beneficial.

5. Set and Achieve your Fitness Goals

PHR apps help you track your activity, fitness activity, weight, diet, set goals, and track progress. One can easily monitor such information through interactive graphs and visualizations and keep track of the progress. This kind of self-motivation helps individuals in doing the right changes in the diet and activity to get the desired results.

Technology is undoubtedly bringing in a paradigm shift in the healthcare space – gone are the days when patient data and doctors notes were residing in silos at multiple, difficult to access places. Consumers today are looking to have complete information about their health data on their mobile devices with an option to share it with doctors as per the need.

What vegetarians can do to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency

If you’re a vegetarian, you may need to check your Vitamin B12 levels…


image courtesy:
image courtesy:

Last year, when I was working for an energy-water MNC, my body clock and food habits took a toll on my B12 levels. I had to get up early morning, brew my cup of coffee, sip it along with a slice of bread and drive to my workplace. I had to spend the entire day in the office which was completely air conditioned with absolutely no way of getting sunlight. During winters, it became such a pain that I developed a neck sprain that turned into a serious B12 deficiency-related bone-joint issue. When I went to a nearby neck & spine clinic, the doctor suggested a blood test and bang! My B12 levels had reduced to less than 70 which are considered “alarming”.  Yes, I am predominantly vegetarian and the doctor asked me to go for a diet rich in B12 along with 6 Vitamin B12 shots! Continue reading What vegetarians can do to prevent vitamin B12 deficiency