Article

5 apps to make patients' lives easier

By Carley Thornell | February 21, 2020

BNR_PatientApps

The best healthcare outcomes depend not only on caregivers, but increasingly involve engaged patients. And the right technology is essential to reaching patients where they are, whether it’s making 3D medical models and pre-op documentation accessible from their homes or eliminating the need to wait on hold on the phone to schedule appointments. These mobile and web apps are saving time and headaches—for both parties. Here are five innovative options for telehealth, patient education, remote monitoring, and beyond:

1. Nucleus PatientEd

Capabilities: Automated 3D patient education animations

Not only are patient educational materials from Nucleus written at a non-clinical and approachable level, but the animations bring to life medical diagnoses and procedures—like step-by-step fetus growth, and what happens during operations—in a visual way that can be used in real time during caregiver appointments and reviewed after the fact independently. The result is a greater understanding for patients and fewer patient callbacks for providers. Usage analytics include patient viewing time, viewing frequency, and patient feedback regarding helpfulness.

Learn more about Nucleus on their website and on the athenahealth Marketplace

"I thought the video was quite useful and educational for the layperson. I watched several videos in the Nucleus library and felt similarly impressed with their ability to educate the ‘average Joe’ – a real tool for nurses working with the general public!"

Erin Ross, Registered Nurse

2. NextPatient

Capabilities: Scheduling, satisfaction surveys, appointment reminders, patient recalls

There’s no need to wait on hold calling in for an appointment thanks to NextPatient, which has 24/7 online booking capabilities. And for urgent-care needs, patients can move their wait times from an office to their own living rooms by claiming a spot in line online before coming in—or they can schedule a virtual appointment. Patients can also sign up for appointment reminders via text or email, and after those sessions, use the review function to boost providers’ online presence. Automated patient reminders are not only convenient but mean fewer appointments (including recall visits, like those scheduled via NextPatient) are missed.

Learn more about NextPatient on their website and on the athenahealth Marketplace.

"NextPatient allows our clinics to serve more patients with less front office work. We were able to consolidate vendors while increasing new-patient revenue."

Rahul Khare, MD, President & Founder, Innovative Express Care, Chicago, Illinois

3. Patient Education Genius

Capabilities: Virtual collateral sharing

Not only is it easy for providers to send patients educational materials via text message or email, but there’s no passwords or downloads required for those on the receiving end. Patients don’t need to worry about remembering all treatment instructions or toting around printouts since they are easily accessible with PEG (and caregivers can even see if the items sent to patients have been opened). And if a provider so opts, they can distribute patient satisfaction surveys or give prompts for flu shots and screenings, and encourage patients to pay bills online—without adding steps to their workflow.

Learn more about Patient Education Genius on their website and on the athenahealth Marketplace.

"I use (Patient Education Genius) every day. It’s an easy add-on to put into my personalized content, such as videos, handouts, and things we used to hand all patients. Also, it documents the receipt in the chart for tracking purposes."

Dr. Donald Pelto, podiatrist, Massachusetts

4. Esvyda

Capabilities: remote patient monitoring, telehealth

It’s apropos that “esvida” means “life” in Spanish, because this app—which is available in both Spanish and English—focuses on engaging patients in medical and preventative treatments.  Patients can opt in to send information like vital signs and mood tracking directly to their caregivers all without using a mobile app. Esvyda connects doctors, families, and patients, along with “lifestyle coaches” who set up plans including nutrition and exercise recommendations. Functionality also includes secure message transmission, online booking, appointment reminders, and 24/7 virtual visits, says Esvyda. 

Learn more about Esvyda on their website and on the athenahealth Marketplace.

"Things are good, I have set a good example for my kids, and everyone is working out." 

User, whose lifestyle coach encouraged setting up a home gym 

5. Qure4U

Capabilities: digital check-in, telehealth, remote patient monitoring

The patient plays an active role in their own care with Qure4U, which includes skipping the line in the doctor’s office waiting room with a check-in from home feature (through which co-pays can be made and consent forms signed). For those need at-home care, the app can also be used to schedule video calls with patients. And for those who need a gentle nudge in the right direction, Qure4U also reminds patients to exercise, take medications, and measure their own vital signs. Clinical teams and patients can correspond with in-app messaging, too. All information is integrated with doctors’ EHRs.

Learn more about Qure4U on their website and on the athenahealth Marketplace.

"All processes are patient friendly, patients will engage on their smartphone, and everything can be monitored from a centralized approach."

Mark Ackley, CEO, Axiom Regenerative Therapies (nationwide)