In our weekly Trends that Matter series, we provide engaging infographics, articles and recent news from healthcare influencers to highlight general trends affecting the pharmaceutical industry. This week's featured topic is how apps can help individuals with chronic diseases monitor their symptoms.
About half of all adults have one or more chronic health conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Mobile applications can help individuals with chronic diseases monitor their overall health, track their diet, record sleep habits, communicate with clinicians, and remember to take medications on schedule.
For example, a recent study by Heidi S. Smith, published in the Telemedicine Journal and eHealth analyzed how the use of a smartphone or tablet application could provide early detection of worsening symptoms for patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). According to the study:
"Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease is a lung disease characterized by reduced airflow, inflammation, and progressive worsening of disease symptoms. Even when COPD treatments are optimized, few patients are totally symptom-free, and worsening symptoms (i.e., exacerbations) often lead to unscheduled office visits, emergency department interventions, and hospitalizations."
The results of this report revealed that the smartphone application did provide early detection of acute COPD symptoms. These signs allowed patients to receive the treatment they needed more quickly.
In upcoming years, we will likely see more applications being developed that can be used by patients and doctors to monitor health levels. To learn more about monitoring chronic conditions, check out this list of 5 Free Apps for Managing Chronic Illness.