Empowering the patients to get more involved in their health care is becoming a necessity and a task for every healthcare provider.
The aim of empowering patients is helping them develop self-care, self-awareness, and promote the understanding that they can be equal partners in their healthcare decisions, along with their providers, with a common goal to ensure better health outcomes.
As said above, empowering patients should be a task for every healthcare provider. Thanks to advancements in technology this task was made easier. There are many mobile apps that improve interaction between clinicians and their patients and motivate patients to actively engage in their health care with the goal of improving their health.
We already reviewed some of these apps, such as PEPtools app that improves doctor-patient communication and encourages patients to take more active role in their healthcare, and Making Healthy Choices app that empowers patients to reduce unnecessary medical tests and procedures, thus reducing health care costs as well.
The app we review today called GenieMD does a similar thing when it comes to patient's engagement in their own health care.
GenieMD app helps patients easily track, store and share their health profile from their mobile device. This means that the app would let you manage your medications, track your activity and vitals such as blood pressure, cholesterol or glucose level, share custom reports with your doctor, store emergency contacts and more.
It should be noted that GenieMD app was a part of a pilot program between Harvard Medical School, and IBM, so the IBM Watson machine learning software was integrated into the app to answer common health questions. Unfortunately, IBM Watson and symptom checker aren't the part of GenieMD app anymore.
Upon the launch, the app requires users to create an account. After you provided the basic information required for registration the app would open to the main page that contains your name and a circle with your initials or your photo (if you've added one).
Below your name, there are several sections including Care Plan, Care Team, My Health Records, Tools & Resources, and Providers & Facilities.
In Care Plan section, users can setup the reminders for various activities, including taking medications, measure vitals, prescription refills, physician visits, drinking water, and more. Users can set schedule, which can be daily (at specific times), monthly, or at specific dates.
Care Team section allows users to set care team for themselves, including care recipient, physician, nurse, or caregiver, along with their location.
My Health Records section contains main features of the app, which are mostly trackers, including medication tracker, vitals, activity, and so on.
Medications is basically a medication tracker that allows you to add prescriptions and OTC you use on a regular basis. A nicely designed interface allows you to add drugs, view information about each, check interactions with other medications, food or conditions, refill at Walgreens, and even report serious adverse reactions to FDA.
You can also use this section to track your vitals, from blood pressure and cholesterol to glucose levels, as well as to add your health conditions and view condition leaflet.
The app can be also used as a fitness tracker, allowing you to record and track your activity, with type, time and calories burned.
Users can also track immunizations and procedures, add family members to track their medical history or view medical records from providers that support BlueButton+.
Finally, users can view health summary report with data and charts that can be printed out or shared via email.
Tools & Resources section is aimed more at healthcare providers, but patients can use it as well to learn more about health conditions, procedures, discharge instructions and topics about healthy living.
This section also contains comprehensive drug search, interaction checker, as well as calculators, including BMI, body fat percentage, max heart rate, and daily caloric intake. Users can here also check UV index and allergy forecast for their location.
GenieMD app provides users with medical news from health organizations, including PubMed, CDC, FDA, and NIH, as well as news organizations, such as CNN and New York Times.
There are also videos from respectable institutions explaining various medical topics grouped in several categories, from cardiovascular health to videos explaining different procedures.
Another useful feature in GenieMD app is providers & facilities finder that allows users to look up physicians, pharmacies, and hospitals in their local area.
It should be noted that GenieMD app can be connected to other apps and devices, including Apple Health, Walgreens, as well as Withings, iHealth and Fitbit wearables.
The app also allows patients to add their insurance information, emergency contacts, and to use prescription savings card at their local pharmacies.
Overall, I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of information and features provided in GenieMD app. I would call it a 'sleeper' among medical apps that users should know more about.
Too bad there are no more IBM Watson and symptom checker in the app. Otherwise, GenieMD would be one of the most comprehensive medical apps around.
Benefit: Patients who want to get more involved in their health care, as well as their physicians would benefit from this app