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Managed Healthcare Executive asked thought leaders: “What apps do you use the most on your phone?” Here’s what they said.
With approximately 2 million apps available from either Google Play or the App Store from Apple, it’s true that for lots of things there is, in fact, “an app for that.” MHE asked 12 healthcare executives what apps they have on their phones, whether for work or play.
For Nicole Latimer, CEO of Staywell, a leading health and wellbeing organization in multiple locations, it's got to be FaceTime to stay connected with her family while she's away on business. “I use LinkedIn to stay updated on new trends and industry news, Amazon for my next good book and, of course, StayWell to track my steps and workouts and participate in fun challenges against coworkers,” Latimer says.
“Quanum allows me to order labs for patients I see, and has an option for e-prescribing at any pharmacy in the United States,” he says.
He uses Tarascon Pharmacopoeia to check on drug prescribing by drug class or disease area, verify what is indicated, and review side effects and other considerations. For his own well-being, it’s Headspace’s mindfulness and meditation app, and Duolingo to polish Spanish language skills.
Carrot Health in Minneapolis provides healthcare business intelligence solutions powered by social determinants of health. Stephen Sigmond, co-founder and chief financial officer, says he constantly uses Slack. “It’s the primary way our team members communicate-for everything from product development to sharing vacation pictures.”
Nick Woods is co-founder and chief technology officer of Hazel Health in San Francisco, which provides free healthcare for K-12 students in school via virtual medical clinics.
“I use Health Mate because it’s connected to my digital scale, Apple’s Activity app to keep an eye on my exercise, and One Medical’s app if I have an appointment or follow-up,” he says.
“My apps tell the story of my weekday life, somewhat pitifully, but then again, they make things manageable,” says Darcey Schoenebeck, executive vice president of business development at RxSense, a digital health company in Boston. For administering her life from a different state, she uses Honey. “It finds me deals on whatever I’m buying, then applies the discount automatically and makes it so cheap I can't afford not to buy it!”
Because vision is important in daily work, it's Handy Loupe. “Oh man, this one: It's a magnifying glass. If you are age 50 plus, no explanation needed,” laughs Schoenebeck. “If you're not yet, enjoy your vision while you can.”
She says life as a sales executive requires Curb, “for no futzing with the credit card to pay the taxi guy, and no taxi guy asking me to pay cash. It’s a win-win!” And “for getting from Point A to Point B," she is all about Delta “with its bag tracking notifications that are genius.”
Delta’s app also gets points from Chris Ingersoll, vice president of product development for R1 RCM in Chicago, a technology-enabled revenue cycle company.
“This app gives me an excellent, seamless, and comprehensive experience-one our own consumer-focused industry should emulate,” says Ingersoll. “I can schedule and purchase my flight, choose a seat, check in, check upgrade status, track my incoming plane, and board-all without interacting with staff, making it highly efficient for all involved and promoting brand loyalty to high-revenue customers.”
Forward-thinking providers will invest in building a similarly inclusive mobile capability, in Ingersoll’s opinion.
Cloudbreak Health in El Segundo, California, is a telemedicine platform that provides more than 1 million minutes of consultation each month. CEO Jamey Edwards is a fan of Twitter.
“Twitter’s concise format forces you to choose your words. Its ability to break news and create value via curated feeds of information is the way relationships that start on Twitter turn into real-life relationships, partnerships and friendships,” says Edwards.
The #pinksocks campaign may be the best evidence of how an effective community of mission-driven people can built via social media, he says.
A self-described "fitness freak," CJ Xia is also CEO of Boster Biological Technology in Pleasanton, California, offering high-quality antibodies and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay kits to the scientific community since 1993. He’s a huge fan of MyFitnessPal, for anyone dieting or trying to muscle up. The app, he says “is your true friend rather than making fun of you.” It calculates calories consumed and advises how much to eat to achieve a weight goal and connects you with others also seeking to get a daily dose of motivation. “Amazing infographics make data more readable,” he says.
Let’s hear it for the American Red Cross and its apps. Jim Higgins, CEO and founder of Solutionreach, a patient relationship management company, in Lehi, Utah, says “I really admire American Red Cross and what they have done digitally to change the perception of giving blood-turning an otherwise ‘bad’ experience good. It is a charitable act to give blood, and they really see it through to help donors. Kudos to them!”
Higgins starts his day with the Wall Street Journal app, to stay on top of the news.
Lee Baxter is vice president of brand strategy and communications for MyMedicalShopper, a Portsmouth, New Hampshire, company that has developed digital platforms for comparing healthcare prices. Yes, there is an app, and yes, he uses it.
Baxter never leaves home without Waze.
“It remembers my favorite destinations and alerts me to potential issues like accidents or roadwork along the way,” he says.
He also champions Medscape, because “it covers everything health-related from the latest news to ready reference on conditions, guidelines, pill interactions and more.”
“Adobe Scan allows me to take a photo of a document-or anything else for that matter-and turn it into a PDF I can email from my phone," says John Specht, vice president of sales and marketing at eQHealth Solutions, a population health management and technology solutions company based in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “It’s an absolute game changer when doing admin tasks on the road.”
“In a modern work world where so much of what we do is remote and it’s easy to feel disconnected, it’s important for our teams to maintain connections,” says Jacob Reider, MD, and CEO of Alliance for Better Health in Albany, New York, an IT and SDoH company.
His team uses the video conferencing app, Zoom, on their phones. “I like it for device-agnostic, face-to-face conversations from remote locations. I like being able to see nonverbal cues from others during our calls-for example, I can see someone nodding their head in agreement, or can tell when someone is trying to jump in, or when it looks like something isn’t resonating. Mobile video conferencing is definitely better than traditional voice-only calls.”
Stephanie Stephens, MA, is a journalist, producer, and host in Orange County, California.