I just saw a funny blog post by Dr. David M. Sack (via KevinMD.com ) in which Dr. Sack listed the 7 mobile health apps he feels someone needs to invent for doctors’ use.
Entitled “The 7 iPhone Apps I’d Like To See,” Sack’s app ideas range from one which sends a phony page and thus helps doctors get the hell away from annoying patients who monopolize their time, to one that translates ePocrates-described drug side effects into patient speak, to my personal favorite, one that helps doctors connect with each other by phone in perfect unison without having to play the game of “who gets on the call first,” thus rendering each equally important in their own minds.
It occurs to me that there are a number of equally compelling apps that should be created for patients who must deal with that 50% of doctors who are, by definition, worse than average at patient engagement. In the same tongue-in-cheek spirit as Dr. Sack, and in a never-ending quest to foster better-functioning healthcare consumers, I offer you my list of the 8 iPhone apps I’d like to see someone develop for patients (ok, my many doctor friends, take a deep breath and smile; it’s just a joke….sort of):
1) iCanHearYouNow–this app will send out an interference signal that, for 15 minutes, blocks doctors’ ability to pre-judge your diagnosis and then zone out to think about golf or their stock portfolio; it effectively renders them incapable of doing anything other than actually paying attention to you while you explain your symptoms and concerns.
2) iTestLess–this app will apply a subtle electric shock to physicians when they attempt to order unnecessary medical tests when they could have pretty easily looked at the test results the patient already has, or when they are prescribing tests for those who obviously do not need them. It will also apply a stronger taser-like shock to physicians who prescribe unnecessary tests that provide nothing but personal financial benefit. Due to its widespread application in a post-health reform world, health insurers will provide this app for free to members.
3) SayWhat?– this app will translate medical after-care instructions into English, Spanish or another language spoken by humans so patients will actually understand how to follow the at-home care directions provided by rushed physicians and nurses. The SayWhatPro edition, extra $.99, will also render the type on the pill bottle large enough for an actual person to read.
4) BackAtcha–this app will cause physicians to personally experience every major, highly likely negative side effect of a procedure or drug that they don’t bother to tell patients they should expect.
5) CallMeMaybe–this app will send physicians and nurses an increasingly annoying alarm, reminiscent of the song “Call Me Maybe,” which grows more frequent and deafening for every day late after the day promised that test results are not provided by telephone to patients.
6) PimpMyWaitingRoom–an entertainment app that magically turns what you know is in all physician waiting rooms–2007 issues of Good Houseeping, Cat Fancy and Car and Driver Magazines– into current copies of People, Sports Illustrated and 50 Shades of Grey.
7) We’reSquare–A financial app that automatically deducts the equivalent value of one BMW car payment from a physicians’s personal bank account every time he or she tells you they don’t know what a procedure might cost, but don’t worry, you’re insurance will “likely” cover it.
And of course, the one destined for the most downloads…..
8) iCoverYourAss–an app which, when deployed, extends the fabric width on an examining room gown by a full 12 additional inches to provide the modest patient a way to, well, cover their ass.
Mike Davis says
Excellent suggestions for the patients. I’d also have an app called Negative Deja Vu that deducts the BMW payment every time a patient has to fill out two to three pages of the same visit information with each encounter of care!
Lisa Suennen says
Scott Nelson says
It’s rare that I read a “healthcare” blog post and laugh out loud.
Here’s another idea. The “Who the Hell is That?” app. This app will scan the QR code on the scrubs of everyone in the procedure. That way, patients will quickly be able to tell “who the hell” is seeing their procedure. (Even the sales rep that’s telling the doctor how to use the device.)
This app is a slight iteration on the “iCoverYourAss” app. Sequoia Capital invested in the “WhotheHellisThat” app after they saw Union Square Investors make out like bandits when the “iCoverYourAss” app sold to Facebook for $500 million.
Lisa Suennen says
I better copyright my iCoverYourAss app fast before the exit!