Stay Healthy Away from Home
By: Scott Flannery, CEO, UnitedHealthcare of East Texas
Sunscreen? Check. Swimsuit? Check. Health benefits? Check your smartphone.
Before you head out on summer vacation this year, consider adding another item to your packing list. It won?t take up much space, and it could put valuable information at your fingertips. Mobile health ?apps? for smartphones and tablets are one of the fastest-growing segments of app development, giving people better access to health care information when they?re on the go.
Mobile apps are often used to organize, communicate and entertain, so it only makes sense to turn to those same tools to take care of your health. Recent research shows nearly 80 percent of U.S. consumers are interested in mobile health solutions, and 40 percent of physicians believe that mobile health technologies can reduce office visits. That?s why many health insurers are offering apps that allow people to access their health care information, monitor existing health issues, and even stay focused on fitness goals.
Mobile health apps now make it easier to:
? contact a registered nurse 24/7 for information regarding any kind of medical topic;
? download an insurance ID card to a smartphone and email or fax the card directly from the mobile device to a physician office or hospital;
? save information about favorite care providers and record personal notes from previous doctors visits;
? locate nearby physicians, hospitals, emergency rooms and urgent care centers using the smartphone?s GPS function, making it easier to find care providers at home or out of town;
? request a callback from the health insurance carrier on specific questions about claims and benefits; and
? view account balances for health reimbursement, flexible spending and health savings accounts that are available to pay for medical care.
Other popular health apps can help people count calories, monitor migraine symptoms, track exercise activity or send a medication reminder. Ultimately, these apps put consumers in charge of when and how they manage their health.
UnitedHealthcare uses technology to make it easier for people to access care and their personal health information. Today, the company offers a variety of mobile apps designed to engage people in healthy behaviors in ways that are as convenient as they are fun, and as educational as they are effective.
So, as you start thinking about those upcoming summer road trips, remember to grab your mobile device to ensure you have your necessary health and medical information wherever you go.