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Locums News October 5, 2020

By Melissa Wirkus Hagstrom, contributor

New Medical Apps for Primary Care During COVID-19

The primary care setting has been impacted by COVID-19 in countless ways, and technology companies are developing new solutions to help providers and patients battle the pandemic right from their smartphones. 

Medical apps for primary care and other healthcare settings have been popular for years, with apps like 
WebMDDoctor on DemandHealthgrades, and others becoming well known. Now both healthcare providers and patients have a variety of apps that can assist during COVID.  

Earlier this year, Apple and Google announced that they are collaborating to develop coronavirus contact tracing technology for both android and iOS devices. Google Play, Google’s app store, curated a COVID-19 specialty section named “Coronavirus: Stay informed” that features apps that aim to help end-users stay prepared.

In addition to these resources, here are some of the most helpful apps for primary care practices during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. 
 

Innovative Apps For Primary Care Practices

Telemedicine apps 

Telehealth is transforming the way primary care and family physicians practice and has enabled some practices to keep their doors open—both physically and virtually—during the coronavirus pandemic.
 

VSee
 is a telehealth app that allows providers to conduct virtual appointments with just a few clicks. Back in March, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) loosened the regulations for telemedicine, allowing clinicians to provide telehealth services for beneficiaries residing across the entire country while also adding additional enhancements to its payments and coverage plans.  

Teladoc
 is a leader in the telemedicine app space, allowing patients to connect to a board-certified doctor 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.  

The American Association of Family Practitioners (AAFP) has gathered a variety of 
COVID-19 telehealth tools and resources in one easy-to-access page. It also features questions that primary care physicians can use to ask vendors when deciding on a telemedicine provider. 

Coronavirus tracing and tracking apps
 

Staying informed on the coronavirus pandemic is essential for primary care practices, and there are a variety of solutions in the marketplace to meet these needs. Many states have released tracking apps to help curb the spread of COVID-19, which can be a boon for providers. California, Utah, and Nevada are among the states that have tracking and tracing apps available; check your app store to see if your state has released one.
 

Care19
 and COVID Control are two apps leading the way in tracing efforts. The latter app was developed as part of a Johns Hopkins University study where users input personal data with the goal of tracking the spread of the coronavirus.  

On a different level of medical apps, the 
COVID-19 Dashboard by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) is the online data center that is most often cited by academics and scientists. It provides a trove of data and information on the coronavirus pandemic including global and regional info, numbers of deaths, positivity rates, and much more. 

Health, fitness, and mindfulness apps
 

During this unprecedented time, it's more important than ever for clinicians and patients to take good care of their mental and physical health. Thankfully, the app market is brimming with applications that will help you do everything from sleep better to eating healthier.
 

MyFitnessPal
is a top-rated app that lets you track what you eat and how active you are. It can be a helpful tool to maintain a healthy weight—which is even more important now, as researchers have found that high body mass and obesity increase a person’s chance of suffering severe complications if they contract COVID-19.  

Endel
 is a unique app that can be used for meditation or sleeping, by allowing users to create their own mix of sounds to help unwind or get into that meditation mindset.


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