A Healthy Relationship With My Smart Phone
Medicine, wellness and technology are becoming increasingly intertwined, right down to the individual. Here’s a “first-person” example to illustrate a possible day in the life of the connected consumer.
As I park my car to go into the office, I remember that my son Jackson’s new orthodontist, Dr. Karamoff, left a message at home yesterday evening asking about our dental coverage. I should call him back, but do I have the answer to his question – and do I even have his phone number? Then I remember that I am connected.
By the time I sit down at my desk, I have a mobile app open on my smart phone that gives me access to a wide range of my benefit and health care services. I look up my dental plan and quickly discover that my ortho coverage has a $2,000 maximum. A couple more clicks on the touch screen brings me to Dr. Karamoff’s contact information and as I put my thumb down on his number, my phone dials his office. This gets everything straightened out so that Jackson’s teeth will eventually be straightened, too.
Later, I receive a message that it is time to refill one of my prescriptions. Just then, my wife Samantha calls to ask if her cholesterol medication is 20 mg or 40 mg. She just took the last one and threw out the bottle. Fortunately, we keep our medication list up to date on the handy mobile app and I let her know that 20 mg is the correct dose. Since I’m already contacting our pharmacy to order my refill, I will also request them to contact her physician for a new statin prescription. The number for the pharmacy is right there in the app and I can give them the prescription numbers off of the medication list. Two birds…one stone.
Late in the afternoon, my daughter Trisha’s school calls to inform me that during track practice, she sprained her ankle. She doesn’t need an ambulance, but she’s not going to be able to walk home as usual. I head over to pick her up and take her to the urgent care center to get the ankle checked out. When we arrive, the receptionist politely requests my medical ID card to verify insurance coverage. It’s a simple matter of pulling up the smart phone app and bringing the card image up on the screen. Fortunately, all of it will be taken care of with some ice, elevation, and a $20 copayment.
That evening, we enjoy a healthy dinner from a recipe suggested by our weight management app. Once Trisha crutches off to get a leg up on her homework and Jackson clears the dishes, Samantha brings me my prescription she picked up along with her own. As she takes her after-dinner pill, I casually use my phone to open my company wellness web site to log my servings of salad and veggies, and make sure the data from my fitness tracker has updated. While my steps for the day are on target, I’m short a serving of produce. So dessert tonight will be an apple.
I’m hoping tomorrow will be a doctor-free day, but if not, my mobile device and I are prepared.
About Tim Crawford
Tim Crawford worked at Keenan for more than 20 years and is now consulting for the company on communication, media relations and health care reform projects. Tim is a Certified Internet Marketer, chairs the Internet Marketing Association of New Mexico, and is a member of the California YMCA Board of Directors.