Avera Releases Aberdeen’s First Health Care App for Mobile Devices
ABERDEEN (Aug. 9, 2012) – Avera Health has introduced the region’s first mobile health care app for smart phones and mobile devices, “Avera Health To Go.”
Avera Health To Go is free, and offers new ways for patients to manage and track their own personal health information. While not a substitute for medical consults or appropriate medical care, the app is a tool that allows patients to be a more active partner in their health care.
“Health care of the future continues to become more preventative in nature, and the trend is to harness the latest technology to make it more personal. We’re proud to be taking this innovative step,” said Patty Kirkpatrick, director of Marketing and Public Relations at Avera St. Luke’s Hospital.
It's estimated that 1.4 billion smart phones will be in use by 2015, and 500 million will have a health-related application loaded on them. Some 5 billion apps were downloaded in 2012, and that’s expected to increase to 21 billion by 2013. “There are nearly 6,000 medical apps available for download, and that number will only grow. Avera wanted to offer a health app from a locally known and trusted source,” says Dr. John Fritz, Avera St. Luke’s vice president of Medical Affairs.
Avera Health To Go offers health trackers the opportunity to track and share personal health information such as blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol, mood, weight, pregnancy, migraines and medications. “Patients can keep this information for their own reference, or share it with friends, family or their health care provider,” added Fritz. “It may serve as a useful record of symptoms and activity for the patient, instead of trying to remember important facts at their doctor appointment.” This information stays completely confidential and goes no further than the phone itself, unless the phone user chooses to share it electronically.
Consumers can also use the app to:
- Gain immediate first aid information
- Get the latest Avera news and health tips, including the Avera Story Center blog
- Read current health information from the Mayo Clinic, including hundreds of consumer-friendly articles about diseases, conditions and treatments
- Find the nearest Avera physician in South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska and North Dakota, including more than 560 Avera Medical Group physicians and specialists with tools that include a physician finder, GPS “wayfinding” to clinics, and a click-to-call contact directory
- Store insurance information and a scanned image of insurance card(s)
The app can be downloaded completely free of charge. Owners of mobile devices can go to the Apple or Android apps store on their device, and find Avera Health To Go in the alphabetical listing. To learn more, go to www.Avera.org or www.AveraStLukes.org.
“Through Avera Health To Go, Avera is providing one more way that patients and health care consumers can access the resources of Avera, along with other trusted points of contact including our website and our network of clinics and hospitals,” Kirkpatrick said.
Avera partnered with mRemedy, owned by Axial Exchange, to create an app specifically tailored for Avera. mRemedy has created apps for a number of leading hospitals in the nation. “Avera wanted to partner with a company with the experience and expertise to create a user-friendly app with trusted, accurate health information that health consumers need and want,” Kirkpatrick said. The app was developed with local information and expertise. For example, the app’s myMood tracker was created with insight from Avera psychiatrist Dr. Matthew Stanley.