- Not Everyone Will Use Mobile Health Apps: The numbers are growing, but not there are still people who don't have smart phones, will never use a computer, and might not even know what an app is. They are not going to be refused care simply because they haven't kept up with current technology.
- Apps Are Tools, Not Replacements: When medical apps were designed, they were never built with the intention of replacing physicians in patient care. Instead, they are a tool to help in the diagnosis and education of patients. Apps add to the wealth of medical knowledge available, but they cannot substitute for actual care.
- Apps Can Give Data, But They Cannot Provide Care: Data that is provided through an app is just that, data. Physicians are the ones who are required to review this data and come up with a diagnosis, taking into account the entire patient and not just lab findings. This human interaction cannot be traded for a computer print-out.
- Each Case Is Different: Two patients may present with the same symptoms, but that doesn't mean they have the same diagnosis. Apps can give a standardized overview of what might be the problem, but they can never take into account each person's specific needs. Physicians are able to decipher what lab findings actually mean by treating the entire person, not just their individualized symptoms.
- Self-Diagnosis Is Not The Answer: Though medical apps can provide a starting place for patients to narrow down what their diagnosis might be, it can never fully replace a physician's diagnosis. Often patients will misdiagnose themselves based on what they've put together through research. They are often not trained to accurately decipher what the combination of symptoms might mean. For that, a doctor's visit is warranted.
Mobile technology has helped our population make great strides, but it is not a substitute for accurate medical diagnosis. While patients can become more aware of their own health through currently available tools, they will never be their own doctor.