As we think about digital healthcare moving forward into the next decade, it’s easy to forget how far healthcare apps and HIPAA compliant websites have come over the last ten years. Now more than ever before, consumers are using healthcare apps and HIPAA compliant websites designed to improve the patient experience. According to Accenture research, 75 percent of US consumers say technology is important in managing their health. Owning the healthcare journey empowers patients and improves health outcomes.

Despite taking huge strides forward, the healthcare industry is still plagued by antiquated and inefficient legacy-based processes. More consumers are embracing digital health, but unfortunately, medical and healthcare organizations aren’t always adapting at the same pace. Whether or not healthcare organizations can capitalize on consumer trends is a perennial question, the answer to which only time will tell.

The introduction of new technologies like wearable devices continues to revolutionize the healthcare space with the advent of fitness and wellness healthcare apps that are transforming everyday life. As biometric data is transferred from wearable devices to mhealth apps, consumers have never been better placed to monitor their health and wellness. These interconnected wearable devices and mhealth apps are becoming increasingly useful in the clinical space as physicians are now able to analyze patient data in realtime to mitigate the risk of medical conditions. An example of this is the Baylor Heart Center’s mhealth app, developed by Medical Web Experts. The iOS app offers resources to help better manage heart and vascular health, and enables patients to perform guided meditation exercises while simultaneously tracking heart rate using an integration with Apple Watch.

Consumers have so many outlets to manage their digital health and wellness that it’s easy to forget the important role played by HIPAA-compliant healthcare websites. For example, when a consumer feels unwell, they typically go online to understand their symptoms better. It’s often difficult to gauge whether online content is reputable. Because of this, we are beginning to see more and more examples of trustworthy websites that offer consumers well-sourced medical content. At Madison Avenue TMS & Psychiatry, Dr. David Woo administers transcranial magnetic stimulation, a non-invasive, FDA-approved treatment for patients with depression. Medical Web Experts developed a patient-friendly website from scratch, including a blog with specialized medical content writing. No longer do patients need to pick up the phone, or visit their doctor in-person, to get more information about treatments or services. HIPAA-compliant websites help streamline the process by providing essential answers to frequently asked questions.

In the end, it’s important for healthcare organizations to understand why consumers use mhealth apps and HIPAA-compliant websites now more than ever. Consumers realize they have a choice. Innovative apps and secure websites provide consumers with the resources to take control of their health and wellness. Let’s hope that over the next decade, organizations can capitalize on the advances made during the last ten years.