Healthy-TXT Voice Memo App opens new avenues for patient-doctor communication

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Purpose of App Review

To explore the use of Healthy-TXT Voice Memo in facilitating patient-physician communication.

Introduction

Medical jargon can feel like a foreign language to patients.

Often, patients can misunderstand explanations due to the degree of medical jargon in our vernacular or because they were too sick to fully concentrate at that point in time.

Healthy-TXT Voice Memo provides a system for doctors to record voice memos. It also provides patients access to those memos via a unique code.

 

User Interface

The app provides modes tailored for physicians or patients. Registration with an email address is necessary to use the app.


Doctors have a basic user interface that includes fundamental record and playback commands. Doctors can record, pause, stop, restart, and submit the voice memo for upload to the app’s servers when finished.

A unique code for the memo is then generated for the patient.


The patient interface simply allows users to input codes to download voice memos to their iPhones for local storage and subsequent retrieval. Email registration is again mandatory.


The app also has a disclaimer for both doctors and patients, warning us to keep HIPAA regulations in mind, and only use the app with non-patient identifying information such as general information about a condition.  It is not stated in the disclaimer whether or not the app is HIPAA compliant.

Before using the app in practice, please check with your institution or regulatory body to ensure that usage is compliant with local laws and regulations.


Healthy-TXT Voice Memo brings a fresh idea to the problem of patient-physician communication. The central idea is great, but its feasibility is limited until the app reaches a critical mass of patient users.

Because the app is free, I imagine motivated physicians could have their waiting room staff explain the app to patients with smartphones, and over time develop the critical patient mass. That also begs the question – if users already have smartphones, why not just have the patient record the conversation directly with his/her own phone and skip the uploading step?

Price

  • Free

Likes

  • Novel idea
  • Potential to improve doctor-patient communication

Dislikes

  • No clear indication where the memos are uploaded to and if they are stored indefinitely on servers

Healthcare providers that would benefit from the app

  • Any provider that speaks directly with patients

Conclusions

  • Healthy-TXT Voice Memo has the potential to facilitate better doctor-patient communication

iMedicalApps recommended?

  • Yes (in conditions noted above)

iTunes Link

Rating: (1 to 5 stars) 3.75 stars
User Interface: 3 – Clean and uncluttered
Multimedia usage: 4 – Recording and uploading process is smooth
Price: 5 – Free
Real world applicability: 3 (Doctors will need buy-in from patients in their practice first)

Disclaimer:
This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.

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