With the proliferation of smart devices, mobile applications have become common. Social and health care fields have also developed mobile applications designed to promote the health and well-being of clients. The development of health mobile applications will be a growing phenomenon in the future, and from the patient’s point of view, their purpose is good – to complement the care received, support self-care and increase patient compliance.
As future social and healthcare professionals, we need to know about the various mobile applications so we can guide our clients. For this article, we picked two applications to introduce.
Päiki Pörriäinen mobile game for children
Päiki Pörriäinen is a game that aims to inform the child and the whole family about the day on which the child is being treated. The game gives a child access to a day of surgical day care, and while the game is developed for young children, it is also useful for the whole family, and allows the parent to learn about the day’s activities. The Päiki Pörriäinen game has been developed in cooperation with Päijät-Häme Central Hospital day surgery unit, Medi-IT Oy and a game company Tingleware Oy. The game was selected among three finalists in the Health Awards 2016 competition, in the category Health Innovation of the Year. (Hyvis.fi.) The character of Päiki Pörriäinen is designed by Topi Männynsalo, a student at the Lahti Institute of Design. Päiki is the first healthcare mobile game created for the child and their parents. (Pihlava, M. 2010)
To get to know the game properly, we downloaded it. From the perspective of a nursing student, Päiki also serves as a tool for students. We might not have experience of how a paediatric patient should be confronted, but the game allows you practice. For example, a student can learn the right vocabulary to use with a child patient. The game lets you jump into the child’s boots and understand, how exciting it is for a child and their family to go to “repair”.
Symptom diary is a mobile app by Terveyskylä for transmitting health information from the patient to health care professionals. Ten units of specialized medical care are implementing this app as a part of their digital clinical pathways. Digital clinical pathways are safe communication networks between the patient and health care professionals. The application requires the patient to log in to the app and have a referral to the pathway. (Virtuaalisairaala2.fi, 2018)
The patient logs the information the health care professionals want to observe. The patient can log vitals like blood pressure, symptoms like headache or habits such as smoking. This information goes to the professionals, and with it, treatments can be individualized, and the efficacy of medication or life-style changes can be evaluated. (Virtuaalisairaala2.fi, 2018)
The diary helps reduce the need of face-to-face meetings and makes the health care process more efficient. The diary is an efficient way to get information of the patients’ symptoms and it can be a motivator for a healthier life. The app is suitable for anyone with a mobile device and it can be a tool to find a therapeutic equilibrium for diabetes, hypertension, etc.
Different age groups have varying skills in using applications. The elderly may not benefit from using the symptom diary app without guidance. Professionals must consider the benefits of apps for every patient individually.
The app can include data security issues which must be considered. The patient’s information can fall into the wrong hands if their mobile device gets lost or stolen. Possible risks could be hacking of the patient information system or the application not working. It is possible that the professionals or the patient can’t use the application correctly.
To reduce inappropriate use and to improve the awareness of risks, the users of the app must be guided. The possible risks must be analysed and there must be operation models for emergency situations.
Apps as part of the future
Applications are a way to motivate patients. The first application is a child-friendly way to prepare kids for surgery but also a way for nursing students to gain a child’s perspective on hospitals. The second app is for the elderly and helps you to track your health and be more informed of it. We believe applications like these are a part of the future for patients and nurses alike.
Susanna Raivio, Tea Törmäkangas, Essi Nyman, Sinna Korvenaro, Heta Kujala and Emma Odaba are nursing students in Lab University of Applied Sciences and this article was written in “Customership and guidance in new environments –course”
Teacher Tiina Jokinen is working as a part time teacher in Lab University of Applied Sciences.
Hyvis, Päijät-Häme. Päiki Pörriäinen- peli. [Online document] Päijät-Häme, lapsiperhepalvelut. [Referred to 23.12.2019] Avaible: https://www.hyvis.fi/web/paijat-hame/paiki-porriainen
Pihlava, M. Päiki Pörriäinen vie leikkauspelon. [Online document] Mediuutiset. [Referred to 23.12.2019] Available: https://www.mediuutiset.fi/uutiset/paiki-porriainen-vie-leikkauspelon/3b42afd8-f3cb-3440-ae42-b10da8b266b9
Virtuaalisairaala2.fi. 2018. Uusi oirepäiväkirja-mobiilisovellus välittää seurantatietoa potilaalta terveydenhuollon ammattilaiselle. [Referred 25.11.2019]. Available: https://www.virtuaalisairaala2.fi/fi/ajankohtaista/uusi-oirepaivakirja-mobiilisovellus-valittaa-seurantatietoa-potilaalta-terveydenhuollon-ammattilaiselle