February 1, 2014 (Vol. 34, No. 3)
Strong Points: Beautifully designed, many features
Weak Points: None
Medicine, welcome to the age of social media. The HealthTap app is a beautiful (and free!) app that offers users many of the features one might already know from social media (newsfeeds, the ability to “follow” specific users, etc.), but in the context of healthcare. The basic premise of the app is that users submit medical questions and physicians answer them. As a user, therefore, I can either submit my own questions, or search and browse the questions submitted by others. I can also customize my newsfeed to display questions/answers related to specific healthcare topics of interest, such as “the common cold” or “diabetes.” To use the app, users must register for an account; after completing the registration, users can customize their profile pages to get more personalized announcements and suggestions. Additionally, users can choose to “follow” specific physicians—in this way, the app is also designed as a tool for patients to find new physicians (and, likewise, for physicians to bring in new patients).