Digital Health Assignment: Evaluation of HealthTap & I am Sober Applications
Task: Digital Health Assignment Task Instructions Step 1: Go to this link for Reachout.com: https://au.reachout.com/tools-and-apps
You will find a series of mobile apps and tools for health and well-being in the Australian context. Step 2: Select TWO of the interventions that are active for your evaluation.
Step 3: Conduct an evaluation for each tool/intervention using these guiding questions:
a. What is the primary objective behind this intervention?
b. How long has it been active, and are there any apparent results (For example, user feedback, public reviews and so on)? What do these say? Review the qualitative feedback.
c. Who is the infrastructure provider/host for the solution? (For example, the solution may be hosted on Microsoft or AWS cloud servers. This would indicate the extent to which the solution is stable and secure.)
d. Demographic – Who seems to be using the solution in the past 12 months? Is the solution catering to the socio-cultural requirements in the Australian context? (For example, are the interfaces applicable to indigenous communities, culturally and linguistically diverse communities and so on?) e. What are the privacy measures apparent from the solution?
f. Consider the ethical, legal and regulatory principles, best practices and laws related to the solution in the Australian context. From a scale of 1 to 10 (with 10 being the highest), evaluate the compliance based on the information available.
g. Has the solution been actively taken up by the proposed users? What may be the deterrents?
h. From a wider global research, are there any comparative solutions available that can be better used instead of this solution? Can these be used in the Australian context?
- From your professional point of view, would the solution help in your work or at a personal level?
- If yes, explain the applicability of the solution in your professional and personal context (if applicable).
- ii. If no, explain the gaps and provide recommendations on improvement.
The two digital health tools that have been selected herein digital health assignment for evaluation includes the Health Tap and I am Sober application.Professional context within which the tools has been considered is that of health professionals. As their lack of health professional’s availability across Australia, the HealthTap App aims at filling those gaps. Further during the Covid-19 pandemic, there was tremendous need of doctors across various households and community groups, this App meant at catering to such needs. I am Sober caters to individuals who undertakes drugs or alcohol, such that their usage can be regulated. Increased rates of addiction especially amongst the new generation population in Australia is of serious concern hence this app aims at catering to such issues.
HealthTap is a popular application that is available in the Play store as well as the Apple store and is widely used by a wide range of users since 2012. This application has enlisted various health professionals who specialize in various fields and therefore help people to understand the issues with their health and get a thorough check-up. The application provides the top-rated health professionals who can be connected through this application and gain an insight on the health issues. This application also helps in providing appropriate information and healthy tips to individuals regarding their health. Therefore, the primary objective behind the operation of this particular application is to make individuals healthy with their services and help them to maintain a well and healthy lifestyle. HealthTap contributes to transforming the health of individuals. Qualitative feedback and public reviews on the app is positive and users say that they have gained tremendously from using this app.
“I am sober” is another innovative tool that helps in tracking the addiction of an individual and help them get sober. This app was launched in the year June, 2018. This application tracks the sober days and the days when the individual is intoxicated or addicted to a particular addiction. This application thus tends to develop a motivation for the individuals for encouraging them to abstain from taking their addictions.This application motivates the individuals and helps them to identify the problems involved in their addiction process. Moreover, the secondary objective is to develop and create a healthier society. Google rating of this app is five stars, there are several positive user feedbacks on this app. Therefore, it can be assumed to be quite successful and acceptable in the Australian market
The first application discussed here is the HealthTap application, which is very aptly built with the latest software where an individual can log in by creating their account and fill in the details related to their health details. Such as their height, weight, allergies and all other medical details which will help them to find the best tips for their health (Westgarth, 2020). This health report is very detailed and professional and can be referred to during the actual consultation of the doctor in a clinic. This application is built in such a way that it allows the individuals to download their detailed health report and the documents with the health tips which can be printed out or carried in the digital storage of the device.Reviews and feedback on this app is mostly positive and user says that they gave gained tremendously from this app. AWS is the infrastructure provider of this app (Cummins, &Schuller, 2020). The general population in Australia makes use of this app aged 21 years to 60 years of age, middle income class along with high income class. However, there is relatively low usage of this app amongst the indigenous population in Australia.
The second application here is the I am Sober application, which is another prominent infrastructure application that has been built in a way that ensures good health to the users by tracking their addiction activities. This detailed report includes the number of days the user had consumed the respective addiction such as alcohol or harmful smokes or whatever harmful substance it may be. This application provides a detailed timeline by tracking the number of days in a month; the particular substance has been consumed and thereafter provides a detailed report to help the individual to get sober (Health Agency, 2020).
The user may create an account after downloading the application on their device and start filling in the details on the application.This application will therefore ensure good health to the individual and help them to get sober. The app has been active for quite few years now and is hosted on AWS. However, usage of this app is relatively low amongst its target population group of 18 years till 45 years of age.
Indigenous people hardly make use if this app. Hence this app does not effectively reach out to the indigenous population. It mainly caters to the Australian population and not to the culturally or linguistically diverse communities residing in Australia.
Law And Regulations
The national laws such as the Health Practitioners Regulation National Law enforces the rules and regulations in the industry to look after the quality of services maintained in the industry and the people are protected from diverse types of exploitations in the industry. Moreover, various statutory bodies look after the operation and regulation of the health experts and ensure standard quality of services for the individuals. For instance, the General Medical Council helps in providing the best services and regulates such online software applications where the services are maintained and regulated thoroughly by the individuals.Theseservices are further regulated by the National Boards that supervises the applications and their major services.
While HealthTap can be rated at 8 on a scale of 1 to 10, I am Sober can be rated at 7 depending upon their compliance to laws and regulations followed in the Australian market. HealthTap professionals follows all necessary guidelines that are provided by the Medical Board of Australia as well as Digital Health Agency. I am Sober also abides by them along with their own privacy and security policies being applied. Therefore, these regulatory bodies help in assuring the users of such applications that these software applications are genuine and their veracity is assured by the board and their members.
The documents of the expert consultants are thoroughly checked by the members of these regulatory bodies and they keep a check on the experts and their services that are provided by such applications. Moreover, there are also other laws such as Australian consumer laws such as schedule 2 of the Competition and Consumer Act of 2010 (also known as the Trade Practices Act of 1974) ensures the duty that these services providers owe to their consumers during the usage of the applications (Consumer Law, 2021). Chapter 2 of this particular Act lays down those misleading conducts in trade and commerce are unlawful and therefore is covered under the Australian Consumer Protection Act. This law ensures that no misleading information's are circulated through such online software applications and this protects the rights of the consumers. Moreover, Chapter 3 of this particular act lays down specific protections that are provided to the users for using such applications more safely. Moreover, the Data Privacy and Protection rules and regulations also ensure that the data that has been shared in such applications are saved and protected. This ensures adherence to privacy measures to be followed in each of the solution.
Ethical And Socio-Cultural Issues
The self-monitoring health and disease applications face major challenges from the ethical and socio-cultural aspects. One of the major challenges in such regard is the trust issues that are faced by the users while using the applications. The users are mostly orthodox from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds and therefore this stops them from sharing the details of their health and seeksinformation regarding their health. This causes a variety of problems in this regard and therefore the ethical considerations act as a major taboo in the process of health and medical care treatment (Medical Board, 2016). Secondly, another major issue with this is the financial aspect of the users. At times, in the most backward societies, these people are unable to even afford the paid services of such applications and therefore remain differentiated from services. This also causes another major taboo and causes various problems in the lives of the people who are belonging to culturally and linguistically diverse classes. Such challenges of the ethical and socio-cultural nature form a major taboo in the entire process and cause difficulty in the process of the users. Various cultural taboos cause trouble to the users and restrict their freedom in sharing the details of their health and cause difficulties for the users.HealthTap can be rated 6 on the scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being highest in adherence to ethical and socio-cultural issues, while I am Sober can be rated at 5, as these apps have relatively less penetration in the Australian varied communities markets such as the indigenous people.
Moreover, the most important challenge in this regard is competitive pressure. Most young minds need social acceptance and therefore they tend to hide the fact that they use such applications to track their addictions so that they can continue to maintain their cool image which is attached to their addiction levels (Digitalhealth.gov.au., 2021). Therefore, such applications must develop awareness campaigns among young minds so that they achieve the best results and are not wrongly guided by the peer pressures in their lives. Such ethical and social considerations must be considered and they must be solved to achieve the best results and ensure good health to the society. Therefore, these applications must be widely used by the users to achieve the best results rather than accepting the ethical and social considerations that exist widely in society.
Recommendations And Conclusion
With the advent of new and innovative technology, technology has become an important part of the medical industry. Earlier there were only physical clinical checkups and medical reports but in the contemporary digital era, there are various technological advancements that have ensured that the health reports and details can be downloaded from the particular applications and technology can be used in the right manner for the betterment. These software applications as discussed above such as the HealthTap and the I am sober applications help in using technology in the most advanced form and contribute to the development of society. Though the solutions have been actively adopted by the Australian population, majority of the indigenous people have not been able to adopt them due to cultural issues and taboos, which have acted as deterrents. HealthTap alternative is Doctor On Demand, which is present in USA and various other countries across the world. It can be applied in the Australian context as well. I am Sober alternative application is AlcoDroid Alcohol tracker which is present across various countries in the world and can easily be adopted in Australia.
The benefits of these apps are tremendous in nature and are bound to assists at the personal level of all health experts in extending their expertise. It will enable extending capabilities in the professional domain as well as knowledge and skills to cater to a wider range of population which is always not physically possible. There are however various recommendations that can be incorporated for the betterment and more advancement of this application. These applications ensure that the patients are informed of all the details and that helps them to be updated with every detail. However, one of the recommendations that can be incorporated in this software application is that this application can tie-up with the various clinics and hospitals whereby this application can provide the detailed health report directly to the doctors or the clinics after they provide the personal details of the patients in the application. This will help in saving more time and effort for the doctors as well as the individuals and help in providing this report to both the doctors as well as the individuals. Therefore, this recommendation can be incorporated into this particular application with the help of technological advancements. Moreover, another important advancement that can be incorporated is that applications such as the I am Sober application can provide positive feedbacks and positive rewards to the individuals for small achievements. Therefore, this may result be an important aspect when tracking the addiction levels of an individual.
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