3 mHealth Smartphone Apps to Streamline Your Rheumatology Practice

There’s no way to deny it—technology has changed the way we live our lives. Sometimes those changes are good (binge-watching our favorite shows on Netflix, keeping track of our health with FitBits, hailing a ride with the tap of a button), and other times it’s a challenge (arguing with strangers on Facebook, checking your phone during dinner, texting while driving). Overall, however, technologies, apps, and the internet in general have streamlined our daily to-dos, making us more connected, efficient, and engaged, both in our personal lives and at work. That includes your rheumatology practice!

This is one reason why many rheumatology practices have embraced “mHealth.” An abbreviation for mobile health, mHealth refers to the use of wireless technologies in medical care. The most widely used mHealth application is the mobile phone, which makes sense—99% of physicians and their patients have a smartphone. In many ways, mHealth technologies have made it easier to offer health care and preventive services, and it’s worth considering some of the most recent developments to see whether they’re a good fit for your practice.

Below are three of the most popular mHealth smartphone applications that could be beneficial for your rheumatology practice. Download them today and let us know how it goes! 


Epocrates is a cloud-based service for medical groups that allows doctors and physicians to quickly look up drug information and interactions, find other providers for consults and referrals, and calculate patient measurements, such as BMI. Epocrates has an impressive resume—it boasts over 1,000,000 active members, is used by 1 in 2 physicians, and, in 2012 alone, helped users potentially avoid 27,112,800 adverse drug events. While the basic app (available on both iOS and Android) is free, there is a paid version with more features that costs $160 per year.


Medscape is the leading online global destination for physicians and healthcare professionals worldwide, offering the latest medical news and expert perspectives, essential point-of-care drug and disease information, and relevant professional education. When you download their app, you can access all their resources directly from your smartphone. Users can look up medications and dosages, avoid adverse drug combinations, find vital information for patient care, and stay current with the latest medical news—all in one easy to use app! Medscape is free, but is not currently available on Android.

Virtual Practice for Doctors

This free app is a great way to stay to stay in touch with your patients and keep them engaged with you practice and their treatment plan. It allows users to add patient records and data, monitor patients’ health remotely, answer questions in real time, and video-conference with patients. This makes it a great option for older or less mobile patients who can’t always make it to the office.

Do you use any mHealth technologies we’ve left off our list? If so, we invite you to share your favorites on our Facebook page and help spread the word!

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  • As a speaker at the first ad hoc meeting of rheumatology practice managers gathered in a single small room at its infancy a decade ago, I’m amazed to see how NORM has blossomed into a high energy organization of depth and professional meetings with parallel break-out symposia between plenary sessions. NORM has truly come of age. This is where the “business” of rheumatology gets learned. The ”guildmanship” for rheumatology practice management is now strong.- Paul H. Caldron, DO, FACP, FACR, MBA, Arizona Arthritis and Rheumatology Associates
  • In a time of demanding changes in the management of medical practices in the US, NORM has been a lifesaver to the community of Rheumatology practices.  NORM has allowed our practice to stay ahead of the many demands of CMS and others payors and has ensured that our practice remains cognizant of new issues that arise in HIPPA compliance, human resources and medical billing to name a few. Sending our Practice Manager to NORM's conferences has been cost-effective and beneficial to our practice because she returns to our office with an abundance of information that otherwise would have taken months to compile. Every Rheumatology practice that wishes to stay on top of emerging issues in practice management should consider sending a member of their staff to NORM's conference.- Michael S. Rosen M.D., Chester County Rheumatology PC
  • Thanks to all those wonderful people in the NORM Network who respond to emails, offering their advice, experience, time, and support ... I haven't even been a member a full year yet and I am amazed at the dedication of everyone who responds to helping via emails and the NORM Organization itself! I have barely had a chance to explore the resources and I have yet to really dive into requests for help still I am silently learning so much and do occasionally offer what I can! Thank you all!- Cheryl Piambino, Kenneth E. Bresky, DO

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