Nurses build apps to educate patients, enhance care

An increasing number of nurses are creating and developing mHealth apps and data systems to drive better patient care, assist nurses in treatment and care management and educate patients on health issues, according to a recent article at

Currently, nurses are working on apps that can improve interaction between patients and their care team and enable patient pre-assessment on serious conditions such as cervical cancer, writes Janice Petrella Lynch, RN. Nursing students also are playing an active role in such endeavors; for instance, a student participating in the University of Pennsylvania's Nursing's Health Technology Lab helped to design a mental health app specifically for college student patients, according to the article.

"Nurse experts agree mHealth technology has the potential to transform healthcare delivery. It's also clear that mHealth tools need to be tailored to meet specific patient needs," Ryan J. Shaw, Ph.D., RN, assistant professor at the School of Nursing, Center for Health Informatics at Duke University, tells Lynch.

The nurse-created app trend illustrates the important role nurses are playing in mHealth tech adoption and use. For example, Boston Children's Hospital nurses recently built a prototype mHealth system to verify medication and dosage using an iPod camera that eliminates the need for two nurses in a patient's room.

While there are already thousands of health apps out there, it's important nurses get involved in creation of tools that can better serve themselves and their patients, Lynch says. 

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