AHRQ Views

Blog posts from AHRQ leaders

Gopal Khanna. M.B.A.Earlier this month, I was thrilled when we announced the release of AHRQ’s new QuestionBuilder app. Today, I’d like to share my perspective on how this app exemplifies our vision for harnessing technology and advancing digital healthcare in ways that improve the lives of patients.

While it is widely known among providers, payers, and other stakeholders that the digital healthcare revolution has arrived, this recognition is simply a preliminary step. The most provocative questions await us: What kinds of innovations will emerge today? Tomorrow? What potential do they have to support patient-centered care?

My expectations are high as AHRQ explores the power of digital healthcare. Whether it’s stressing the importance of data-informed insights or issuing challenge competitions that inspire technological innovation, I’ve said it consistently: a technological revolution is ongoing, and AHRQ has much to contribute

That’s where the QuestionBuilder app comes in. It takes us from the days of using paper and pen to write down questions and answers for medical visits to a digital solution that puts the information at our fingertips. Simply download the app to your smartphone, laptop, or tablet. It’s available at no charge in the Apple App Store or Google Play.

(1 minutes, 54 seconds)

The steps are simple: First, enter the time and place of your upcoming appointment. Then, follow the prompts to narrow down a few questions to help ensure that your upcoming conversation with your doctor or nurse is meaningful and informative. After saving the information or emailing it to yourself, you can use it as a reference right there in the exam room. No pen and paper needed—and no after-appointment regrets about forgetting to ask a question.

That’s it! Just an intuitive tool that will lead to better care. The app is elegant in its simplicity, with a user interface that is straightforward.

I love how effortless it is. It meets you where you are, using a device you probably already carry in your pocket or your purse. Spending just a couple of minutes with the app before an appointment can maximize the time you spend with your provider at a medical encounter and help you get an accurate, understandable diagnosis quickly.

I also appreciate that the QuestionBuilder app aligns with AHRQ’s longstanding commitment to providing resources based on evidence. It’s essentially a modernized, easier-to-use application of a previously developed tool that was available in paper- and web-based formats.

Early indications are that this new tool has hit a sweet spot. In the first days following our launch, the QuestionBuilder app climbed as high as No. 3 for new medical apps in Google Play and was in the top 100 free medical apps worldwide in the Apple App and Google Play stores.  Those numbers continue to climb.

Mobile apps by themselves won’t tackle the complex challenges of healthcare. But AHRQ is committed to inspiring continued innovation in new technologies and data analysis. 

Earlier this month, we announced an award winner in our challenge competition to develop a user-friendly app capable of collecting standardized patient-reported outcomes. Also this month, we launched a challenge to develop innovative presentations of community-level information on social determinants of health, as well as another competition to develop a model using predictive analytics to estimate hospitalization rates.

By no means are we finished. As time goes on, you can expect more from AHRQ when it comes to supporting innovation in digital healthcare. We’ll keep you posted!

Gopal Khanna is Director of AHRQ.


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Page last reviewed April 2019
Page originally created April 2019
Internet Citation: With New QuestionBuilder App AHRQ Takes Exciting Step Forward in Digital Healthcare. Content last reviewed April 2019. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. https://www.ahrq.gov/news/blog/ahrqviews/question-builder-app-links-patients-caregivers.html
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