Apps have quickly become an important part of our day-to-day lives. From staying in touch with loved ones to listening to podcasts to getting dinner delivered to our homes, digital technology has had an impact on every part of our lives. But, have you ever considered using an app to help manage your health?
Medical apps can offer reliable and up-to-date information to help you better look after yourself. For instance, apps can be used to monitor blood sugar levels, diagnose symptoms, and help you determine when to seek clinical advice and guidance. Of course, with so many to choose from, one of the biggest challenges is knowing which apps are trustworthy. Here are some things that you may wish to consider when looking for an app:
- User reviews and ratings
- Recommendations from your health care professional or people you know
- Apps recommended by professional organizations such as Mayo Clinic or the American Heart Association
Here are our top five apps to help you manage your health:
Managing Medications: Medisafe
If you occasionally forget to take your tablets or unintentionally skip a dose, you’re not alone! It can be difficult to remember what to take and when, especially if you are taking several different types. The good news is that by downloading an app you can get daily reminders to ensure you take the right medicine in the right dose at the right time.
Medisafe, best described as a “virtual pillbox,” allows you to input your medication, dosage, and quantity. You set the time you wish to take your pills, and your medication schedule will be divided into four periods of the day — morning, afternoon, evening, and night.
Another useful feature of Medisafe is a “Med-friend” setting, which allows a friend or family member to see your drug schedule and message you if you forget to take your tablets. MediSafe is available for the iPhone/iPad for free from the Apple App Store or for Android devices from the Google Play Store.
Diabetes: Glucose Buddy
Glucose Buddy is a free application designed to help people with diabetes better manage their diabetes and keep it under control. The app allows you to record blood glucose readings as well as monitor food intake, carbohydrate consumption, medication, and exercise. Once the information is logged, you can review the data on the “Logs” and “Graph” options. This report can then be shared with your doctor or nurse practitioner who will be able to discuss the findings with you further. It will also send you a reminder to take your medication.
Glucose Buddy is available for the iPhone/iPad for free from the Apple App Store or for Android devices from the Google Play Store.
Weight Management: MyFitnessPal
In a study conducted by Kaiser Permanente Health Research Center, researchers found that overweight adults who kept a food diary were more likely to stick to a healthful eating plan than those who didn’t. The researchers concluded that by monitoring your daily caloric intake via a tracking system, you would become more mindful of what you were eating and thus lose weight.
MyFitnessPal makes it simple for you to record your daily food intake. Users can either manually search for specific foods or scan a barcode on packaged products. It has an extensive database featuring over 2 million foods, remembers what you have eaten previously, and allows you to add your favorite foods and recipes. Other useful features include a members’ forum, an exercise database, and the ability to set weight and nutrition goals.
MyFitnessPal is available for the iPhone/iPad for free from the Apple App Store or for Android devices from the Google Play Store.
Food Allergies: ippit: The Food Ambassador
An estimated 15 million people in the United States have diagnosed food allergies. Fortunately, there is now the technology available to help make purchasing food easier for those with intolerances. Whether you follow a gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free or wheat-free diet etc., ippit, The Food Ambassador, will help to ensure you do not eat anything to which you are allergic.
All you need to do is download the app, and create a personal profile by inputting the ingredients you wish to avoid. Instead of having to carefully read through each label at the grocery store, you simply scan the barcode of the product you wish to check. The app will let you know whether it’s okay to purchase. If the food is not suitable, the app will suggest an alternative.
There are over 350,000 items stored on the app’s database with new products being added every week.
ippit: The Food Ambassador is available for the iPhone/iPad for free from the Apple App Store or for Android devices from the Google Play Store.
Sleeping: Sleep Cycle
A simple-to-use app, Sleep Cycle uses sensors on your smartphone or tablet to track your movements while you sleep. You set the app to wake you up at the latest time you want to get up, and it wakes you up when you are in the lightest phase of sleep. This helps to start the day feeling rested. The app will also let you know your average sleep duration, what particular phase of sleep you’re in, and lets you know your heartbeat upon waking.
Sleep Cycle is available for the iPhone/iPad for free from the Apple App Store or for Android devices from the Google Play Store.