Are Mobile Health Apps Really Making A Difference?
By James Cumming, CEO, Daily Posts UK.
Smartphones have come a long way over the years and have become far more than simple tools for making calls and sending texts. Now, your smartphone can make financial transactions, secure your home or car, and yes, monitor your health and lead you towards a healthier lifestyle.
A variety of mobile health apps currently exist for android and iOS devices, and each app brings something unique to the table. Some are entirely free, while some charge a small fee for their services. But before we look at some of the reigning health apps currently available, let’s first look into the usefulness of mobile health apps in general.
Do mobile health apps really work?
According to Domains4Less, “Gone are the days when health professionals could only see and help patients in person. And limited are the days when websites and phone calls were the only alternative to physically speaking to a patient. Health apps are the new frontier …”
The current breed of mobile health apps available serve mainly two functions, one of which is the recording or collection of your vitals which, depending on the app, may then be shared with a health care provider. Other apps function by providing you immediate access to health information like workouts and nutrition data which can help you live a healthier lifestyle. This means that with the help of an app or a combination of apps that deliver the above functions, you can stay healthy and may not actually need to see a doctor unless you are suffering from very serious symptoms.
Even though there is no empirical evidence yet of how much health apps contribute to healthy living, there is proof that such digital tools do make you take greater notice of changes in your health, such as weight increase, the need for more physical activity, or an erratic heart rate and thus gives you an opportunity to get these issues under control. If you use such apps consistently, they are bound to eventually contribute positively to your health.
Other ways specialized health apps can help include:
- Monitoring blood pressure. If you suffer from high blood pressure, this type of app could be of tremendous benefit to you. Some apps in this category even offer information on lifestyle changes you can make to control your blood pressure. Such apps work by either hooking them up to a blood pressure cuff or by entering your blood pressure results manually into the app.
- Monitor your physical activity. Medical science has repeatedly proven that physical activity is the key to a healthy life in every way. The apps in this category make use of sensors in your smartphone or other smart gear to track walking, running, cycling, and even climbing steps. Certain apps in this category can also recommend workout routines to help keep you more active and improve your overall health.
- Monitor your diet. Apps in this category let you keep track of what you eat and drink, as well as how your diet positively or negatively impacts your health. Depending on the app, it may also help you compare and choose the foods that are best for your overall health.
- Medication reminders. With these types of app, you won’t forget to take your medication ever again. This can be very useful if you’re taking various different kinds of medication at different times. Many people who accidentally skip medication doses usually find that there’s no improvement in the condition they are trying to treat.
Some mobile health apps that are changing lives
This app is free to download but requires subsequent payments. The price is worth it, however, considering the benefits of the app. With Doctor on Demand, you can conveniently organize video visits with certified physicians who can promptly provide you important medical advice anywhere you are in the world via your phone. Doctors on the app can provide treatment via the app for cough/cold, allergies, minor infections, flu, as well as emotional health concerns. The services are also covered by insurance (depending on your health insurance provider).
This free app can literally help save a life. It provides expert advice for a wide variety of everyday emergencies and ensures you can respond appropriately to a personal medical emergency or someone else’s. The app provides instructions with videos and animations for a variety of first aid scenarios. It also offers safety tips for possibly fatal scenarios such as flooding, harsh winters, hurricanes, and more.
This app is best suited for individuals who may have skin-related medical issues such as acne, rosacea, skin care, eczema, skin cancer, and more. It’s simply the fastest and most discreet way to get expert advice from a certified dermatologist.
This app allows you pay less for prescription medication by giving you an opportunity to conveniently search for coupons, as well as compare prices from different pharmacies.
HealthTap will provide you with access to more than 105,000 top doctors so that you can get immediate, trustworthy, and free medical answers, all from the convenience of your phone. You can also pay for a virtual consultation or visit a doctor of your choice.
With the iTriage mobile app, you can get answers fast to any question you might have concerning medication or diseases. You can search your symptoms and causes on the app and find the nearest doctor or medical provider who can provide assistance quickly. The app also provides accurate information concerning average wait times for emergency rooms and urgent care at specified hospitals.
This free app comes with a WebMD Symptom Checker that lets you quickly determine what might be wrong with you. The app also comes with a health tracker that can remind you to use your daily medication, as well as help you create and sustain daily healthy habits.
One key method of ensuring you get the best out of a health app is to ensure you are using the right one. You can ask your doctor for recommendations, and if that doesn’t work, you can visit Wellocracy for information about available health apps, and view side-by-side comparisons. You can also check health app reviews on iMedicalApps.