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Once the holiday festivities have passed, it’s time to start trying to live up to all of those resolutions we’ve made for the upcoming year. I for one always mean well, and I do really, really well at first…you know like two or three
days hours in I’m golden. At some point though I either get sidetracked or I have just get too busy and end up losing sight of what it was I was trying to achieve. This year is going to be different because I’m going to get help staying on track. Where’s that help going to come from? My smartphone – I mean let’s face it, it’s always with me so it just makes sense.
My Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge from US Cellular is a pretty smart phone and the mobile app options combined with a high-quality network with national coverage, empowers me to become more engaged in my own health and wellness. It’s no longer a guessing game, I can actually track my stats (steps, calories, activities, foods, whatever it is I want to know) and it’s not just for the first few days of the New Year until the new wears off either; this year we’re seeing this thing all the way through because my notifications won’t let me forget!
Smartphones, if we choose to use them to their potential, allow us to access and view our health information in an entirely different way. This is a relatively new trend, but I fully expect to see more adoption by both patients and doctors in the future because why not? If the information is right there, it just seems crazy to me to not use it to your benefit. In fact a recent survey by U.S. Cellular 17 percent of smartphone owners used a connected device to monitor their health, nine percent to track their medications and seven percent to monitor their blood sugar. I mean that’s pretty important if those are things you need to track. What about accessing electronic health records and calculating the correct prescription dosage? Now, armed with wearables and mobile healthcare apps, anyone can monitor their own health data and get continuous guidance and information from the devices that you already carry every day.
Helpful apps that can help assist in managing chronic diseases
- The Diabetes Tracker (IOS and Android, $9.99) with Blood Glucose/Carb Log by MyNetDiary is a comprehensive app helping individuals better understand and control their diabetes and diet. The easy-to-use app allows users to track insulin and medication and set reminders to take their blood glucose.
- MySugr Diabetes Logbook (IOS and Android, Free) is another great app that synchronizes health data automatically via Bluetooth. The app allows users to easily log meals and view glucose graphs.
Apps that monitor your heart, help you track medications, and keep track medical records:
- CareZone (IOS and Android, Free) lets users create a list of medications, dosages and schedules directly from the device’s photo library. The app also documents and shares symptoms with a user’s family or doctor, while providing a place to store vital insurance information and schedule reminders for upcoming appointments.
- Instant Heart Rate (IOS and Android, Free) allows users to measure their heart rate wherever they are by simply placing a finger on the device’s camera. The app records heart rate data and notes each measurement with details on physical activity.
- My Medical (IOS and Android, $4.99) is a comprehensive record-keeping app for personal medical information. Users can keep track of immunizations, blood pressure, cholesterol, emergency contacts, health insurance and doctor’s information. It will automatically keep track of upcoming appointments on the smartphone’s calendar app. Not only can you keep track of your own medical records, you can also keep track of your kids’, parents’, and others.
Some apps and services give you medical advice for non-emergency situations:
- Doctor on Demand (IOS and Android, Free for the app, $49/doctor visit) delivers quick medical advice for non-emergency situations.
- The app provides video visits with a board-certified physician, psychologist or more from home or anywhere. There is no subscription fee, but doctor visits are $49.
There’s really something out there for everyone. Whether it’s one app or all of them, they’re now at your fingertips and readily available to help you meet your health and wellness goals going forward. Who’s with me in pursuit of a healthier and more informed 2017?