Paging Dr. Smartphone?
Cell phones have been getting a bad health-rap lately, with worries that they may cause cancer, along with reports on the dangers of texting while driving. But smartphones may be a smarter health choice than you think, if you look into these mobile apps and websites.
ZocDoc is a free website and app that allows users to search for a doctor by therapeutic specialty or insurance plan, while also displaying available appointment times. Right now, 4.9 million appointments are available on ZocDoc. Forty percent of booked appointments see a doctor within 24 hours while the other 60 percent see a doctor within three days.
Withings - Smart Blood Pressure Monitor One in three U.S. adults have high blood pressure. For them, Withings created a $129 plug-and-play Smart Blood Pressure Monitor "appcessory," which connects to any iPhone, iPad or iPod. The app launches as soon as the device is connected, giving users an immediate blood pressure reading while tracking the data from each use. Reports can then be issued to doctors or health care providers.
One in three U.S. adults have high blood pressure. For them, Withings created a $129 plug-and-play Smart Blood Pressure Monitor "appcessory," which connects to any iPhone, iPad or iPod. The app launches as soon as the device is connected, giving users an immediate blood pressure reading while tracking the data from each use. Reports can then be issued to doctors or health care providers.
Withings - WiFi Body Scale
Don't want to wait to know how much you weigh? Withings also offers a WiFi-enabled body scale that can track weights for up to eight individuals. The data is graphed in easy-to-read charts that can be sent to an iPhone, iPad, Android device, or any computer. The scale automatically measures users' lean and fat mass, and can show weight fluctuations that are intended to keep users motivated.
This cyber support group/research gateway is a website for people to share their personal experiences with any particular physical, mental or developmental disease. With information on more than 500 conditions, the crowdsourced research site provides treatment and symptom reports, as well as a forum to help patients find social support. More than 100,000 people have created profiles on the site to connect with other patients.
Castlight helps consumers and employers lower their health care costs. How? The site has easy-to-use personalized tools that help users better understand their benefits, deductible levels, and medical expenses so they can become a more informed consumer. Pricing and quality of service are also evaluated.
Skin Scan, a $5 personal screening app, is touted as a cancer prevention tool that aims to pinpoint potential melanoma sites. Using a special algorithm, Skin Scan allows users to take a picture of a suspicious mole and then evaluates its shape as well as the condition of the surrounding skin. If it finds any abnormalities, the app advises users to seek "medical investigation."
Jitterbug helps seniors - and just about anyone that takes medication - remember to take their pills. This phone comes with a large keyboard that even the least tech-savvy can use.
The phone's data plan offers a $10-a-month service option to receive automated reminder phone calls for up to 16 medications a day. The user then responds to the call via the keypad to record his or her actions, and doctors can use that information to see if the patient is adhering to the meds. The plan also connects to the subscriber's pharmacy for easy refills. Jitterbug also offers 24-hour access to a nurse for on-demand health-care advice.