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Health and Fitness: There’s an app for that

Without doubt the online health‐information environment is going mobile According to a new report from research2guidance in 2015 there will be 1.4 billion Smartphone users and 500 million of them will use health applications. As of February 2010, there were nearly 6,000 such health apps within the Apple AppStore. Of these, 73% were intended for use by consumer or patient end-users, while 27% were targeted to health care professionals.

Medical professionals are proving to be the early adopters with 64% of US physicians already carrying Smartphones, as do 99% of residents.  Apps geared to doctors include alerts, medical reference tools, diagnostic tools, continuing medical education, and patient records programs. Consumer-oriented apps include those for medication compliance, mobile and home monitoring, home care, managing conditions, and wellness/fitness.

The Pew Internet Project’s latest survey of American adults, revealed 17 percent of cell phone users look up health or medical information on their device,  and many also have health-related apps on their Smartphones to get nutrition information, count calories, calculate body mass index and learn new exercises. 

The November 2010 issue of the Harvard Health Letter describes some of the highest-rated and most widely used Smartphone iPhone and Android apps for common health problems. I was amazed to find how many useful apps there were. These are a few of the apps that have been reviewed.

  • Tap and Track is an all-in-one app for diet and exercise. You enter what you eat, your physical activity, your actual weight, and your target weight. It computes your nutritional intake. Each time you enter a snack or plug in a workout, you’ll receive a nutritional tally as well as the number of calories you have left for the day. The $3.99 app can generate graphs and spreadsheets tracking your progress, which can be e-mailed to your computer.
  • Glucose buddy tracks glucose readings you enter four times a day, as well as food consumed, exercise, and medication. You can set alarms to remind you to take the glucose readings, note taking and on an  analytic connection  are features. Glucose Buddy can be downloaded free to an iPhone.
  • HeartWise lets you enter your blood pressure readings along with your pulse and weight. The app will calculate your average arterial pressure and generate graphs showing fluctuations over time.
  • Pocket First Aid & CPR, from the American Heart Association, offers detailed instructions for assisting accident victims and those who fall ill, including video instructions for performing procedures like CPR or using a cardiac defibrillator.
  • Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock finds the best time during a chosen 30-minute period to wake you. You  allow it to “observe” you for a few nights then, using its built-in motion sensor, the phone gets to know your sleep patterns well enough to find the best moment to wake you.

Read the full article on some of the highest-rated and most widely used Smartphone iPhone and Android apps for health and fitness here. > Smartphone Apps for Health

Survey: Health Apps a Big Hit on Smartphones
How Smartphones Are Changing Health Care for Consumers and Providers (877k) PDF

2 thoughts on “Health and Fitness: There’s an app for that

  1. Great article, I can’t believe that many people use these tools though!

    My dad tracks his workouts with his smartphone and it appears to be really intuitive.

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