By now it is a well established fact that apps have transcended the realms of novelty and light entertainment and can be utilised as practical lifestyle tools. One of the most applicable areas (pun possibly intended) is healthcare. Right off the bat, they have the advantage of making you feel better about yourself as you line them up alongside Snapchat and Street Fighter. Beyond that, they can make a real difference to the way you treat your health. With a wealth of health conscious apps out there, we thought we’d run through our top three. Alongside these bad boys, a smartphone user looking for affordable health insurance would do well to check out HealthNet. On with the list!
In at three is the simple yet ingenious DrawMD. Developed by physicians and described as a ‘patient educaton’ app, this is one mainly used on the other side of the table; yet it’s designed and intended to ease patient anxiety about procedures and diagnosis. Featuring hundreds of anatomically correct drawings, the app allows doctors to illustrate conditions simply and effectively to their patients, as well as draw and annotate their own diagrams. In terms of reducing the fear factor associated with any kind of health concern, this one goes a long way. Those dusty old textbooks, unsettling even before you get to the sketches of plague victims, are a thing of the past.
Very much a practical app, Runkeeper utilises your Smartphone’s GPS as its core component. It will calculate your running pace, track your routes, allow you to create your own training plans and even audio coach you, with regular updates concerning your mileage, calorie count, pace and speed. Another cool feature allows Runkeeper to automatically connect to your phone’s music app, so you a perfectly tailored soundtrack to your workout. A disclaimer; the name ‘Runkeeper’ could sound alarms for the slightly less fitness inclined just looking to take the edge off their slovenliness. Fear not, for you could also read as ‘Walk-keeper’. Movement is integral, but running is certainly not mandatory.
If Runkeeper is a personal trainer condensed into your phone, our top ranker iTriage is a doctor, albeit some kind of super doctor with a phD in every discipline. Created by two ER docs, this (amazingly free) app contains a huge range of practical features. It has a symptom checker, allowing you to search your symptoms and discover potential causes, before pointing you in the direction of the nearest hospital or doctor. It will tell you the average wait times for your selected hospital, and also allow you to Check In to the emergency room when you’re on your way, providing your condition allows you to handle a phone. It features emergency hotlines and advice lines, as well as letting you create your own database of conditions, treatments and medications. iTriage also takes lengths to avoid any potential horror movie scenarios in dead zones of mobile coverage; you don’t have to be connected to the internet to access your saved info!