FIND­ING APPINESS

Toy­ing with a dig­i­tal detox? Don’t power down just yet – the way to a healthy body and mind is just a few taps away. Five WH staffers have tested out the lat­est health and well­be­ing apps, so you don’t have to

Women's Health (UK) - - CONTENTS - words RE­BECCA GIL­LAM

Well­ness is just a tap away

SOOTHE

What? Book a rub­down via the app, be­tween

8am and mid­night, and a li­censed mas­sage ther­a­pist (you pick the gen­der and spe­cial­ity – think: Swedish, deep tis­sue, sports or pre­na­tal) high­tails it to your home with a por­ta­ble mas­sage ta­ble, calm­ing tunes and aro­matic oils. So far, the ser­vice is only avail­able in London, but cov­er­age is ex­pand­ing through­out the UK.

How much? From

£65 for 60 min­utes; ur­ban­mas­sage.com.

WH ver­dict

Amelia Jean Jones, Health & Beauty Edi­tor, says: ‘Sum­mon­ing a masseuse to my door like a Satur­day night chow mein is my idea of heaven. She didn’t judge the moun­tain of washing I moved aside to make room and, af­ter she set the mood with mu­sic and a cou­ple of my lamps, she worked her magic, then left me to re­lax in front of the TV. Bliss.’

PUSH DOC­TOR

What? When you can’t get a GP ap­point­ment and it’s not se­ri­ous enough for A&E, this ser­vice lets you talk face-to-face with a doc­tor – seven days a week, 7am-10pm. They’ll ask ques­tions and, via a video call, look at vis­ual clues to di­ag­nose you and pro­vide med­i­cal ad­vice.

How much? £7 for your first 10 min­utes, then

£20 for ev­ery ad­di­tional 10 min­utes. Ex­tra for pre­scrip­tions, re­fer­ral let­ters and sick notes; push­doc­tor.co.uk.

WH ver­dict

Emily Mur­phy, Man­ag­ing Edi­tor/pic­ture Edi­tor, says: ‘Fill in your per­sonal de­tails and you’ll get an ap­point­ment in a mat­ter of min­utes – I waited just six for mine. It did feel strange that I could see my doc­tor was sit­ting in his bed­room through­out the con­sul­ta­tion, but this is a great ser­vice if you strug­gle to get seen dur­ing surgery hours.’

VISION TEST

What? Take the in-app eye tests (which in­volve hold­ing your phone at arm’s length, com­plet­ing those ex­er­cises you usu­ally do at the op­ti­cian and answering some mul­ti­ple choice ques­tions), then re­ceive a score, plus a di­ag­no­sis of any­thing that might be wrong, with a note to visit your op­ti­cian if you’ve failed any of the sec­tions.

How much? Free (not in­clud­ing pre­scrip­tions); itunes.ap­ple.com or play.google.com.

WH ver­dict

Nathalie Gim­son, Deputy Art Edi­tor, says: ‘This is a use­ful pre­lim­i­nary test if you feel like you might need glasses, but don’t want to com­mit to an ap­point­ment. It gave me a rough in­di­ca­tion of how good my eyes were, but the re­sults don’t feel de­fin­i­tive (and de­pend on the length of your arm), so you’ll likely want to go to the op­ti­cian to be sure.’

What? Af­ter reg­is­ter­ing via the app, you can book a men­tal health con­sul­ta­tion straight away. Choose whether you’d pre­fer coun­selling or CBT, se­lect which spe­cial­ist you’d like to speak to and pick a phone or video ap­point­ment – which, depend­ing on avail­abil­ity, should take place within a few days.

How much? £39 per con­sul­ta­tion; baby­lon­health.com.

WH ver­dict

Char­lie Lambros, Fash­ion Di­rec­tor, says: ‘Great for peo­ple with anx­i­ety or de­pres­sion, the app pro­vides sup­port via a coun­sel­lor, your lo­cal GP or the Sa­mar­i­tans. It let me col­late data and mon­i­tor my heart rate and sleep pat­terns to give an over­all view of my health and high­light any neg­a­tive pat­terns to be aware of.’

NU­TRI­TION­IST

What? Take a snap of your dish, up­load it to the app and a di­eti­tian will send feed­back on where you dined well, and where you didn’t: ‘The avo­cado on your taco adds healthy fats that will keep you full for longer – nice! In the fu­ture, choose soft corn tor­tillas and you can save up to 100 calo­ries per taco.’ Plus, the ‘Find My Restau­rant’ fea­ture will iden­tify eater­ies nearby that fit your cri­te­ria.

How much? £3.99; app.hu­ma­nengine.com.

WH ver­dict

Lau­ren Clark, Ed­i­to­rial As­sis­tant, says:

‘There’s no hid­ing with this one – the expert sees ev­ery­thing you eat in a day, in­clud­ing the por­tion size. It’s a bit time-con­sum­ing to load but, be­cause the feed­back you re­ceive is per­son­alised and con­struc­tive, it’s worth the ef­fort if you’re se­ri­ous about over­com­ing any bad eat­ing habits.’

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