Apps for Good Health
Alingering sore throat may make a trip to the doctor seem to be the right choice—but sitting in a waiting room with someone coughing on your left and sneezing on your right, you can’t help thinking: “Am I going to catch something worse than I already have?” Thanks to today’s technology, patients can be safe and do the right thing with only a smartphone in hand. A variety of free apps are available for both iPhone and Android that provide patients with test results, help keep their blood-sugar level in check, give them first-aid guidance and even connect them with board-certified physicians via live video calls. Here are a few to make sure your health is the No. 1 priority on your daily to-do list.
Doctor on Demand
Getting treated by a doctor is as easy as FaceTiming. Adding your symptoms and medical history is all you need before the Doctor on Demand app connects you with a board-certified physician or psychologist who will be ready to diagnose the problem, offer help and prescribe medication if necessary. Doctors are able to perform a complete examination for not only adults but also children. In the majority of cases, the patient can be treated with either a prescription or nonprescription therapy—and never has to step into a germfilled waiting room.
The most frequently treated conditions include cold, flu, sore throat, minor injuries, depression, and skin issues and rashes. Doctors examine patients using their phone or tablet’s camera, calling the practice telemedicine. Although, the Doctor on Demand app helps treat the most common issues, it’s not meant to replace primary care physicians, who treat patients’ chronic conditions. Downloading the app is free, but the cost of each visit may range from $40 to $95; certain insurances are accepted. (doctorondemand.com)
Have all your medical information right at your fingertips with the MyChart app, a free service offered by the Lee Memorial Health System. It provides patients with convenient, personalized and secure access to their test results, appointments and prescription refills. Its role is also to serve as an electronic medical platform, where both patients and medical professionals can easily access medical records and history 24/7. To acti-
vate the online medical chart, ask for an activation code after visiting a physician. Most Lee Physician Group offices, Lee Convenient Care and Florida Neurology Group offices provide this service. MyChart helps patients keep track of medications, so they won’t have to worry about forgetting what they were treated with after their last hospital appointment. It also has a proxy access option that allows family members to connect to each other’s MyChart account. (mychart.leememorial.org)
First Aid by American Red Cross
Be prepared when an accident happens to you or someone else around you. Standing by helplessly when a medical emergency occurs is a situation we all want to avoid. This free app guides you through how to do CPR, cover a wound or a cut, treat a burn and what to do in many more emergency situations. Keep in mind, however, that calling 911 first is often the most important action. By answering questions related to the injury, this app allows users to have the situation under control or contain the problem until the ambulance arrives on the scene. With this app in your pocket, you can be the solution or the first responding hand that can save a life. (redcross.org/ get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps)
If you have diabetes, managing what you eat and how much of it you consume can be an all-day burden as you try to break down the ingredients and regularly log your blood glucose level. At the end, you still might not know whether you’ll be all right. The free mySugr app, with its gamelike graphics and monster avatar, make the entire logging process a bit more entertaining. It connects to your blood glucose meter via Bluetooth and automatically logs your results. You can add each meal you eat by taking a picture, log any exercise you perform and even track each step you take. Furthermore, it estimates your A1C level, which shows what percentage of your hemoglobin—a protein in red blood cells carrying oxygen—is covered with sugar. The lower your A1C level, the better you’re controlling your blood sugar and the lower your risk is for complications. (mySugr.com)