TECHNOLOGY

Apps for Good Health

Times of the Islands - - Departments - BY KLAU­DIA BALOGH Klau­dia Balogh is an Ed­i­to­rial As­sis­tant for TOTI Me­dia.

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)

MyChart

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)

mySugr

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)

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