Technology has changed every facet of our lives. It has changed everything from the way we get around to the way we communicate. It has even changed the way we track, improve and manage our health.
When you think of health tech, you likely think of MRI machines, CAT Scanners, X-Rays, laparoscopic lasers, silicone microspheres and the like. It’s true that all of those innovations and developments have been incredibly important in improving patient healthcare and diagnostics. But, there are smaller, more intimate technologies that have also had a huge impact on the way we take care of ourselves and are treated by doctors.
We’re talking, of course, about apps.
Apps aren’t just for moving game tiles around, connecting you to social media and helping you identify the song that’s playing in the coffee shop. Apps have also been tremendously helpful in terms of personal health and medical care. Check it out.
Get You Moving Apps
Obviously, the Fitbit is the supreme high commander of any app category that tracks movement, especially for people who can’t afford an Apple Watch. What’s great about Fitbit technology, though, is that it pairs with a wide variety of apps to actively help you get up and move around more often. For example, on the Fitbit itself, you can program in “activity reminders” so that, if you’ve been sitting for more than, say, an hour, your Fitbit will buzz and send an alert to your phone telling you to get up and get moving. You can program Apple Watch to do this too, FYI.
Beyond that, though, there are apps like Couch to 5K and Run Keeper. To provide extra incentive, you have apps like Charity Miles. Charity Miles is an app that helps you donate money to charity just by walking, running, or biking around. Charity Miles lines up corporate sponsors who agree to donate money to charity for every mile you log in the app. You choose the charity you want to sponsor and set out. The amounts per jog/walk/ride might not be a whole lot, but those little amounts add up over time.
Healthy Diet/Calorie Counting Apps
Experts agree that health and weight loss is more complicated than simply making sure you burn more calories than you consume. You also need to keep track of the types of food you eat to make sure that you are eating a balanced and healthy diet. The easiest way to do this is to use a calorie and nutrition-tracking app. Many of the fitness apps have at least a basic calorie counter built into them, but if you want real results, you’ll need to make healthy choices so you’ll need an app that helps you do that. Apps like Fooducate, Calorie Counter Pro, and Nutrino are great for this. Nutrino, in particular, is great because it tracks types of calories and your fitness levels. It’s a little spendy–it costs around eight dollars–but it’s comprehensive and easy to use, especially if you’re new to calorie and nutrition tracking.
In addition to helping you manage your diet and exercise programs, there are a lot of great apps that help manage actual health issues. For example, Glooko helps diabetics manage their blood sugar levels. Asthma MD has helped asthmatics track their asthma and allergy attacks and send that data to their doctors for better asthma and allergy management.
Speaking of doctors, these are the real people using technological products big or small to make all of us healthier and happier. In fact, they are even using non-medical products to make their offices smarter. For example, doctors are able to use SignInApp.co to replace all their disorganized, messy, and slow data entry for their patients. Software like SignInApp allows patients to easily sign in, store information with thier doctor, and in turn have a easier and smarter relationship with their doctor. Patients won’t miss appointments and doctors won’t have to dig through file cabinets for their information.
Another breakthrough we are starting to see at the doctor’s office is the liquid biopsy, or the earliest and smartest cancer test we have ever developed. Cancer takes around 8 million lives a year and being able to spot whichever brand of the disease a patient might have can literally save their life. Having the ability to identify cell issues in blood which will form cancerous tumors earlier than ever allows doctors to diagnose and begin preventative treatment before the disease can develop.
Whether you are running around with your FitBit, swiping into the doctor’s office, or taking a routine blood test; there will always be the presence of medical based technology around you. These breakthroughs are only just beginning and as each day passes more and more scientists and engineers are working on creating the next life changing piece of technology.
Photo credit: Sylvain Mercier