Essential Apps for Tracking Health and Wellness
Health and wellness apps are often free tools and should be used to their full advantage
With most of us carrying out pocket-sized technology, it’s never been easier to track our health and wellness. From built-in health apps to smartwatches and Fitbits, you can actively keep note of weight loss, how many steps you’ve taken today, and even monitor your heart rate. Wellness apps can also be used to research health concerns, contact doctors, and pay bills. Hospitals are even turning to new technology to ensure safe HIPAA texting between doctors. The difficult part comes from the sheer number of app choices presented to you. The Apple app store holds over 13,000 health and wellness apps. This doesn’t even include Android-specific ones. So, how do you navigate this influx of choices to find the right ones for your needs? That is why we are here to help!
Know the Difference
First off, one thing to know is that there is a difference between wellness apps and health apps. A health app is a software that tracks or monitors health conditions, like diabetes. This is a category created by the FDA. The eventual hope is that the FDA is able to regulate and monitor these health apps. On the other hand, wellness apps track or enhance the holistic health of the person. This can include emotional, mental, physical, intellectual, environmental, social, or spiritual health. The apps are often workout aides or calorie counters. It is possible for apps to be both health and wellness focused. For example, an app to count calories can track daily intake and help combat obesity. This is an example of a positive crossover. However, if a person skips their yearly checkup based on the health status in a fitness app, the crossover can be harmful.
Despite memes surrounding the shortcomings of WebMD, this is one of the most trusted brands for health information. The app provides information on conditions, symptoms, treatments, first aid steps, and drugs. It is not a replacement for a doctor, but it can help you decide if you need to see one. It is compatible with both Android and iPhone.
For those who have recently moved or travel a lot, this is a must-have. The iTriage app is from Healthagen and connects you with the nearest urgent care center or hospital. It is helpful in an emergency! It also gives anticipated wait times at emergency rooms. The app is free and compatible with iPhones and Androids.
This app is a little more niche and only applicable if you have asthma. AsthmaMD allows users to track asthma activity, causes of asthma, and medications. This is logged in diary form and can be shared with physicians. It is a valuable tool when it comes to helping doctors and patients determine the causes of the asthma attack. It is compatible with the iPhone.
Calorie counters do just that – track and measure how many calories are consumed in a day. It takes some dedication to log all the food you take in but can be very valuable in identifying ways to change and improve your diet. Some popular calories counters include:
- Calorie Counter
This group of apps tracks sets, heart rate, and reps throughout a workout. It can help you see patterns in your workout, provide exercises and plans, and track movement. There are many options in this category, but two popular ones are Fitness Buddy and Endomondo Sports Tracker.
Sleep as Android
How does a gentle alarm clock sound? That is exactly what this Android-only app is. You sleep with your phone under your pillow while it tracks sleep phases. It uses this to decide the optimal time to wake you up and does so gently.
Of course, with over 13,000 health and wellness apps out there, this is just the surface. With this glimpse into health and wellness apps, you can start to direct your search and find what works for you. Health and wellness apps are often free tools and should be used to their full advantage.