Top Smart Phone Applications for Health

Let’s be honest that for most of us our smart phones have become just as attached to us as our right leg. The applications available can be used to keep you healthy and on track. Today’s blog is centered around my top smart phone applications where I will share the application market, cost, pros, and cons. I tried to find as many great free ones as possible.

Diet and Weight Loss

My Fitness Pal Other good options include: My Plate, Lose It These apps all track your calorie and activity level. You can set how many pounds you would like to lose and it will recommend a calorie target for you depending on your activity level. It is suggested that you set it for losing one pound per day.


PROs: These track your nutrient intake beyond just calories. You are rewarded when you exercise with more calories. People who track their food are more successful whether you care about calories or not. If you are doing Weight Watchers, it will tell you how many points the food is.
CONs: The first week or two is tough because you don’t have any of your frequent foods saved to the database, but don’t worry it gets super easy.
COST: My Fitness Pal and Lose It are totally free and My Plate costs $3.99. Available on the iPhone and Android market.

Fooducate This is a great app for anyone who has ever gone to the grocery store, picked something up that they thought was healthy only to find out it is not. How does it work? Simply use your phone to scan the barcode and wha la… all the information is there.
PROs: It rates foods, lists potential toxins and nutrients in the foods. It will also give you a list of better alternatives.
CONs: You may find foods that aren’t in there, but you can always send it to them to add to the database.
COST: Free ☺ Available on the iPhone and Android market.

Diabetes

Glucose buddy This application tracks various items including blood sugar, hemoglobin A1C, symptoms of low or high blood sugar and medication.
PROs: Clear and nice looking graphs. Print outs for your doctor. Interfaces with an online platform. Customizable glucose ranges and reminders for readings.
CONs: I don’t know of any here.
COST: Free and only on the iPhone market.

OnTrack Diabetes OnTrack is an application to help diabetics manage their diabetes by tracking various items such as blood glucose, food, medication, blood pressure (BP), pulse, exercise and weight.
PROs: Comprehensive logging. Reminders for testing two hours after meals. You can export data to share with your doctor.
CONs: I don’t know of any here.
COST: Free and only on the Android market.

Medical information and Emergency Situations

Epocrates This is one of my number one references in medicine. With this app, I can quickly and easily check for drug interactions with other drugs and herbs. Aside from medications, it gives you detailed information about conditions supported by research.
PROs: Whether you are a doctor or patient, it is great to have a quick reference source for medications and interactions. There is a pill identification system if you lose track or someone comes in without a properly labeled bottle. This app is way better than WebMD in my option.
CONs: If you don’t use it often enough, you can get held up by the updates that can take up to 30 minutes to load. You have to subscribe to get disease information.
COST: Free for the basics. If you want more features and options, you need a subscription. I have been doing just fine with the free version. Available on the iPhone and Android market.

CPR-Choking This app is an essential. We eat at least three times a day and sometimes when we rush, we put ourselves into a life-threatening situation. This app has video and verbal guidance for choking and CPR.
PROs: Has tutorials for all age ranges.
CONs: I haven’t had to use it luckily, so I don’t have much.
COST: Free on both the iPhone and Android market, so download now!

Hands Only CPR If you have ever been in an emergency situation and wished someone could guide you through, this app is your solution. This is a must for everyone whether you are CPR certified or not. Simply click and you will have verbal and visual cues telling you how to proceed.
PROs: For the layperson, it only instructs how to do hands only CPR. This app also has a button that will send you to dial 911.
CONs: For the more experienced CPR user, there is not breathing instruction. There is only instruction for an adult and not a child
COST: Free on both the iPhone and Android market. If you pay $2.99, you can upgrade to an app called Pocket First Aid and CPR. The upgrade has a lot more information on First Aid and CPR with tutorials.

Sleep and Relaxation

Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock An alarm clock that analyzes your sleep patterns and wakes you in the lightest sleep phase – a natural way to wake up where you feel rested and relaxed.
PROs: Avoids waking you up in the middle of deep sleep and better sleep.
CONs: Your phone is on your bed right next to your head…. I worry about radiation and EMF here.
COST: $0.99 only available on the iPhone market. Smart Alarm Clock is very similar to Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock for the Android Market.

MyCalmBeat This app is designed by www.mybrainsolutions.com to help people slow down their breathing for relaxation. With every inhale we stimulate the sympathetic nervous system (excitatory) and with every exhale we stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system (calming) via the vagus nerve. This is a great app to guide you in stressful situation or simply practicing every day.
PROs: Studies support the effects of controlled breathing on the stress response. There is good visual cue to guide you.
CONs: You can’t adjust the time for inhale than exhale. Typically, you want your exhale to be twice as long as your inhale for relaxation. This app has a one to one ratio.
COST: Free. My Calm Beat is accessible on both the Android and iPhone market.

Exercise

Nike Plus This is great for walkers and runners to track their distance, speed, and intensity. Nike plus is only compatible with Nike shoes. If you don’t wear Nikes, there are many running apps that use GPS technology to track your progress.

Nike Boom Nike BOOM syncs your music to your dynamic training workouts, with the world’s most elite athletes and coaches motivating you along the way. Choose your type of workout, length of training, best workout music and favorite Nike athletes—then get to work.
PROs: You get so much motivation from both.
CONs: You should not start a running program if you have not consulted your doctor. Without proper supervision, you could stretch beyond your limits and injure yourself. Exercise responsibly.
COST: Free. Nike Plus is only available on the iPhone Market. Nike Boom is available on both markets.

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