Tag Archives: My Fitness Pal

An App Here, An App There….


Do you use health apps in your everyday life? Who directed you to the apps you use? Your doctor? Friend? Co-worker? Well, if you got yours from the App Store or Google Play then you are in the majority. That wasn’t the case 5 years ago:

This marks a shift from the firm’s 2010 survey, when more than 65 percent of healthcare practitioners said they’d be the ones to recommend mHealth apps to their patients. Five years later, that percentage has dropped to 48 percent of physicians and 46 percent of hospitals. (link to article)

Back in the late 2000s the apps were mostly driven by the health providers such as physician practices and hospitals. They were also many that were related to specific disease states or information that was gathered from the patient at the specific hospital or physician practice. Now we are seeing a trend, one that has been growing for a couple of years, of apps targeted toward exercise and diet. You may have a Fitbit or an Apple Watch, use My Fitness Pal or other apps to track what you do, what you eat, what your pulse is and how long you exercised.

But a lot of the apps fail to satisfy the users need. They may be too complicated to use, take more effort to input information or just simply don’t do what the app advertises. For instance, I have a Fitbit and originally wanted it to track my sleep. But it is not consistent so I just can’t rely on the information. A lot of the apps that you might have on your phone, iPad or such you have to either read the label and input the information about that chocolate chip cookie or glass of almond milk that you just consumed. Some are sophisticated enough to scan the barcode of the product and take the information from there into the app.

So what has your experience been with apps for your health? Did you healthcare provider point you to helpful ones? Do you use apps that are specific to your disease state – as in the case of diabetic monitors? Or have you just seen others using these apps on Facebook and thought that might work for you?

Tell me about it!

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Is there an app for that?


My guess is that if you were to ask this question of your peers – which I kinda have over on my Facebook page of the same name – that the answer would be yes. There are apps out there that I never dreamed about. And there are a LOT that are targeted to health – your health, your clinician getting information for your health, your exercise, your disease monitoring…. I could go on.

Recently, I broke the mold of myself and got an Apple laptop product. I was excited to get the iPad back in March and loved it for my trips – music, movies, games – then found out all the other significant stuff it could do. So I decided to give Apple a try against my trusty monster – my Dell. So now I have access to an even greater and different set of apps than I do with my Android based smart phone, my iPad, my Apple laptop and my Dell laptop. A gal could get confused here…

Alas, to my point -when I put mhealth into the PlayStore on my Android phone I got apps that I would never have expected. One that really took me by surprise was EPI mHealth Lite – an application used with EPI Mini to connect the smartphone to the device to read the ECG. WOW!

My Mobile Med Box came up for a fee in which it describes itself as “your secure personal health record”. Hmmm, wonder how that works. One of the comments on the reviews stated that the fire department recommended it to the person for people who call them a lot because it can give them info when you can’t. Again, hmmmm…I have a lot of questions on that security setup….

AT&T mHealth is on my list of interest. When you go to the play store on the Android it has the “warning” that “you must have an invitation to participate from your employer or health management company.” Well, that counts me out. I don’t have health insurance. Ping! That is a consideration with all these apps – what are the prerequisites?

I was excited to get WebMD on my iPad so that I could figure out what was wrong with me. Or my neighbors and friends. Seriously – how many times have you had a person tell you that this was aching, they had a rash somewhere, their chest pains were low in their ribs, or that the doctor gave them a medicine for that newly diagnosed condition but they forgot what else they were supposed to do other than take the medicine? Now, I’m likin’ some WebMD on my iPad!

For those clinicians out there listening in you can get Epocrates on your Android or Apple products, too. I kinda like that. Except for the part where I have to pay the pricing ($$) you need to pay for more than just RX (prescription) information.

A pretty neat one that I would never have thought of is Recalls.gov. It is available on Android and other versions are on the Apple products.

And what about those fitness and exercise apps? I found My Fitness Pal – really a lot like Weight Watchers that I did online about a year and a half ago but I thought it was less user-friendly. I had to guess at my calories and I’m always going to go for the help myself think that I’m losing weight side of things.

 

So what apps on your smartphones, tablets, or laptops do you use that relate to health/wellness?? I’m truly curious! I know there are a lot out there and one or two might just be of interest to me, also. Come on! Share!


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