Caravan Sonnet: How Your Smartphone Can Help You Manage Chronic Illness

10/13/16

How Your Smartphone Can Help You Manage Chronic Illness

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The mobile medical solutions, or mHealth, market is exploding and mobile solutions for people with chronic illnesses are leading the way, according to a recent MarketsandMarkets report. The global mHealth market will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 33.4 percent over the next five years, reaching $59.15 billion by 2020. The fastest-growing segment of the mobile apps market will be apps for managing chronic illnesses, including apps for monitoring and managing blood pressure, diabetes, EKG, cancer and mental health and behavioral disorders. Here are some ways mobile technology is helping people manage these and other chronic illness-related issues.
Tracking Diet and Exercise
For people with chronic health issues such as high blood pressure and diabetes, where maintaining good diet and exercise habits can be especially vital, the growing number of apps available for tracking diet and exercise can be lifesavers. For instance, for users of Android devices such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge, Samsung’s S Health app enables easy tracking of both diet and exercise habits. You can input information about your meals and snacks to automatically track your diet. You can also enter information to track your weight and use built-in sensors to monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels. Additionally, S Health lets you track your fitness activities with the ability to automatically count your steps when you walk or jog. You can even invite friends to participate in exercise challenges.
An app for iOS users is AliveCor’s Kardio, an FDA-approved EKG monitor that now also monitors blood pressure. Tom’s Guide contributor John Corpuz provides a guide to some of the best apps for managing diet, such as Fooducate, which provides information about preparing healthy meals while counting your calories; Shopwell, which helps you find healthy alternatives to your favorite foods; and Calorie Counter PRO, which combines diet and exercise information into a single display. Leading exercise apps include MapMyFitness, which uses GPS data to help you track your miles when walking or running; Workout Trainer, which uses photos, videos and audio to provide you with coaching for your training; and Fitted Lifts, which eliminates the need for pen and paper when counting exercise repetitions.

Issuing Medical Reminders

Another important way mobile apps are helping chronic illness sufferers is reminding them when to take their medication, which is especially important for people who have to take a large number of different medications on different schedules. For instance, the Medisafe app helps both Android and Apple users remember when to take their pills. To use the app, you input all of your medications, their dosages and what they look like. You then can view a daily list showing all your medications and what time you should take them and can receive notifications when it’s time to take your pill. Heathline surveys some of today’s other leading medical reminder apps, which include Tabtime Vibe Vibrating Pill Timer Reminder, MedMinder, PillPack and e-pill’s Once-a-Day Reminder.

Tracking Your Symptoms
When visiting your health professional for chronic health treatment, one of the challenges can be accurately answering questions about the frequency and severity of your symptoms, since most of us don’t systematically track this. Apps such as Manage My Paint Lite help address this. You can input your symptoms in order to automatically keep track of your pain over time and create reports designed for your doctor. Some apps such as CareZone take this a step further and integrate symptom monitoring with medication reminders, medical appointment schedule reminders, contact lists for doctors and pharmacies and other useful information.
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This post is a collaborative post.

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