Tech Tools: Health apps for you and your patients

March 1, 2015

In the January 2015 issue we introduced you to 5 of our favorite mobile apps. Here is the second half of our list of top-10 apps that you and your patients will definitely want to try.

 

 

 

Dr. Levine is Clinical Fellow, Reproductive Endocrinology & Infertility, Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York.

 

 

 

 

Dr. Goldschlag is assistant professor of clinical obstetrics and gynecology and assistant professor of clinical reproductive medicine, Ronald O. Perelman and Claudia Cohen Center for Reproductive Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College, New York.

 

To see Part One of this series, go to: Top apps for ob/gyns and their patients in 2015

 

Moov

https://www.moov.cc/

While many devices are focused on fitness "tracking," Moov has catapulted into a different arena: fitness coaching. Moov is a highly accurate, lightweight Bluetooth 3D-motion sensor that is worn on your wrist or ankle. When paired with one of Moov's free downloadable apps, it becomes a personal trainer that will correct your form, encourage you to run harder, and even teach you how to throw a proper punch. Unlike any other wearable fitness tool, Moov not only tracks your workouts, it also improves their quality, because the feedback is based on real-time analysis of your performance. We have found the apps to be not only highly accurate but also addicting! Each app is a different workout or sport (Run & Walk, Swim, Cardio Punch, 7 Minute Workout, Cycling) and each has increasing goals for subsequent workouts.

The device itself currently costs $70; for a superior Cardio Punch experience, 2 devices are recommended. The apps are free and available for both iOS and Android.

 

 

SwiftKey

http://swiftkey.com/

One of our favorite features of iOS 8.x is the ability to use alternate keyboards. By installing a third-party keyboard, you have the ability to improve your typing efficiency and accuracy. Tons of keyboards are available, but our favorite is Swiftkey. This attractive keyboard not only is visually pleasing, but it also learns from your typing habits how to make adaptive predictions more accurate. We have found that, using SwiftKey, we spend less time correcting typos and more time expressing what we really want to say. In its newest iteration, the app can sync with Gmail and a number of social media outlets to learn your writing style and suggest your next word. That means you can enter an entire word with a single tap, instead of typing letter by letter and constantly correcting Apple's attempt at autocorrect. Another favorite feature is the ability to type with a single hand or finger; SwiftKey has a feature dubbed Flow that lets you type by sliding your finger from letter to letter. We were pleasantly surprised by the accuracy of the typing engine when just swiping. Lastly, SwiftKey supports 2 languages at once, which is a great feature for those who are bilingual.

The app is free and available for both iOS and Android.

iTriage

https://www.itriagehealth.com

A growing sector of healthcare is consumer-directed. iTriage steps up to this market by empowering people to independently take the first step in accessing care without using the traditional doctor-patient process. Through the app, patients enter their basic demographic data and symptoms. The app then provides a set of potential etiologies, divided into common and less-common causes. For some symptoms, the user is prompted to select from an additional list of associated symptoms, allowing the app’s logic to further refine the list of differential diagnoses. Although far from perfect, the result is immediate information and detailed descriptions of the testing needed and the potential treatment for each condition on the differential list. In addition, the ecosystem created by the app’s developers attempts to become a portal for finding care and accessing insurance providers. No doubt, this is a first step into a growing field that hopes the use of “big data” will deliver efficient “precision care.”

The app is free and available for both iOS and Android.

 

 

Gwen Alert

http://www.gwennetwork.org/mobile-app/

Most gynecologic encounters are not prompted by complaints about abusive relationships, but the gynecologist’s office should be a place of safety and a resource for patients in these situations. The Global Women’s Empowerment Network (GWEN) is a global online community that is technologically focused on those suffering from abuse and it has developed a unique app that may save a life. Gwen Alert allows individuals to quickly send a prewritten message to a predetermined list of friends/family with geo-locating data at the press of a single button. Because our phones accompany us whether at home, on a date, or out of town, this app is a simple way for anyone to reach out quickly and privately when in need. The app is also loaded with numbers for national hotlines and local emergency contacts. Gwen Alert has potential benefits for all our patients, from young to senior.

The app is free and available for both iOS and Android.

7-Minute Workout

http://well.blogs.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/for-a-7-minute-workout-download-our-new-app/

Exercise physiology researchers at the Human Performance Institute in Orlando, Florida, have developed a popular workout app, the 7-Minute Workout. As reported by New York Times Phys Ed columnist Gretchen Reynolds, data have shown that high-intensity interval training increases endurance, squelches appetite, and improves metabolic and cardiovascular health in sedentary adults more effectively than does traditional prolonged-endurance exercise. This app not only offers a step-by-step guide with animated illustrations of the exercises, but it also has a built-in timer and audio cues to keep you on pace for the prescribed 7 minutes. Once you master the grueling Scientific 7-Minute Workout, there is a super-intense Advanced 7-Minute Workout that will have you panting and longing to finish.

The app is free and available for both iOS and Android; it is also available on the Web.

 

If you have an app that you love and want to see featured, let us know! Follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook, or send us an old fashioned e-mail!