While it may be a couple of years before doctors nationwide start prescribing digital wellcare, a handful of health management apps are already scoring high with the medical community, and others are coming soon to a mobile phone near you.
Waiting to Be Filled
WellDoc: In clinical trials, early versions of this FDA-cleared app (part of a larger self-management platform) helped diabetics reduce their blood-sugar levels when compared to their usual care alone. This tool will be available to patients by physician prescription later this year.
SpiroSmart: Good news for asthmatics and others with chronic lung ailments. University of Washington researchers are now testing SpiroSmart, an app that uses your phone’s microphone to measure lung function. The app could be available to consumers by 2015.
Now Ready for PickUp
AliveCor Heart Monitor: This FDA-cleared mobile electrocardiogram monitor works with iPhones and became available to medical professionals in January, meaning your next heart-rhythm check could be done on your doctor’s phone.
Get fit: Fitbit’s tiny Zip activity tracker (fitbit.com; $59.95) records steps, distance, and calories burned, and syncs that data to your iOS device or Android phone. Track your progress with the free smartphone app, and use it to log activities and food.
Eat right: Fooducate (iOS, Android; free) “grades” food and drink labels based on their nutritional value. And Calorie Counter Pro (iOS, Android; $3.99) does exactly what it says.
Monitor blood pressure: The Withings Blood Pressure Monitor (withings.com; $129.95) with BP cuff sends data to your iOS device, where you can also track everything from sleep to weight to activity with Withings’s Health Mate app (iOS, Android; free).
Track glucose: For diabetics, the iBGStar blood-glucose meter (ibgstar.us; $71.99) connects with an iOS device to record blood sugar, insulin, and carbs, and lets you share that data with a doctor.
Check symptoms: iTriage (iOS, Android; free) lets you search by symptom for possible causes, and helps you find suitable treatments, doctors, or health-care facilities.
Find a doctor: ZocDoc (iOS, Android, BlackBerry; free) lets you search for doctors and dentists in your insurance network, read patient reviews, and book appointments on your phone.
Manage prescriptions: iPharmacy (iOS, Android; free) gives details on your medication, reminds you to take your pills, and lets you shop for the lowest prescription price.