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Mobile tech plays pivotal role in managing health

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Mobile tech plays pivotal role in managing health (AP file photo)

Mobile devices are empowering people to become more engaged in health and wellness than ever before, and this interest goes beyond apps that count calories or track steps. In a recent survey by U.S. Cellular, 17 percent of smartphone owners used a connected device to monitor their health, nine percent to track their medications and seven percent to monitor their blood sugar.

Smartphones and tablets such as the iPhone 7, Samsung Galaxy S7 and the iPad Air 2 have become medical instruments that can provide blood test results, medication information, glucose readings and medical images. From accessing consolidated electronic health records to calculating the correct prescription dosage, mobile devices cam play a pivotal role in managing health.

Smartphones allow us to access and view our health information in an entirely different way. The high-speed network and nationwide coverage U.S. Cellular provides allows mobile devices to collect data, stay connected to the Internet, and accompany their users anywhere, anytime.

Now, armed with wearables and mobile healthcare apps, individuals can monitor their own health data and get continuous guidance and information from the devices they carry with them every day.

Managing Diabetes

The Diabetes Tracker (IOS and Android, $9.99) with Blood Glucose/Carb Log by MyNetDiary is a comprehensive app helping individuals better understand and control their diabetes and diet. The easy-to-use app allows users to track insulin and medication and set reminders to take blood glucose. 

MySugr Diabetes Logbook (IOS and Android, free) is another great app that synchronizes health data automatically via Bluetooth. The app allows users to easily log meals and view glucose graphs.

Tracking Medications

There are many apps for iOS and Android devices to help track medications. CareZone (IOS and Android, free) lets users curate a list of medications, dosages and schedules directly from the device’s photo library. The app also documents and shares symptoms with a user’s family or doctor, while providing a place to store vital insurance information and schedule reminders for upcoming appointments.

Heart Monitoring

Instant Heart Rate (IOS and Android, free) allows users to measure their heart rate wherever they are by simply placing a finger on the device’s camera. The app records heart rate data and notes each measurement with details on physical activity.

Tracking Family Medical Records 

My Medical (IOS and Android, $4.99) is a comprehensive record-keeping app for personal medical information.  Keep track of immunizations, blood pressure, cholesterol, emergency contacts, health insurance and doctor’s information. It will automatically keep track of upcoming appointments on the smartphone’s calendar app.

Medical Advice Just a Touch Away

Doctor on Demand (IOS and Android, free for the app, $49/doctor visit) delivers quick medical advice for non-emergency situations. Doctor on Demand provides video visits with a board-certified physician, psychologist or more from home or anywhere. There is no subscription fee, but doctor visits are $49 - often less expensive than an emergency room visit. Doctors can diagnose and treat most common, non-emergency medical conditions.

As healthcare apps and wearables continue to develop, mobile devices will continue to help individuals monitor their health on a daily basis and communicate with their doctors in a timely manner. We are just at the beginning of this trend and expect to see more adoption by both patients and doctors in the future.

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