Combat Chronic Conditions with the Best Health Apps of 2017

by Alice Williams Health Writer

When mobile browsing became a reality in 1996, people flocked to their cellphones in search of anything and everything. Fast-forward to 2017, and smartphones now enable more people than ever to use the internet to find answers to their questions and connect with family and friends as part of their daily routines.

This constant access to information has fostered the creation of mobile applications for a variety of needs, but apps for maintaining your health may be the most important. These apps are changing the medical world by aiding people with chronic conditions such as cystic fibrosis, cancer, and diabetes. As of 2012, roughly half of American adults had a chronic health condition. The eight health apps listed here can help you or someone you know manage chronic conditions, form supportive communities, and lead full, independent lives.

1. Voice4u

As ALS (Lou Gehrig’s Disease) progresses, it impedes a person’s ability to communicate with others. Apps like Voice4u help patients and caregivers overcome the communication barrier with visual icons that express what a person wants and needs. To date, the app has helped not only individuals with ALS but also people with other speech or communication disorders.

The app costs $59.99 and is available on iOS andAndroid.

2. PulsePoint

For people living with heart disease, the potential for a cardiac event poses a serious threat. The PulsePoint app automatically alerts nearby participating people skilled in CPR and other emergency responses during a cardiac emergency. However, the app covers only certain areas of the United States, so check your location before downloading it. And, if you want the app to work in your area, you can look into bringing it there.

The app is free and available on iOS andAndroid.

3. One Drop

Managing diabetes, type 1 or 2, is hard, but One Drop makes it easier. The app can track blood sugars, medications, carbohydrate counts, and physical activities. The app even includes an encyclopedia of common foods and their carb counts, making diabetes that much more manageable. You can also share the app’s data with your healthcare team to improve day-to-day glucose readings and quarterly A1C tests.

The app is free and available on iOS and Android.

4. MyTherapy Medication and Pill Reminder

Many chronic conditions, like cystic fibrosis, feature complex treatment plans. The MyTherapy app helps patients manage their conditions by reminding them throughout the day which medications to take, when to exercise, and when to take health readings. The app also includes a diary to record physical activity, nutrition, and overall health. The information can help track a chronic illness over time and inform corresponding treatment plans.

The app is free and available on iOS and Android.

5. CatchMyPain

For people with fibromyalgia or other painful chronic conditions, it can be hard to explain the different types of pain and their frequencies. The CatchMyPain mobile diary helps by asking you to describe your pain in either words or drawings and tracking when it happens. You can also export your data, which enables you and your healthcare provider to identify triggering events and determine the best care plan going forward.

The app is free and available on iOS and Android].

6. Pocket Cancer Care Guide

A cancer diagnosis can disrupt your life, from big vacation plans to daily activities. Developed by the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, Pocket Cancer Care Guide aims to lessen your distress by providing a comprehensive resource. The app features a general encyclopedia of terms, the ability to record and play back your doctor’s answers, and a way to link appointments right to your calendar. You can share this data with family members and physicians to monitor, manage, and treat your cancer.

Pocket Cancer Care Guide is free but available only on iOS. A similar, free app for Android is Cancer.Net Mobile.

7. AsthmaMD

Like other chronic conditions, asthma requires constant care and oversight. AsthmaMD helps alleviate some of that work with a journal to record symptoms, triggers, medications, and how those medications affect you. You and your doctor can then look at the information to decide if your asthma is under control or needs a different treatment plan.

The app is free and available on iOS andAndroid.

8. Zocdoc

When you or a loved one receives a diagnosis about a chronic condition, you start finding a specialist located in your area and covered by your insurance. Zocdoc streamlines the search, based on your zip code or city, chronic condition, and insurance carrier, to set up an appointment with the perfect physician.

The app is free and available on iOS and Android.

These apps represent how technology can help you take control of your chronic conditions. Try them out, and see how much easier managing your health can be with a little assistance from your smartphone.

Alice Williams
Meet Our Writer
Alice Williams

Alice is a freelance writer who specializes in health, business and tech. Passionate about wellness and helping others, she blogs about health and fitness over at Honestly Fitness.