Obsessive. Who knew that we’d find the perfect blend for achieving of our health goals and satisfying our competitive nature to track our progress through technology? Probably most technology entrepreneurs out there, right?
Aza Raskin was Firefox’s lead for design and user experience until he set out on his own last year. He started Massive Health with at least one goal of creating a health care app. But an app with a different intent than health apps available today.
The most popular health apps are WebMD which provides consumer medical information, Instant Heart Rate which lets you measure your pulse using your phone’s camera, and Epocrates which is a reference guide to prescription drugs. With 14 percent of adult Americans owning a SmartPhone, the health app market is just beginning.
Raskin says health apps available today do not do enough to address the needs of individuals with chronic diseases. With the U.S. population aging and along with that people with chronic conditions becoming more prevalent, what apps can be put in place to help people be more healthy or at least monitor their health. “By 2020, according to health insurer UnitedHealth, 52 percent of adult Americans will be diabetic or pre-diabetic” reports MIT’s Technology Review in today’s “Apps for What Ails You.”
While we wait for Raskin’s Massive Health app, here are several currently available apps:
Sleep difficulties? Try Lark which combines an app and an armband device to track, score, and advise you about your sleep patterns.
Radiology images while on the road? Mobile MIM app enables physicians to view and annotate radiology images, such as CT scans.
Too much sugar? Not enough? Just right? Telcare assists diabetics with blood glucose meter readings sent to a mobile app to see their results and check their progress.
Check your lungs and heart? iStethoscope app allows an individual to hold the iPhone’s microphone against their chest and listen using earphones. The iPhone screen provides a detailed display of the sound.
Where are those health records? HealthVault now offers an app for storing these.
Where did my pulse go? Use Instant Heart Rate which was mentioned above. Put your finger over your phone’s camera lens and the app finds “color changes caused by blood moving through your finger.” Genius!
Maybe we’ll need an app to monitor anxiety from too much information (TMI). And then another app to help with our meditative chanting. And another app to . . . .