O.K., granted, your smartphone’s signal might be increasing your risk of cancer, but if you download the right apps, your digital device can also be a health advantage. Healthland picked the 5 interesting wellness-inspiring apps for the iPhone — but keep in mind that many of these are also available for Android, Blackberry and other platforms.
This brand-new app, designed by researchers at Children’s Hospital Boston, parses news and safety alerts from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). If there’s a recall on your blood thinner, you’ll know immediately. About to start a new antidepressant? See if the FDA’s advisory panel had any concerns. The app keeps both doctors and patients up to date with the latest government info on prescription drugs.
Another innovative feature: if you experience an adverse effect, you can use the “Report Event Wizard” function to submit a report to the FDA.
Managing a chronic condition is difficult, but this application can ease your burden. Loaded with helpful information on many conditions — from cancer and pain to ADHD autism — SymTrend acts like a virtual diary for your symptoms. Use your phone to keep track of your or your child’s condition by recording, say, mid-morning anxiety or post-dinner pain levels. Knowing how you react to certain times of day or daily events can help you learn about triggers, food allergies, drug side effects and more.
While the FDA requires all packaged foods to contain a Nutrition Facts label, it’s hard to decipher ingredients with technical terms like “sodium silicoaluminate.” NutriSleuth allows you to scan the bar code of anything in the grocery store and get a read back on potential allergens and conflicts with your diet — whether you’re vegan, keeping kosher or going high fiber.
Taber’s Medical Dictionary
The price is a bit steep, but it’s on par with any other medical dictionary. Taber’s is an old medical-school standby and the digital version is no different, with more than 60,000 medical terms. It also contains detailed photos in case you wanted to visualize exactly what happens in your small intestine.But if medicine isn’t your life’s work, it’s probably not worth the data usage or the price.
WebMD threw its hat in the ring with this iPhone version of its respected self-diagnostic website. Among its features is a search field, a pharmaceutical interaction function and an encyclopedia of diseases and conditions. Each disease entry also contains clinical photos, but this app is missing WebMD’s famed symptom checker.