The App Lab is a reoccurring series on The Full Spectrum Blog which introduces and analyzes iPhone and smartphone applications related to the health and science industries.
Nearly one in two Americans suffers from a chronic disease. Characterized by their reoccurrence and long-lasting symptoms, chronic diseases can often be overwhelming and burdensome. The boom in iPhone applications has introduced a wide variety of technology to help patients better control their health through the convenience and privacy of their mobile phones.
Below is a sampling of popular iPhone apps for the management of chronic diseases.
Diabetes is a chronic disease which affects nearly 8% of the world’s population. The most popular diabetes-related iPhone app is Glucose Buddy, which allows diabetics to record and monitor their glucose levels, as well as their medicine, food and physical activity. The app then provides detailed color-coded logs and graphs of the user’s statistics, which can be emailed to a doctor or exported to Excel documents.
Launched by AgaMatrix, maker of glucose monitoring products, WaveSense Diabetes Manager is an electronic logbook for diabetes data management. WaveSense provides graphing of glucose data, automatic mealtime tagging of results, insulin dosage management and statistical analysis of glucose results.
Developed by a Crohn’s patient who found traditional methods of recording symptoms cumbersome and time-consuming, GI Monitor logs the frequency of bowel movements, consistency and blood level of stool and pain/stress levels. The user’s information is organized into detailed logs which can be easily emailed to the user’s doctor.
In an effort to help the millions of workforce members who suffer from chronic neck and back pain due to long hours seated behind a desk, Dr. Mary Schatz, author of the best-selling book Back Care Basics, developed Yoga MD, an app which teaches users simple yoga poses and practices that improve posture, breathing and help reduce stress. The app demonstrates 21 yoga positions which can be done in the office for relief to neck and back pain during the work day. Yoga MD provides detailed audio-visuals on how to properly sit, stand tall, stretch, as well as relax. The app also comes with a built-in reminder system which pings users to take regular breaks, a therapeutic habit for chronic pain.
2009 saw a rapid increase in the use of mobile technology used to supplement patient care – a major trend that will only continue to alleviate some of the stress and burden created by chronic diseases.