Smartphone Medicine

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Your smartphone can help keep you healthy. Self-diagnosis, though not always a good idea, has become easier and more accurate with the emergence of medical apps for the smartphone. Smartphone apps can monitor your overall health and vital signs, monitor chronic conditions, help find medical insurance, affordable or even free prescriptions, help you speak with and even summon a doctor to your bedside, help dementia patients and even manage the responsibility of the caring for elderly family members. These are just a few benefits of smartphone medicine.

Doctors and the medical establishment have a poor track record with black people. Black people have been denied proper medical attention, overcharged for insurance, we have been experimented upon, lied to or mislead about the effects of drugs or medical procedures, been deliberately mis-informed about illnesses and disease and even tortured in the name of medicine. These are historical facts. Black people have a right to distrust doctors.

But now we live in the age of technology and information. African-Americans can use the Internet to research medical information and the drugs we are prescribed. African-Americans use mobile technology and smartphones more than other groups. That technology can help us care for our family members and ourselves.

Too many black people are without medical insurance. Smartphone apps can help change that. The eHealth mobile health insurance app is available for both Apple and Android phones. The eHealth app shows you medical insurance from the top providers, get customized health insurance quotes instantly, and allows you to communicate with a licensed agent for personalized help. If you want more AppPicker.com has a list of the best health insurance apps for iPhones. For people with Android phones AppCrawlr.com has a list of over a hundred health insurance apps.

Monitoring your health and chronic conditions is another task technology has made easier. Smartphone apps can monitor blood pressure, heart rate, breathing and even chronic conditions such as diabetes, which we know is big among black people. For 2015 the best diabetes monitoring apps for both iPhones and Android can be found at the Healthline.com website. For apps to monitor your general health you can visit Hubpages.com.

Smartphone apps can also detect health issues that occur so slowly you may not even know they are happening. Hearing loss is so gradual that many people do not realize they are losing their hearing until it’s almost too late to correct. But fortunately there are numerous apps for that. Appcrawlr.com has lists of hearing testing apps for both iPhone and Android.

How is your eyesight? AppCrawlr.com has a solid list for people who want to know if their eyesight is declining available for iPhone and Android.

Another major health issue for black people is aging. Memory loss with age is perfectly natural and there are many helpful apps that can help. Sometimes called brain-training apps, many claim to improve brain functioning. There is not a lot medical research that proves or disproves this theory. But scientists agree that an active brain is a healthy brain. Doctors encourage older people to stay active both physically and mentally. Learn a new skill or hobby, read or play games that require thought and concentration. Apps for training your brain can found at Yappler.com for iPhone users. For Android users check Greenbot.com.

Alzheimer’s and dementia is another age related malady that has many people worried for their aging parents and themselves. According to the Alzheimer’s Association black people are at greater risk of developing Alzheimer’s than other groups. Drippler.com offers five excellent apps for dementia sufferers. The association also offers a list of apps used in the care of Alzheimer’s patients and caregivers.

Another issue confronting black people is the care of aging parents and relatives. Black people are living longer and the number of black people over 65 is expected to triple by 2050. But the number of family members available to act as caregivers will not grow nearly as fast. This creates a huge problem for black families. But families working together can do a lot. CarePartners Mobile is an app that helps manage and share the load of caregiving. It allows family members to arrange schedules, exchange information and messages and share the tasks of caring making the load lighter for everybody. You can also find ten care giving apps and websites at Carenovatemag.com

Another major concern for many black people is the cost of prescriptions drugs. The most expensive prescription drugs can cost tens thousand of dollars for a single dose. Many insurance plans cover only a portion of these costs. But there are apps and services that can help with the cost of prescription drugs.

According to the University of Chicago Americans destroy nearly $5 billion worth of prescription drugs annually and another $2 billion goes to waste sitting in medicine cabinets until they expire. Throwing out drugs that could improve or save someone’s life should be unthinkable. SIRUM, or the Supporting Initiatives to Redistribute Unused Medicine, is taking on that problem. SIRUM is software that acts as an inventory manager for pharmacies and clinics to make available unused medicines for people who may not be able to afford the drugs otherwise.

In addition there are other state operated drug donation programs and other third party programs. Dispose My Meds helps locate places where unused drug can be donated. Fox Business report also published a list of five apps for lowering the price of prescriptions drugs.

Even with all these apps sooner or later you will need to come face-to-face with a doctor. A service known as ‘GetHeal’ promises to have a doctor at your door in less than an hour. Just download the iOS Heal app to your iPhone. Doctors are available between 8:00AM to 8:00PM seven days a week for $99 per visit.

You can find a similar service in North Carolina called Doctors Making House Calls. Another service operating in New York is called Pager.

But maybe you don’t need a doctor in your home but would like a private consultation. There’s an app for that as well. DoctoronDemand.com is an app that allows you to speak with a doctor using your tablet or phone equipped with a video camera. The visit is $40 for a doctor’s visit and the service also offers psychological counseling and lactation consultants.

 

Smartphones are incredible devices. Understanding their capabilities and your options can mean better health for you and your family.

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