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What Are the Best Apps Out There for Improving Your Health?

Last updated: 8/23/21
11 readers recommend
By: Arvind Sommi Andrew Briskin

Curious to know what apps are available to you to help you manage a variety of health conditions? At the ADCES 2021 conference, experts discussed the best options out there from diabetes prevention to weight management to exercise and more.


Diabetes apps can be useful tools to monitor and improve your health. They can make it easier to keep track of your glucose, diet and exercise data, and can assist both you and your healthcare provider when you are working collaboratively. Rachel Stahl, a dietician and endocrinology specialist at Weill Cornell Medical Center, explained how some of the latest mobile apps can help you manage your diabetes. 

  • Apps can help you track and improve your diet and exercise. Exercise and nutrition apps, such as MyFitnessPal and CalorieKing, provide users with an extensive database of choices to easily keep track of workouts and food. These apps can support lifestyle  changes by reminding you throughout the day to log your meals, drink water, stand and move, and much more. 

  • Many apps can analyze this data in a way that is useful when working with your healthcare provider. Several apps can automatically track and graph your glucose values throughout the day. These apps can analyze daily patterns in your glucose levels to provide personalized insights on how to avoid high or low glucose values. Your endocrinologist or diabetes care expert can use this data to help detect patterns and trends. They can help you figure out what is working well and areas where you need improvement. In some cases, your healthcare provider can also monitor your health remotely through the app. 

  • Apps still have privacy concerns and can benefit from additional clinical evidence. Not all apps are regulated in the same way, and there is a risk of privacy issues if the app company is hacked. Clinical evidence in support of apps is still limited; however, a growing number of clinical trials support the safety and efficacy of mobile health apps. 

Moving forward, Stahl said, it’s increasingly clear that mobile apps will play a larger role in health tracking and diabetes self-management. These apps have great potential – yet to be truly proven – to improve clinical outcomes and can foster collaboration with your healthcare provider. 

Included below are some top-rated exercise and nutrition apps. 

Category 

Free and Publicly Available

Top Clinical Rating

Exercise

Runkeeper – GPS-enabled fitness activity tracking; HealthKit integrated

Fitbit – GPS-enabled activity tracking; food log, wireless device and smart-scale connectivity

Healthy Eating and Weight Management

MyFitnessPal – Food log with barcode scanning capability; HealthKit integrated

Noom Coach: Health & Weight – Subscription-model health coaching with tracking and relevant content

Stress Management

Headspace – Proprietary guided meditations as well as useful educational background videos

Headspace – Proprietary guided meditations as well as useful educational background videos

Smoking Cessation 

Kwit – Motivates users by tracking the accrued financial and health benefits of not smoking

Clickotine – Subscription program includes coaching, connection to quit aids, as well as various tracking and educational features

Alcohol Moderation 

AlcoDroid Alcohol Tracker – Alcohol consumption tracker, drinks diary and blood alcohol content calculator

Drinkaware – Lifestyle app that tracks the units and calories in your drinks

Alcohol and Substance Abuse

My Spiritual Toolkit – AA 12 Steps App Alcoholics – Content, personal diary, and calculators for recovering alcoholics 

Pear reSET – Contains a series of interactive therapy lessons with information to help support your recovery

Diabetes Prevention 

N/A

Omada – Intensive behavioral counseling (IBC) app shown to promote weight loss and reduce T2D incidence

Diabetes

mySugr – Auto-logs data via connected devices for blood glucose and activity tracking. Gamification of blood sugar control

BlueStar Diabetes – FDA-cleared app with 2 RCTs demonstrating efficacy

AF Screening and Dysrhythmias 

N/A

Kardia – Works with FDA-cleared Kardia Mobile – a clinically validated mobile EKG solution

Hypertension 

SmartBP – Manages blood pressure measurements and track progress

Twine – Collaborative Care – A collaborative care platform, designed to engage patients in all care team activities 

Cardiac Rehab

N/A

Healarium (Mayo Clinic Instance) – Configurable health management app that can be loaded with content for specific conditions and individual patients 

Cancer

OWise Breast Cancer – Helps individuals regain control during chaotic times of illness and treatment

MoovCare – Application that delivers surveys to cancer patients enabling targeted follow up

Asthma 

AsthmaMD – Asthma management application. Asthma diary and visualize asthma activity on a color graph

Propeller Health – FDA cleared, CE marked technology that works with existing asthma and COPD inhalers

Medication Refills 

Walgreens – Online pharmacy serving needs for prescriptions, health & wellness products and health information 

Walgreens – Online pharmacy serving needs for prescriptions, health & wellness products and health information 

Medication Management

Medisafe Meds & Pill Reminder – Personalized medication management including reminders, educational content, and biometrics

AiCure – Uses patented artificial intelligence (AI) on mobile devices to confirm medication ingestion. It reminds and monitors if you have not taken your medications with interactive visual and audio guidance that automatically adjust to your needs. 

Source: IQVIA AppScript Essentials, Aug 2017

Want to read more from the ADCES 2021 conference, including highlights on diabetes stigma, the latest in diabetes technology, and SGLT-2 inhibitors and GLP-1 receptor agonists? Check out our article from last week: “Newest Updates in Diabetes Care and Education from ADCES 2021”.

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