5 Mobile Health Care Apps You Need Now

Someone using a mobile app. Mobile healthcare apps can help track, and even deliver, medical care.

By Terri Dreher, RN

Just a couple of decades ago, we couldn’t conceive of carrying a computer around in our pockets.

Now, with powerful technology and connectivity at everyone’s fingertips, it’s not surprising that a lot of consumer health companies have entered the mobile app arena. If you search Apple’s App Store or Google Play for medical apps, you’re greeted with a dizzying array of choices that address fitness, health, and wellness.

To help you make sense of it all, here are five of my favorite medical apps aimed at health-care consumers. As a professional patient advocate, I’m a big proponent of people taking charge of their own health, and these apps help you do just that.

While many apps make up the “health” category, not all are considered “health care” apps. Those that teach you how to meditate, do yoga, or count calories, for example, are more in the category of “wellness.” 

For this article, we focus on apps you can use in conjunction with your provider-based health regimen. They offer health tracking and reporting, medical reminders, and communication with your provider. Some actually serve as the platform for virtual visits.

All of these apps are available for Apple and Android devices.

Drugs.com

In my view, Drugs.com is the easiest way to look up drug information, identify pills, check interactions, and set up your own personal medication records. In addition to an A-to-Z listing of prescription medications, you can enter an imprint, shape, or color to identify a medicine (helpful for those who keep their meds on a tray and not in a bottle).

There’s also a Q&A feature and a prescription discount program. The app is free, and the medication identifier costs 99 cents.

WebMD

Founded in 1996 as Healthscape, WebMD is the granddaddy of health information websites. I’ve found it to be a reliable symptom checker and source of drug and treatment information. There, you can set medication reminders, get daily allergy alerts, learn about conditions and drugs, find doctors and specialists, and save on prescriptions.

WebMD has a free primary app and a suite of specialty apps for prescriptions, pregnancy, baby health, and allergies. 

mySugr

mySugr’s goal, as they put it, is “to make diabetes suck less.” But there’s nothing flippant about what this app can do. 

To help tame your “diabetes monster,” the mySugr app stores all your important diabetes data from connected blood sugar monitors and manual entries in one place. In the mySugr app, you can log important therapy data such as blood sugar, meals, activity, and insulin – no more need to keep a log book. You can also be connected with diabetes coaches.

The basic app is free, and the Pro version costs $2.99 a month (it’s free with some AccuCheck devices).

BetterHelp

As we’ve come to realize, taking care of our mental and emotional well-being is an essential part of health care. Sometimes it’s a struggle to find a therapist who’s not only available, but also someone you’re comfortable talking to.

Along comes BetterHelp, a convenient and easy-to-use provider of personal counseling from more than 20,000 trained, experienced, and accredited therapists. Betterhelp covers a wide range of areas, from depression and anxiety to family and couples therapy. Weekly video appointments, which can be conducted through the mobile app, are supplemented with anytime text messages and chats.

BetterHelp doesn’t take insurance; instead, it charges a monthly subscription of $320, which works out to $80 per weekly session. If you need help now, it’s a good option.

Heal

Remember house calls? Heal has brought them back. It offers virtual primary care telemedicine visits via phone or video chat 365 days a year, as well as remote monitoring.

The five-year-old company provides an Uber-like doctors-on-call service in specific geographic areas. It rode the telemedicine wave during the pandemic, when the insurance company Humana invested $100 million in it.

Doctor services are delivered to a patient’s home on demand through the app. Users input their personal medical details and credit card information and request a doctor in their local area. Obviously, Heal’s medical providers don’t treat emergencies.

Heal is in network with Medicare and most major Medicare Advantage plans, including Humana, Wellcare, Aetna, VillageCare, Clover, Healthfirst, United Healthcare and EmblemHealth. It’s available in Chicago and the rest of Cook County and DuPage County.

As I’ve written before, technology is integral to health care, and its role is only going to grow. When you’re looking for apps, read the reviews and ask your doctor for recommendations.  TwP

Teri Dreher, RN, is a patient advocated with NShore Patient Advocates. She is the author of How to Be a Healthcare Advocate for Yourself & Your Loved Ones, available on Amazon. She would be happy to offer Thrive With Paralysis readers a free phone consultation. Reach her at Teri@northshorern.com.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top