According to a survey by Manhattan Research, some 95 million Americans used their smartphones in 2013 to find health information or to use it as a healthcare tool. That’s an increase of 20 million from the previous year but just the tip of the iceberg. According to information published by the FDA, this market is exploding, and they expect to see 500 million users worldwide using health care apps by 2015, growing to 50% of the more than 3.4 billion smartphone and tablet users by 2018.
The Manhattan research revealed that for 38% of mobile phone users, their device has already become essential for locating health and medical information. This is good news for caretakers who are charged with monitoring a senior’s health because of the many outstanding, cutting edge apps available.
With some 7,000 health & wellness apps for the Apple iPhone and iPad alone, deciding which to download may seem overwhelming, as we described two two years ago in How to Find Mobile Apps for Home Health Care. These four, however, can provide you with a good start.
The CareZone app, released in 2012 for the Apple iPhone, not only helps parents organize important information about their children like social security numbers, insurance information, and doctor’s appointments, but it also is proving invaluable to many caregivers who are tasked with monitoring the health of an elderly parent.
Some of the highlights of this app include a care profile for logging important information about the patient, the ability to invite friends and family members to join and become helpers, a shareable journal for logging observations and photos to keep everyone up to date on the senior’s well-being. It also has a medication tracking feature that includes a list of all medications, dosages, purposes, prescribing physicians and pharmacies.
An Android version was released in 2013, which means this helpful, free app also is available for the Samsung Galaxy series.
This fitness tracker that is worn around the wrist, syncs with users’ smartphones, providing information pertaining to physical habits including such details as to whether they’ve been idle for too long, when they might be dehydrated, their eating habits and how long they slept the night before. This is a great device for a caregiver with detailed reports about a senior’s physical and mental well-being.
The Jawbone UP app is free and available for Android as well as the iPhone, but it does require the wristband which is currently $79.99 for the basic version.
PocketFinder is a discreet device meant to give families and caregivers peace of mind by staying connected to their loved one when they can’t be nearby. The use of a GPS locator allows the user to monitor a senior’s activity through a smartphone or a web-based portal. If you’re caring for someone with Alzheimer’s disease, it can be a lifesaver as the device can locate your loved one at any time. The device sends you alerts if the patient goes outside of a specific area.
The personal locator is currently available for $129.95 with apps compatible for both Android and iPhone.
The latest statistics show that nearly 26 percent of Americans age 65 and older suffer from diabetes. This makes iBGStar an essential device for many seniors as well as their caregivers. The device is able to track blood glucose levels through a meter that is attached directly to an iPhone or iPad.
iBGStar is available at drug stores like Walgreens for $74.99, and the app can be downloaded for free. The downside is that it is currently available only for iOS devices.