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List of The Best Health Applications Made Just For You

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Are you looking for an app related to tracking your footsteps, maintaining your diet, or searching for your symptoms? Well luckily, there are a great number of apps on the iOS or Android Playstore available for your choosing. The difficulty plays in deciding and differentiating which app most caters to your personal needs.

Below is a list of ten health-related apps that you may or may not have heard of. These apps range from fitness-related apps to mental-health apps. Read and comment below on your personal experiences of the apps you may be looking for or to discover.

 Argus

Argus is a daily fitness tracking app with pedometer capabilities and calorie tracking. It can pair your other biometric fitness devices such as the Fitbit. The calorie tracking feature has a breakdown of the basic macronutrients of carbs, fat, and protein, but the specific breakdown of the types of sub-nutrients are locked behind a paywall. There is also the option of following different meal plans according to different styles of diets; however, this option is offered only for premium-only subscribers.

Nike Training

Nike Training is a fitness app that has a wide variety of selection for different muscle group you are trying to target. There are premade workouts for you to follow along with and to motivate you, and each exercise and workout has small video demos of a real person demonstrating the exercise. Each activity or workout has an estimated time length, difficulty level, and intensity level so that users can plan how they want to exercise according to their needs. This customizable factor makes it one of the more popular apps available, plus it is attached to the company Nike that has millions of supporting fans existing! 

Fitocracy

A fitness exercise app that keeps you invested by having a point system for keeping up a daily regimen. A small little avatar named FRED calculates your points for completing exercises. This external motivator is excellent for those who need additional help to stay on track or meet goals. Also, having a collection of points helps keep people on track of the progress they have made on the app with small videos for each exercise performed.

Lose it!

Lose it! This is a calorie tracker app that has a full pre-registered log of food that has suggested calories for meals. For people who want a simple way to count calories without looking up their food choices online and want to calculate their portion sizes, this app is perfect for saving time and tracking your choices. There are some features locked behind the premium paywall ($30/year) which include tracking different macronutrients, pattern insights to eating, and the ability to set more goals for yourself.

Map my run

Map my run is primarily a running tracking app that utilizes GPS functionality to log your route and track your distance for you. Also, it has gear tracking enabled so you can link your smart shoes to the app and record the run. There is a social network aspect to the app where you can see the community photos and find friends to share your progress with. Having a community is helpful if you need to view other people’s progress and be motivated enough to compete with them.  

MyFitnessPal

This fantastic health tracking app keeps track of your daily calories and also covers a wide list of most foods you may eat! MyFitnessPal allows the user to create custom meals for dishes made at home that is not available on the app. This customizable option of meals helps you keep track of the calories in settings that usually don’t provide access to the caloric count. In addition, it helps save time for you in the future by selecting your custom pre-set food so you don’t have to add the ingredients each time manually.

C25K

Couch to 5k is an app that will get you to running 5ks in only two months. It has a fitness plan broken down in easy- to- digest segments for beginners and advanced people alike. You just need to commit three days per week, and the running exercises at the beginning gradually build up your endurance and push you to endure harder exercises at the end. It helps you take small steps to reach your end goal and before you know it, you’ll have developed a habit for life!

Sweatcoin

Sweatcoin is an app that tracks your steps and uses a high conversion rate to convert your steps into sweatcoins (1000 steps/sweatcoin). Sweatcoin can be redeemed for prizes that range from coupons to things like speakers and iPhones. Sweatcoins are capped at 5 each day and cannot be traded, so it guarantees the user is putting in work for their end reward. With health as a prize in itself, now people can be materialistically be rewarded for their progress. There are even cash prizes that can be redeemed as well. Earning tangible rewards is another external motivator for people who like to work towards goals and keep track of their progress consistently.

Headspace

Headspace is a meditation app that has a series of recording for resolving problems based on current needs. A smooth calming voice walks you through the process, and afterward you feel refreshed and focused for the rest of the day. It is fantastic for meditating anywhere and anyplace provided, as long as you have headphones. This activity requires little time, as short as under 10 minutes, to reap the full benefits!

Calm

Calm is a meditation app that has different styles of meditation. There are different styles of meditation that play pre-recorded audio that walks you through the process of meditation. What is enjoyable about the app is the unique styles of meditation already premade, so you can immediately begin the process without the fuss of scrolling through different topics and trying to figure which one fits your style. You are not limited by what you choose initially and you should try browsing all the styles to see which one works best for you.

Aura

Aura is a meditation app that allows you to choose which meditation style you need for that moment. A person will speak and guide you through the process to help you achieve whatever state you required. You can read user reviews of different playlists and find the one that suits you the best. Premium features of this app include life coaching, stories, and music. There is also a community to help share thoughts and feedback on different playlists so you can find people to connect with on your personal journey towards a better mental state.

HIITWorkouts

HIIT Workouts are for people who want to be physically challenged and have a limited amount of time in their day to do so. There are different types of workouts to varying levels of difficulty. You get a virtual trainer who will take you through the exercises and demonstrates the exercises. Most workouts are less than half an hour long, but high-intensity training is meant to get your body moving fast in as little time as possible. With a premium subscription, you can unlock more exercises and customize them as well.

Lifesum

Lifesum is a calorie tracker app that has an extensive list of foods you can record and also has a barcode scanner to make calorie tracking even more convenient. Tracking your food and calories is simple with this app, and you only need to spend a few seconds jotting down your meals, so it doesn’t feel like a chore. Premium features that are available include access to recipe list and tailored meal plan specific to your needs and wants.

Keep: Fitness & Workout Trainer

Keep Training is a fitness tracking app that plans workouts on a timeline for you. By determining your exercise experience level and your goals for fitness, you will be able to download your fitness plan and exercise to take with you without needing to be connected to the internet. The demos in the exercises are amazing in the amount of detail and information given for each exercise. From a video demonstration of the exercise to the pictures of the specific muscles being targeted to common mistakes, you will be able to understand each exercise and the impact it has on your body.

Walking

Walking is a fitness app that tracks your walking pace. If you walk often, this app is excellent for keeping track of your steps. Even if you don’t go for frequent walks, you should still consider this app as a low-intensity activity that you can keep up nearly every day. Just walking outside after meals can keep you feeling refreshed and focused on lots of other health benefits. Features that are included after buying a premium subscription include 80+ workouts, 1200+min of vocal training, 70+ weight loss tips, and no ads.

Charity Miles

Run for a good cause! Charity Miles is an active fitness app that allows you to choose a charity you want to donate to and earn money for them by running or biking miles! If you run often, need external motivation, or want an extra incentive besides staying in shape, this app is created just for you. You also have the option to get friends to sponsor your efforts and donate money to your cause.

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Digital Health

AR and VR Applications in Healthcare

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Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) have been growing to encompass a variety of different fields, from business and gaming to healthcare applications. Research into healthcare applications for AR and VR technologies have swelled up in the past decade with the advances in computing power. Currently, AR and VR healthcare applications have been focused on educating or simulating different treatments for surgeons and clinicians. There are three key healthcare delivery stages as defined by the world health organization: Primary care; Secondary care; Tertiary care interventions. According to a research study done in the UK analyzing all the ongoing research in AR and VR in healthcare application, there is a broad focus in hospital and clinical settings. Here is a list of interesting technologies in development or are currently rolled out in hospitals and clinics.

Image by zedinteractive from Pixabay
  • There have been developments in dental care using a 3D iOS scanning system to create dental abutments and to potentially plan for surgical interventions.
  • Simulated needle placements for training purposes, with haptic feedback systems to simulate real tissue.
  • Simulations of surgery procedures for greater patient engagement with practitioners on the outcomes of surgeries.
  • Aiding surgery with additional information about the patient anatomy by reconstructing patient anatomy using spatial information collected through using image-based tracking.
  • Training nature of tools developed need full surgical theater settings and require a hospital setting for deployment.
  • Simulations of health conditions are being developed so that interventions can be planned for a wide variety of scenarios.
  • Human body measurements captured through computer-aided design (CAD) to process 3D measurements and display modeled body shapes.
  • Handheld technology through a hand-held surface scanner can be used to present spatial information in a mobile format.
  • There is a system being developed to measure the size of wounds using 3D sensing technology to improve the reliability and accuracy of surface measurements continuously.
  • A hand-motion based VR game used as a therapy treatment to reduce hand muscle problems associated with keyboard overuse.
  • AR and VR can be combined to add greater depth to technologies. Research for a system has been made to use AR to project a virtual brain onto the patient’s head. On the same system, VR will be used to allow the patient to have a hands-on experience with the projection to see the solutions implemented.
  • The Xbox Kinect has been used for developing AR anatomy education.
  • A wheelchair navigation system using smartphones to scan specific locations in order to assist the user in moving around their environment.

In short, AR is used to visual pre- or intraoperative images onto the patient’s anatomy to aid in decision making moving forward. VR has been used for educational purposes and interacting with anatomy. The future of healthcare will be greatly enhanced for patients and healthcare providers alike.

Source: 

  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1532046419300206?via%3Dihub

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Digital Health

5 Reasons Virtual Reality is Changing the Game of Medicine

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Virtual reality can truly transport you to a different world. As many people have reported the first time they try out a headset, the experience is incredibly lifelike. Virtual reality today is producing not only more advanced video games that evoke real emotion in people but a solution for the healthcare industry too. Virtual reality is enhancing the patient experience to the process of rehabilitation. Many VR developers including Samsung have stepped up to produce technology over the last decade that is built with patient experience in mind.

VR applications in the medical field are almost limitless at this point. VR technology is working to deliver an immediate benefit in these five sectors of health care:

  1. Training: VR programs have been introduced for clinical skills training support. Medical students can complete surgical skill training in the form of simulations. Doctors can complete full procedures in VR without risking patient health and feel more confident in their abilities going into a real procedure having done the simulation.
  2. Prevention: VR experiences for promoting wellness, managing stress and treating addictive behavior are all occurring today. Specific programs for helping people to manage stress and coping their addiction are working to improve the patient in stressful situations.
  3. Adherence during training: improving patient experience through various VR training and game-like features is helping medical facilities to engage with patients during the treatment process. This can lead to better injury recovery and more.
  4. Pain management: VR distraction experiences are now being used as an alternative to painkillers. These solutions can reduce the overall dosage of painkillers that are required during specific procedures, and they can even eliminate the use of painkillers in situations such as dressing burns and more.
  5. Telemedicine: standalone VR systems and cell phone-based systems can be of use for providing health care access remotely. Connecting with physicians through VR could enhance chronic disease management and help physicians support improved home diagnosis and recovery.

VR applications in healthcare can have almost limitless possibilities such as overcoming phobias in mental health conditions, fulfilling the dying wishes of the palliative care patient, easing stress during procedures like vaccinations and continuing to provide support as an alternative to painkillers.

Many manufacturers are working on dropping the price of their headset substantially. For medical use, there are headsets now available for less than $100 that can be used with most smartphone devices. As a long-term strategy, VR is still an industry that is mostly consumer driven, but as more developers step forward and continue producing products for medical use, we may see more hospitals continuing to implement this technology for their patients.

As more people have access to this technology at home, it could also improve the availability of applications that they could access on their smartphones or VR devices. Patients both in medical facilities and at home will be able to take advantage of the therapeutic effects of this fantastic technology as long as developers keep scaling up their efforts.

Source:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/reenitadas/2018/05/31/virtual-reality-the-alternative-to-marijuana-and-opioids-for-pain-management/#6df84d9851d6

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Digital Health

The Connection between Smartphones and Atrial Fibrillation Detection

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After seven years of extensive research and development, a new app created at Turku University, Finland recently revealed that it could detect atrial fibrillation without the use of additional equipment. The phone application has the possibility to save lives across the globe because timely diagnosis of the atrial fibrillation is vital in stroke prevention. This joint research of Turku University & the Turku Heart Centre has studied 300 patients having heart-related issues; half of them were having atrial fibrillation. And, the researchers also identified the patients having atrial fibrillation from another group with the smart mobile. The phone app, which was designed at Turku University, had detected which group members had  atrial fibrillation, that too with a 96% accuracy with few false positives.

Members of the study included those who had ventricular extrasystole, heart failure, and coronary disease. With a wide spectrum of heart conditions, the research at the University of Turku was conducted as blind research, meaning that the hospital sent measurements of data for conducting analysis even without any additional information of specific patient conditions. The complete analyses were then sent back to the University of Turku hospital to further examine the reliability.

Is Atrial Fibrillation always Detected at the Doctor’s Office?

No, atrial fibrillation is not always detected at the doctors office, even if it is in its intermittent stages. Proper detection of atrial fibrillation has been a pertinent challenge in medicine due to its affordability constraints.

During the seven year period, the researchers decided to check whether it’s possible for them to detect the atrial fibrillation from micro movements in the chest along with accelerometers.  In the year 2017 when the research was completed, they ascertained that it is quite possible. This means that everyone who owns smartphones has the potential to detect atrial fibrillation, as most smartphones have an accelerometer.

Therefore, this mobile application not only can direct patients straight to doctors without any further delay but can also lead to significant economic savings.

When will we see the App in the Market?

The researchers aim to make this app available for everyone relatively soon and believe that the app can spread to the world market. The commercialization of this app is quickly advancing. Currently, the researchers have applied for patent protection regarding all the new techniques which are at the initial stages of the research.

Source: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/03/180316100609.htm

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