Quick Guide:10 Top Health Apps to Start Using Now

The number of health-related apps has increased to more than 165,000 and more than 100 percent since 2013 making one thing clear – we turn to our tech for at least some of our health-related needs.

That’s according to a new report from IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics, a health care information technology company.

And though the number of health-related apps has exploded, a mere 36 apps account for more than half of all downloads.

PC Mike brought you the top three apps to help you manage when you take your pills (medications, vitamins, and dietary supplements) in his weekly report for NBC-TV this week. You can see that report here: http://pcmike.com/apps-that-remind-you-to-take-your-medicines/

We thought it would be a good idea to feature some of the other apps widely used and to help you manage your health:

Exercise and Fitness

hero.5d54b0f3c9cfMapMyFitness is an app that uses your phone’s built-in GPS to track all your fitness activities. You can track workout details (duration, pace, speed, elevation, etc.) and save and upload your workout data to see your workout history. MapMyFitness – also among the most often prescribed apps by physicians – is available for iOS and Android.

Runtastic is another app that tracks running, jogging, walking, cycling and other fitness activities using your phone’s GPS. It allows users to share their workout activities with others and keeps a record of what you do so you can reach your exercise goals. This one is for iOS, Android, and Windows Phone.

Diet and Nutrition

Calorie Counter & Diet Tracker from the folks at MyFitness Pal is designed to help users keep track of what they’re eating. Not only is it among the most popular health apps, but also among the top apps actually prescribed by physicians.The developers claim users of this app have lost a combined 200 million pounds. It’s a cool app that allows you to actually scan the barcodes of the foods you eat and cross-references that with its database of more than 5 million foods. You can also input your exercise activity. This one is free, but only available for iOS.

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MyNetDiary is another one that allows users to input and track caloric intake of what they eat using barcodes from packages. MyNetDiary is endorsed by the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. It also allows you to take body measurements, such as blood pressure, blood glucose, and more. MyNetDiary is available for iOS and Android.

Diabetes Management

Diabetes Logbook is from the developers at mySugr. This is one of the few apps that is actually FDA-approved. It charts blood levels and helps you keep track of blood glucose, food (carb) intake, and even how you’re feeling. Reviewers seem to love the app and say it’s made a dramatic difference in their lives. The app is available for iOS and Android and is free though for more money you can expand its capabilities.

Glucose Buddy is another top app for managing diabetes. It, too, allows you to track what you put into your body, from food to medications. And you can add your activities in, as well. You can even set it up to get notifications every two hours so everything stays balanced. Glucose Buddy is free for iOS.

Best of the Rest

Depression CBT Self-Help Guide is the top app for managing issues related to depression. It helps determine level of help needed by a screening test users take on their own. The app also has all kinds of useful articles about clinical depression and cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT). Depression CBT Self-Help Guide also has audio exercises to help with relaxation. The app is for Android.

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Instant Heart Rate uses your phone’s camera to determine heart rate.

Instant Heart Rate by Azumio is an app you can use to determine your heart rate instantly. The developer claims it is the “first, fastest, and most accurate mobile heart rate monitor.” They also say it’s been downloaded more than 35 million times. Instant Heart Rate doesn’t require any special gadgets other than your phone’s camera. All you do is put your finger on your camera lens and the app can detect changes in the color of your finger. That’s all it needs to show you on your phone’s screen what your heart rate is – just like you’re in the hospital. It’s available for iOS, Android, and Windows. According to IMS, Instant Heart Rate is one of the most downloaded apps for Android devices.

Another in that list Android apps with the most downloads is Period Tracker by GP International. According to the description, the app allows users to track details about how they are feeling and can be used to help predict when menstrual cycles will occur. It’s also available for iOS and Windows devices.

QuitSTART is an app to help users stop smoking. It was created by the Tobacco Control Research Branch at the National Cancer Institute in collaboration with the FDA and experts in the field of smoking cessation. It works by helping users monitor progress and earn badges for smokefree milestones and other achievements. It also helps manage cravings and bad moods in healthy ways. The app is free for iOS and Android.

Do you have any health-related apps that have made a difference in your life? Leave us a comment or voicemail and we’ll add it to the list.

Posted in: Tips

About the Author:

Andrew is a writer and producer/content developer for Roadtreking.com and the PC Mike Techcast at PCMike.com. He has been a professional storyteller for 16 years, building a successful career as a newspaper reporter and public relations specialist. Andrew's work has appeared in Crain’s Detroit Business, The Oshkosh Northwestern, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Crain’s Chicago Business, Advertising Age, Automotive News, Waste News, Appleton Post-Crescent, and Real Detroit.