• News
  • 1 March, 2010

The doctor is always in

TimesOnline is reporting on the growing number health related applications. I’m not just talking about that GPS app that tracks how far you ran or the news widget that shows health related topics. These apps act as your personal trainer, keep track of your blood pressure, sleep cycles, fertility, menstrual cycles, diabetes management, and auditory aids, just to name a few:

Beyond this lies a revolutionary future where cheap app technology can monitor our health wherever we are, diagnose conditions, deliver medicines into our bodies — and chide us for lazing about. Paul Williamson, the head of wireless medical at Cambridge Consultants, a company that develops new products, says that while consumer health is one of the three fastest growing areas in apps, the serious commercial interest lies in the next level, where wearable or implanted monitors upload information about your body on to your phone, which then transmits it to health experts.

Dan Woolley says he might not be alive if it were not for a first-aid app he downloaded from the American Heart Association. Woolley was caught in the Haitian earthquake while making a film about child poverty. As he lay injured in the rubble of his hotel, “I looked up excessive bleeding and I looked up compound fracture,” he says. The app showed him how to bandage his injured leg with his shirt and use his belt to stem the blood loss. It also cautioned against drifting off to sleep, so he set his phone’s alarm to ring every 20 minutes. After 65 hours, he was pulled to safety.

The potential is so great, says Williamson, that rival corporations are collaborating to ensure that their gadgets talk to each other. Odd as it seems to have a bunch of appliances discussing your health via your mobile, it is happening now, says Williamson. Electronic scales can upload your weight on to your mobile, and an app can advise you what to eat that day. The £119 Withings WiFi Body Scales also acts as an “I tweet your weight” machine, recruiting peer pressure to bolster slimmers’ resolve. Joseph Kvedar, the director of the Massachusetts-based Centre for Connected Health, is tweeting data from his scales. He explained via Twitter: “The goal is to see if my followers will help me keep down around 182lb-183lb.

If app monitoring isn’t your thing, or if you’re looking for a simpler system, why not Google Health? Not only does it have the Google accessibility we all love, you can import data from select providers,  and have the option to share data with your health care professional.

Google Health
[SOURCE TimesOnline]