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By: Isabella Bauer

Isabella BauerWe live in a world in which we never want to be without our phones for fear of missing a call in an emergency, or facing a day without our phones to look at absentmindedly while we’re waiting for a metro ride or Uber. Since we can’t seem to live without our phones, why not use some of the 2.2 million apps for Android users and the 2 million apps for iPhone users to improve our health? Here are some examples, or learn more at the 2016 AAPS Annual Meeting and Exposition keynote session, Mobile Phones for Medicine: Moving Laboratory Tests into Our Pockets.

Sleepio

SleepioTrouble falling asleep after a late night in the lab or office? Try Sleepio. This sleep improvement app offers users the ability to improve your sleep schedule and fall asleep faster, stay asleep longer, and feel more refreshed in the morning. By setting your sleep goals, testing your sleep, and then building you a customized sleep plan, this app may be the answer to your wishes when you’re in bed staring up at the ceiling and trying to count sheep. While it’s not free, this app could be offered for free from your employer because better sleep means higher work productivity.

Breathe2Relax

Breate2relaxThere’s nothing I regret more than when I say something rude to a friend or loved one after a stressful day. The National Center for Telehealth and Technology aimed to help with these regretful moments and created Breathe2Relax. Breathe2Relax is a free, portable stress management tool that helps decrease the body’s fight-or-flight stress response and can stabilize mood (especially useful when in an office setting), control anger, and manage anxiety. The app allows the user to record their stress level on a visual scale and then uses images and video to aid the user in completing diaphragmatic breathing to lower stress levels. If you find yourself needing some guided deep-breathing exercises and yoga after work isn’t enough, waste no time and download Breathe2Relax.

Fooducate

FooducateImprove your health both physically and mentally by learning about food through this app. Similar to Sleepio and Breathe2Relax, Fooducate offers users the ability to track activity, sleep, mood, as well as the food that you consume. Gain knowledge about the food you’re eating and the health benefits or health detriments that ingredients in common foods offer you. With a simple scan of a barcode, users can see the ranking of the food, the ingredients in the item, and reviews from other members of Fooducate. You know what they say, an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but maybe in this case Fooducate will keep your hunger levels during work at bay.

 

Medisafe

MedisafeKeep track of your daily medication dosages and download Medisafe. With approximately 4.3 million prescriptions dispensed in the US in 2015, it’s no wonder that we lose track of our medications.  Medisafe, Inc. recognized the need for a prescription organization tool and created the Medisafe app.  The app allows users to track their current prescriptions and set daily reminders of when it’s time to take medication, and how much to take. If you find that you don’t necessarily need help tracking your own medication, but would like reminders about your loved one’s prescriptions, Medisafe allows you to track that as well. Medisafe can sync a family member’s prescription information with your app, so that you’re reminded when it’s time for your father, daughter, or even pet to take their medication. This prescription organization tool also reminds you when it’s time to refill you or your loved one’s prescription to ensure that you never miss a refill and you are never without potentially life-saving medication.

Whether you’re searching for that perfect app to help pass the time, or you need to de-stress and don’t know how, apps offer an amazing assortment of opportunities for users to find the best programs to meet any goal or wish. Might as well make use of those pesky phones that you can never seem to leave behind and improve your health with these accessible technological innovations.

Isabella Bauer is a senior at James Madison University and is the AAPS Public Outreach intern.