Apps: Healthcare & Fitness
The App Store is like the weather. Everybody complains about it but nobody does anything about it. The store is still full of junk apps and people still buy them. But every once in a while you come across an app that is worthwhile and in this case, could actually save lives.
PocketCPR is such an app. While labeled for "TRAINING USE ONLY" and I'm sure some lawyers would have something to say about it, the idea is to guide you through Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation in an emergency. The app leverages the accelerometer to determine how well you are performing and give you audible and visual advice if you need to go faster or slower.
The free ICE App is one that everyone should have — and hopefully no one will need to use. The idea is simple: everyone is supposed to have an ICE contact in their phone, "ICE" standing for "in case of emergency." ICE App suggests that you put its icon in the upper right-hand corner of the main screen. The app lets you enter four categories of info: who you are, your emergency contacts, medical info, and allergies.
I suppose apps like this have been around for a while, but I hadn't heard of them. And I think it's a really neat idea. The free SportyPal app uses your iPhone's GPS to track your workout — running, cycling, roller-blading, walking, or whatever. The app logs your position, shows it on a map, and logs your movement, distance, speed, and calories burned while working out. You can view your workout in a map view, which shows where you went. And you can view the stats as charts or in summary fashion. Plus, it offers real-time information while you're working out, such as speed/pace, distance covered, and maximum speed.
Apps that help parents manage their children's health and make better healthcare decistion
As healthcare providers for young children, we’re very aware of the challenges faced by new parents and the common mistakes they make. There are a few iPhone apps that can help parents provide better healthcare for their children. Note that these apps do not replace the need to consult healthcare professionals. For example, the first app helps you track medication dosages and timing when you’re caring for a child with a fever and even gives dosage recommendations. You should always consult a professional about which medication to use and to confirm dosage and timing recommendations.
I like this app because it’s like having a first-aid instruction book with me all the time. I particularly like the Emergencies & Injuries section. If I need to know how to wrap a sprained ankle or perform the Heimlich maneuver, it’s right there in my iPhone, complete with instructions and illustrations.
This past week, the Illness Tracker App has become my best friend. (Winkpass Creations, $0.99)
I don't have to remember when I gave the kids their medicine or what their fever was. While at the doctor's office, I just opened the app and everything was right there.
If you've been paying close attention, as most developers do, to the App Store, you may have noticed some changes.
- New Releases only show BRAND NEW apps, i.e. version 1.0
- Updates are not included in the New Releases
This is potentially a good thing for users but there are some downsides.
The good news is, you won't have to search through old apps to find new gems. It might also discourage developers from submitting minor updates just to be featured on the New Releases page. That will also cut down on approval time as fewer apps need to be reviewed.
I've always loved the sound of thunderstorms, and now I have some great ones on my iPhone. A company called Naturespace has recorded 65 thunderstorms from around the U.S. and put them into the Thundergod app. They use stereo effectively to track the thunder across the sky so that you feel like you're actually in a thunderstorm. There's a sleep timer so that you can fall asleep to these relaxing sounds. The app isn't cheap, at $9.99, but the quality of recording is excellent.
Apple recently announced a major shift in how they treat free apps and I have been mulling over what it means to developers, in addition to end users.
In the past, "In-App Purchases", or the ability to add features to an app, were only available for paid apps. Free apps could not be upgraded, short of purchasing the paid version separately. Now, users of these free apps can purchase upgrades.
On one hand, more choices are a good thing. But I have some concerns.