Oh technology. Right when I feel myself closing the information gap, there you go again, blasting off, ten leaps ahead of me.
Since I live deep within the world of start-ups and software, I feel it is my duty to try and keep up with the lightening speed pace of the industry, constantly adopting the latest gadget or widget into my life. Through dedicated trolling of techcrunch, wired, and valleywag (you know, for the gossip), I have slowly but surely taken steps to becoming more tech savvy. First, there was the blog. Then came the iPhone. And next? I don’t know, but I am becoming so embedded in web culture that I might as well start writing code and move to the Valley. But before I venture beyond my gas stove to find some VC funding, I’ll pause on this digital topic for a moment and discuss how technology can make your health care as easy as using google maps.
On a day to day basis, I juggle tasks involved with my work, medical care, low sodium diet, and of course, the many Lupus and kidney-related symptoms which seem to rear their ugly head right when it is too late to call a doctor. With all of these balls in the air at once, it is easy to feel like I’m loosing my mind, or at least forgetting something important. But thanks to that flashy pal in my pocket, the smart phone, I can now keep all of all my health information in one place. Better yet, I can add programs that help me fit beneficial workouts or meditation exercises within my busy schedule, improving my daily sense of well-being. Who knew I could find a personal assistant, personal trainer, and a personal dietitian all at the touch of a button?
Of course, these applications will never replace the real, in-person benefits of going to a yoga class or speaking with a medical practitioner, but they will give you a strong sense of power over your health, which can often feel beyond one’s control. So hop on that iTunes or check out the websites of these life-improving devices and give yourself a bit of a break. Tech on.
FITNESS & NUTRITION:
iFitness: The #1 fitness application worldwide, created by Medical Productions, and available for $1.99. This application is a “comprehensive exercise database” with pictures, videos, and instructions enabling even the beginner gym junkie to create the ideal workout routine. Exercises are sorted by body region or muscle group so you can target any problem area and achieve every one of your fitness goals. Make customized workouts and stay fit while you travel with the equipment-free routines. Use it at home in front of your TV or amongst body builders. Either way, this application will help you stay in shape and it is a cheap alternative to some guy named Blaze who tells you your BMI is too high. Not gonna lie, I just bought it.
theCarrot: Best news here, this app is FREE! This application allows you to track everything from your fitness goals to medication lists to your blood pressure readings. It is a one-stop, interactive health journal that helps keep track of your goals and will make you “just plain feel better.” The most amazing part of theCarrot is its analytical functions. Perhaps you have been having more headaches lately. Well, with the help of this application, you can track the amount of sodium you have been eating, the hours you have worked out, and the kind of sleep you have been getting. Then, theCarrot will aggregate all of this information, make a pretty graph, and give you some explanation of how all these distinct actions may be causing your painful symptoms. Again, the application cannot replace your doctor, but it will help you make more sense of your medical needs.
NutritionFacts: For $2.99, you can have access to nutritional information of over 7,500 different food products and restaurant menu items. From what I can tell, the application is linked to the USDA list of nutritional information, which is the holy grail of food labels. Trying to figure out the best low salt dinner? Want to know how much sodium is in yellowtail? Just type your quandary into the search bar and you’ll have the answer in an instant. 42mg for 3oz. Hazzah!
DINING & COOKING:
iFarm Market: As we’ve discussed before, one of the easiest ways to keep your meals low sodium is to cook the from scratch. And when cooking from scratch, fresh ingredients make all the difference. For $0.99, the iFarm Market app will point you towards your closest farmers market with detailed location and address information. Don’t forget your reusable bag!
Massage Me: Make this application a part of your daily health routine. For the cost of a Lionel Richie hit single, $0.99, you can program our ideal massage pattern. Work out those kinks and loosen some muscles after a long day of being awesome. You deserve it.
Pain Free Book: Can’t get into that stellar physical therapist or masseuse? Try this application in the meantime and get to the root of your achey problem asap. The e-pamphlet costs $0.99 and will give you the poses and stretches to relieve your pain, chronic or new.
Yoga Stretch: Create up to 5 custom yoga sessions or play the preloaded routines, all to the background of your own music. Part fitness, part meditation, for $0.99 you are afforded 60 minutes of bliss. Use the audio instructor at will, skip poses, and go at your own flow. This is a spiritual (and tush) uplifter.
WebMd Mobile: Have a question about a certain symptom or need an answer to a health query but can’t get a hold of your doctor? Usethis FREE mobile application for quick explanations that will help you make good health decisions.
SOS 4 Life (Lite): For those who travel with a chronic condition, this FREE application will make you feel secure. This program allows you to translate your most important medical information into the most commonly spoken languages at the touch of a button. It also has 1-touch dialing for your emergency contacts and doctors, making sure even the unexpected emergency while abroad is smooth sailing.
Emergency Info: Perhaps you already have a medical bracelet, but it never hurts to be extra prepared. At $0.99, this application will store your pertinent medical information so that if you are ever alone and in trouble, medical professionals will know exactly what to do. Be sure to tell family and friends that you have added this application to your phone.