Technology is transforming all facets of our lives, including the ways we manage our health. A variety of technological tools help us take greater control of our well-being and make managing our health more convenient.
Online Tools and Apps Help Us Improve Our Health
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With more than a quarter of Americans admitting they’re online “almost constantly,” it makes sense that we’re using more web-based tools and mobile apps for our health management. Adoption of health apps is especially impressive, with 46 percent of Americans using health care apps in 2018, compared to just 16 percent in 2014, according to Accenture. A wide range of health apps provide workout inspiration, evaluate the nutritional content of your grocery list, suggest healthy recipes, remind you to engage in healthy habits like drinking more water, and much more.
Online health tools also help us improve our health and identify areas for change. For example, Lifesum’s BMI calculator makes it easy for users to determine their body mass index. Users who learn they are overweight or underweight can then take steps to get into a healthy weight bracket. The online BMI calculator offers an easy way to check their progress.
Wearable Fitness Trackers Monitor Changes in the Body
Wearable fitness trackers can go further than traditional tools and apps by monitoring changes within the body. Fitness bands can track sleeping patterns, heart rates, step counts, and other factors to help users know whether they’re meeting their fitness goals.
While fitness bands provide valuable data to all kinds of users, people who suffer from specific health complaints may also find targeted wearables useful. For example, Health Care Originals has developed a wearable device that tracks changes and alerts users of asthma symptoms. For those in the process of smoking cessation, Chrono Therapeutics’ Smart Stop uses motion sensors to detect when they are craving nicotine. It delivers medication to curb the cravings while keeping former smokers away from the cigarettes.
Telemedicine Let Us Receive Medical Care Away From Clinics
Telemedicine, or virtual care services, lets patients communicate with trained health professionals, usually via video chatting technology. A quarter of Americans have already used virtual-care services, and many more say they would utilize the technology. According to Accenture, 73 percent said they’d use telemedicine for after-hours medical attention. Just 28 percent said they’d use it for their annual physical.
This willingness to use telemedicine services when most doctor’s clinics aren’t accessible points to the technology’s wider potential. While people who can see a doctor face-to-face would typically choose this option, telemedicine could provide a good alternative for those who find visiting a clinic difficult. For example, telemedicine could help people living in remote areas or those with a fear of doctors offices receive the medical assistance they need to better manage their health.
While medical professionals will always play an important role, technology is helping us take greater control of our own health. User-friendly and convenient technological tools like those detailed above are changing the way we manage our health for the better.