|Apps for carers|
|Tuesday, 01 May 2012 00:00|
Mobile phone applications, or ‘apps’ are programs that run on smart phones – such as the iPhone (by Apple Inc.), Blackberry (by Research in Motion Ltd) or Android (by Google Inc).
It’s worth researching what an app can and can’t do for you before you download it.
The iPhone leads the pack in terms of quantity of health-related apps, with over 7,000 available.
One serious caveat: don't assume a health app is safe. “Anyone can develop an app and it’s not based on U.S. (or Australian) standards or those of … any real governing regulatory body,” says Joseph Kim, a physician and founder of MedicalSmartphones.com and other websites.
That said, there are some common-sense strategies to assess health apps, according to Dr Kim. Ask your doctor or health care provider for advice, and read app reviews on the websites of reputable medical facilities, such as the Mayo Clinic, Harvard Medical School and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
There are lots of apps that have been designed especially for carers and people with a disability.
Care of an aging, disabled or ailing relative with health-care issues can be stressful and confusing, but a growing number of these free or cheap smartphone apps aim to help caregivers keep track of medication dosages, nutritional requirements and other daily health-care needs.
The ‘Personal Caregiver’ free iPhone app for example allows you to schedule and track the medications of up to three people, including your own medications. The app alerts you when you need to take your next lot of medication/s and reminds you what they look like (e.g. the red pill), the dosage and how frequently you need to have the medicine.
It helps you to manage your prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, and refills, on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The Personal Caregiver app claims it will help you improve your overall health with ‘set it and forget it’ reminders that tell you when it’s time to take your medication and when it’s time to get a refill so you don’t miss any doses.
Basic functionality is free, but an upgrade to access detailed medication information and additional profiles to manage others costs a small fee. The premium edition also allows you to receive recall alerts from the US Food and Drug Administration and more detailed medication information.
Personal Caregiver was created by Medic8 Manager, LLC a Chicago-based startup founded by Dan Bernstein. Dan founded Medic8 Manager after seeing his mother-in-law who was diagnosed with cancer, struggle to manage her changing drug regimen.
Download this app from: