These days, it may seem like we are always ‘plugged in’ – whether it be using our smartphone, tablet, laptop or other smart device, technology is engrained into our everyday life. The term ‘unplugging’ has become important in a world where we are always connected. Although using our devices in moderation is important, research has shown that the technologies we are using can also support our health goals. From helping manage medications, enabling socializing, providing access to health information, supporting weight loss, and more, technology can be a valuable part of our health and wellness journey. We’ve compiled a few examples of how apps can help you.
Mobile apps for blood sugar control
For older adults with type 2 diabetes, the addition of a mobile phone app that supports lifestyle adjustments to your treatment arsenal may help reduce average blood sugar levels. Don’t forget to connect with your health care provider to discuss your interest in this strategy, how best to integrate it into your treatment plan and any concerns over safety that you may have.
Mobile apps for nutrition
People living with chronic diseases face many daily hurdles that interfere with their ability to stay on top of their diet. Using a dietary mobile app has shown potential in helping individuals lower their weight, trim their waistline, and control their calorie intake. The apps that led to these successful results allowed for self-monitoring—giving users the ability to track things like diet and exercise. Most of these apps also incorporated or were based on some form of behavioural change theory, and in some cases delivered counselling through the app.
Text message reminders for managing medications
Many people have trouble keeping track of their medications, sometimes forgetting to take them regularly or as prescribed. As many as half of people with serious chronic conditions begin skipping doses – or stop taking the pills altogether – within a year of starting them, which can result in complications that can be severe or fatal. Studies have shown that text message reminders can help adults adhere to their prescribed medication.
If you are considering using a mobile app to manage your health, do your homework to find out which apps are backed by good quality evidence that they are both safe and effective. Speak with a health care provider about plans to add new tools into your treatment plan to find the best way to integrate them. To learn more about the benefits of mobile apps, read through our featured resources below.