It only seems a few short years ago that the only places people could obtain medical advice was from a doctor or a pharmacist. Then along came the internet. However, depending on the sites visited, it has never been the most suitable place for accurate medical information. The NHS Direct telephone service was next, providing expert medical advice from trained professionals at the other end of the line.
40,000 Medical Apps
Today, the world has gone smartphone crazy, with millions of apps downloaded every single day. Medical apps and those designed to help people maintain a healthier lifestyle are increasing in popularity. In fact, it is estimated that by the year 2015 30% of people who own a smartphone will have downloaded a health-based app. Already there are an astonishing 40,000 different medical apps on the market, ranging from those dispensing medical advice to weight-loss and pregnancy apps. The UK government even suggested last year that GPs should recommend certain apps to patients for practical advice on things such as checking blood pressure.
Of all the various categories of app available which come under the health and well-being banner, undoubtedly the most popular currently are those concerned with weight loss and physical exercise. Although some experts have noted that many of these apps do not include any actual dieting strategies, many users find them a good motivational tool and handy for calculating their calorie intake. The social media side of these apps is also another point in their favour, with users now able to share their progress with their friends, thereby encouraging each other to succeed.
Encouraging a Healthier Lifestyle
Of course, there is always the danger with things such as this that some people could wrongly self-diagnose and worry unnecessarily. However, the big advantage that many of the better apps have over just searching the internet is that a number of them can provide instant results. For example, there is an iPhone app available which measures the heart rate when the user places their fingertip on the screen. In addition to providing a resting heart rate, it can also record the number of heart beats during physical exercise. While never being able to substitute for face-to-face medical advice from a health professional, apps such as this do encourage more people to look a little bit closer at their lifestyle choices and think about their health in general.
The mobile phone market, in particular the one for smartphones, is vast and will only continue to grow. From downloading apps to being able to design your own phone case, there really is no limit to what can be done on a smartphone these days. Health and lifestyle apps, when used sensibly and responsibly, are an excellent way for people to keep a check on their wellbeing.
This was a guest post by www.mrnutcase.com