If you’ve ever wanted to get healthier and decided to try fitness tracking with an app, you might have discovered that we, the world, haven’t quite solved it yet.
At one point, I was tracking how many calories I burned and consumed, and within the few days I was about to quit as I ran into what felt like a ridiculous problem.
It was easy at first, and tracking my workouts was a breeze as I simply had to configure the smartwatch and connect it to my phone in order to track my workouts. It wasn’t perfect — in fact, there were lots of situations where it under- or over reported how far I was running but getting started and tracking the data itself was a pretty smooth experience.
The other side of the equation, however, was an entirely different experience. Tracking what I consumed was a nightmare as no parts of it were automatic and I manually had to pick each dish for a predefined library of food — or worse, enter it from scratch myself.
But that wasn’t even the worst part.
Up until this point, I hadn’t realized that the dishes I ate may not be the same style as the one I entered in the app, meaning the calorie count would be accurate in some cases while in others it wasn’t or the portion size was off defeating the purpose of accuracy.
It was such a hassle that I was glad when my experiment finally finished. It’s a great example of where tech innovation can help us but isn’t quite “there” yet.
Fitness trackers and other personal healthcare apps are popular these days. They are handy for tracking our workouts and health history, remembering to take medicine on time or even offering us to speak directly with a physician when we feel ill. But personal healthcare apps can also be used for things like:
- Directories (e.g. encyclopedias of diets or exercises)
- To control or influence our behavior or lifestyle
- As personal diagnostic devices and personal electronic medical records
- As an individual diary (e.g. for the female cycle)
In this article, we’ll look at exciting personal healthcare apps from all over the world that you might not have heard about before.
One of the frustrating things for some founders of healthcare apps is that people assume that they’re ‘just’ an app and get compared to apps that look similar on the surface. The beauty of many apps from healthcare startups are that they hide all the complexity of things like having enough physicians on schedule (but not too many), enough of them in your area, the ability to communicate with them easily, and a million other things at once.
It all gets hidden behind the click of a button which is amazing for us as a consumer, and we might forget that the technical part of the app may be the easier part of that complexity as it has been solved by others before us with solutions offered publicly such as at universities.
Examples personal healthcare apps
Healthcare can encompass many different things like our fitness, diet, mental health or, of course, sick care like helping us remember to take medicine or give us easy access to physicians whether virtually or in person.
Here’s our overall list:
- Ada health
- Ovia Health
- One Drop Mobile
Let’s dive right in!
Healthtab is there to help us when we need to see a physician right away, whether in person or virtually. The app also offers an A.I. powered symptom checker similar to Ada Health to help patients figure out what’s wrong and which type of doctor to see to get help.
The first app is Ada Health which can be used to check symptoms and discover what might be causing them any time during the day.
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Mental health is becoming more and more popular these days and the negative stigma associated with it is slowly in decline. Betterhelp offers the ability to speak with therapists virtually like other apps do for doctors of our blood and flesh.
Ovia Health helps specifically with health around family planning, trying to conceive and pregnancy-related topics. Basically, all things reproductive health from cycle tracking to parenthood.
One Drop Mobile
This app is about diabetes care and helps people with diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure improve their health. Basically, one app for managing diabetes, blood pressure, heart health, and weight all in one.
Pavlok is a smart-bracelet with the intent to help us change or break bad habits like biting nails. It does so by sending us small shocks through the bracelet — not enough to cause any problems but enough to remind us about the habit we are attempting to change.
A personal healthcare app I wish existed
Finally, I wanted to share an idea that I haven’t seen done before but I like to think has demand from health enthusiasts.
We already have the automatic workout tracker but its counterpart for our food consumption isn’t exactly great. Entering what we eat and drink manually is not only easy to forget but also to enter inaccurately and thus destroys the purpose of tracking entirely.
Speaking with a friend at a healthcare digital marketing agency, I noticed that it’s insane how much competition there is around workout tracking compared to food tracking even though it seems as if we’ve solved much more complicated problems with A.I. and machine learning already (the apps shared above for example).
- There are several businesses out there doing exciting things in the personal healthcare apps space and solving the complex problems that healthcare brings along with it
- They sometimes make it look as easy as just clicking a button in an app but there’s a lot of complexity under the hood, coordinating physicians and navigating the industry regulations
- We’ve more or less solved fitness tracking but it’s counterpart in food consumption tracking still leave things to be desired
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