Travelers Turn to Mobile Health Apps To Manage Their Medical Conditions

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A growing number of mobile medical applications aim to help travelers manage their medical conditions, the New York Times reports.

Some mobile apps allow users to store their health information before a trip in case of emergency. For example, the iPad app drawMD lets patients who have had surgery record the exact location of a device or bypass.

Other apps aim to help travelers find urgent care while abroad. The Emergency Medical Center Locator app includes data on 2,400 medical centers in 101 countries. The app uses an iPhone's GPS to help users find the closest care center that has been approved by a credentialing society like the American College of Cardiology.

Several apps aim to help travelers manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Apps like Glucose Buddy and GluCoMo remind users to track and record their blood sugar levels. Another app, Diabetes Manager, allows users to input various health measures and offers advice on actions they could take to adhere to their treatment plan.

Other apps offer treatment guidance. For example, the RxmindMe Prescription/Medicine Reminder and Pill Tracker app reminds users when to take their medications, and the Epocrates app helps users identify prescription drugs by asking questions about a pill's color, shape and markings.

In addition, some apps target physicians who might be called on to provide unexpected medical assistance while traveling. The NeuroMind app leads doctors through a series of questions to help them diagnose a patient who has had a head trauma or is unresponsive.

Paul Cerrato, a medical app reviewer and the editor of InformationWeek Healthcare, recommends that patients who plan to travel talk with their physicians to select the apps that are best for their situation (Weed, New York Times, 6/11).


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