The Intersection of Smartphones and Wellness | Revere Health

Mobile technology has a powerful influence on nearly all aspects of life, including health. According to the American Heart Association, smartphone apps and wearable sensors are promising devices for improving cardiovascular health behaviors, and may help encourage positive health changes for some people.

How might technology impact your health, and how can you use your smartphone to help with your wellness? Let’s take a look.

Technology and Health Data

As of 2015, about one in five American adults used some technology to track health data. The most popular apps relate to exercise, counting steps or heart rate monitoring.

When researching the statement about the potential benefits of smartphone apps and wearable sensors, the following areas—all part of the American Heart Association’s Simple 7—were considered:

  • •Managing weight: People who use mobile technology as part of a weight loss program were more successful in short-term weight loss, though there wasn’t any published data on longer-term situations.
  • •Exercise: The majority of studies show that using an online program can boost physical activity more than not using one, but not enough research has been done about whether monitoring devices actually help with more movement.
  • •Smoking: Mobile phone apps that use texting to help quit smoking can nearly double the chances of quitting, but about 90 percent of these people still fail to quit after six months.
  • •Reducing blood sugar.
  • •Controlling cholesterol and blood pressure, along with diabetes.

Smartphones and Health Apps

There are two primary types of health apps available:

  • •Deviceless apps: These are apps that require no extra equipment and operate independently. These may include checks for calories, monitoring sleep time and quality, or checking blood pressure using just your smartphone. All you need for these apps is your phone, which most people carry with them most of the time anyway.
  • •Device-connected apps: Some apps require you to connect your phone to a separate device, like a glucose monitor for people with diabetes. These apps record and store measurements from the device, and can often convert the data into graphs or other useful forms. These apps commonly come from the device manufacturer themselves, which means they won’t be as widely available as devicesless apps in most cases.

Proper Use

There are several areas that these apps can be useful for, including:

  • •Watching your weight
  • •Reminders to take medications
  • •Motivation for exercise
  • •Allowing patients to connect with care teams, including receiving texts from pharmacists about prescription renewals or similar reminders

Know that for apps that rate things like heart rate or blood pressure, more clinical studies may be needed before these can be considered completely reliable.

Your doctor can offer additional recommendations about your use of technology and smartphone apps in your overall well-being

Revere Health Imaging offers the most advanced imaging technology in Utah Valley with convenient locations and reduced-cost exams. We even offer our imaging services at night for your convenience. Contact us today at 801-812-4624 for an appointment!

Sources:

“Mobile technology may help people improve health behaviors.” ScienceDaily. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/08/150813171201.htm

“How smartphone apps could help you stay healthy.” Kaiser Permanente. https://www.kpwashingtonresearch.org/live-healthy/all-articles/live-healthy-2015/how-smartphone-apps-could-help-you-stay-healthy/

This information is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. You should always consult your doctor before making decisions about your health.

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