Submitted by Catherine Frederico, MS, RDN, LDN
If you love digital health, then these are exciting times for you. Apple® boasts more than 900,000 apps in its App Store, and Android™ is close behind with more than 800,000 apps. It is estimated that tens of thousands are health-related apps. This
is amazing news, because the first app was published just 5 years ago. It also begs the question, “How do you find the ones you need?”
Both Android’s Googleplay.com and Apple’s iTunes App Store host app categories, but it is still often difficult to find them unless you already know the exact wording and spelling of the app. Just this year, Apple added a health category that helps somewhat. Voraciously reading health app reviews in magazines and newspapers also is a good idea. Still, one of the quickest and easiest ways to find a topical app is to just use Google’s search engine.
A more defined way to find health apps is to use www.Happtique.com. Happtique™ was begun by a group of hospitals in New York City. They hired health professionals to find and place health apps into 10 categories. They do not rank them, but have created detailed standards over the past year. Their business model is to market mini app store platforms to hospitals and medical clinics, which they can fill with their own apps or ones they recommend for their patients. Happtique also sponsors a weekly lunchtime BlogTalkRadiosm program about health apps on Thursdays.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics also hosts app lists for gluten, weight control, and diabetes on its Web site www.eatright.org/appreviews.
I often am asked about my favorite apps. I have more than 300 in my collection and have made a business out of finding the best apps on health topics. As a registered dietitian, many of my apps have a food or nutrition theme. In December 2011, I
decided to write a guide to apps that I thought would interest health professionals, and then I wrote a separate version for consumers. Called An App A Day, they are available for purchase at www.AppyLiving.com. AnApp A Day for consumers has 11 categories and highlights 400 apps.
I also have become an app developer and have designed or worked on eight apps in the iTunes App Store. These include Food Focus:Fruits, Veggie Garden Palooza, Breast Cancer Care, Max’s Plate, Mix and Max, App reSolutions, and Go Social.
These tips should help you find apps on the health topics you want.