Being a grown-ass woman means taking charge of your own healthcare. Personally, managing my own healthcare was the single most difficult thing for me to master when I left my mom's house at 20. Technology has made this easier: Now, health apps every grown-ass woman should have on her phone run the gamut from pharmacy apps to on-demand doctor apps that put you in charge of managing your wellbeing.
The National Institutes of Health reported that mobile apps are transforming the way doctors and patients connect. "Mobile devices and apps provide many benefits for [health care professionals] HCPs, perhaps most significantly increased access to point-of-care tools, which has been shown to support better clinical decision-making, and improved patient outcomes."
For you, the patient, being able to schedule appointments, track your prescriptions, and get on-demand care from your provider, or a new doctor, is a game changer. Some apps can even help you monitor chronic conditions. Researchers are working on something called Prescribed Health apps that will be able to perform functions like taking your blood pressure, testing your blood sugar, and monitoring your heart rate and cholesterol. The idea is to have all of your medical records stored in a single device, and create a medical ID that contains important emergency medical information.
And, health care apps are in high demand. One survey reported that 70 percent of those asked believe that health apps are useful in supporting patients who want to maintain their own health, according to Med Gadget.
It's a large and varied market, so I'm going to help you wade through some of the muck. Here are nine health care apps every grown ass woman should have on her phone.
1. Pharmacy Apps
Your pharmacy likely has an app, and if you're not using it you could be wasting both time and money. In a big city like Los Angeles, a trip to the pharmacy could eat up half of your day, and apps can be a big time saver. On the CVS Pharmacy app you can even locate a Minute Clinic, an on-demand walk-in healthcare option for things like birth control management, vaccines, pregnancy tests, or treatment for urinary tract and yeast infections. You can also check current wait times at the clinic so you're not spending your day there.
Most major drug stores have an app, and you can use it to transfer or refill prescriptions, get notifications when your scripts are ready for pick-up, pay for them ahead of time, and more. And, you can earn rewards to spend on all the other stuff you can seem to get out of the drug store without buying, like everything in the "As Seen On TV Aisle."
If you need a specialist yesterday, but the first available appointment is on some far off future date, UBERDOC can get you one ASAP. According to an email provided to Bustle, "Unlike traditional healthcare services, UBERDOC’s easy-to-use technology instantly connects patients needing urgent medical care directly to a choice of specialists without requiring a referral, insurance paperwork, or having to wait months for an appointment."
You do have to pay a $300 out-of-pocket fee, but you can invoke your insurance if additional care is required. This is a good one to have if you're traveling and you have a chronic condition that may require a specialist, or you need to bypass the red tape that's involved with getting referred to a specialist.
UBERDOC is the brainchild of surgeon Dr. Paula Muto who, after becoming frustrated that the bureaucracy of today’s overburdened healthcare system makes it impossible for someone needing urgent medical care to immediately get an appointment with the best specialist for their needs, decided to do something about it. The UBERDOC app is currently available for iPhone.
Maven is a digital clinic just for women, and the Maven apps lets you book video consultations with qualified women's heath care professionals. Prices range from $18 to $70 for an appointment, but your first visit is free with the code TRYMAVEN.
Founded by Kate Ryder, Maven sets out to make it easier for women to get immediate, professional care, from someone they trust. Wherever they are, whenever they need it. If you have a questions, need a prescription refill, or even a diagnosis, Maven can help make seeing the doctor less stressful, and more accessible.
If you already know that you have a sinus infection, or a UTI, the last thing you want to do when you feel like you've been hit by a bus is go sit in a waiting room and pay to see a doctor to prescribe you antibiotics. This has happened to me more times than I can count. Enter Lemonaid, and app available in a dozen states — with more on the way — that allows you get a prescription within in two hours for a $25 co-pay for select conditions.
The genius thing about the Lemonaid app is that is lets you bypass the doctor's office completely and it sends your prescription right to your pharmacy. And if you already have the pharmacy app then you'll get notified when it's ready for pick up so instead of driving to the doctor and then the pharmacy you can rest until your meds are ready for you. The downside is that it's not a 24/7 app so you have to use it during their business hours.
Getting in to see a good dermatologist can be tough, and expensive. Spruce gives you a 24-hour response from your new derm doc, a diagnosis and personalized treatment plan, and a 30-day post visit messaging check in for just $40.
Spruce treats more than a dozen skin conditions, and makes access to a qualified dermatologist easy, and affordable.
Touch therapy is important, and massage is a great way to get human touch while also getting the relaxing health benefits of a massage. A new massage app called Soothe, available in more than 50 major cities in the U.S., Canada, and Australia allows you to order up a VIP massage therapist right to your door within the hour.
A blog on the Soothe website by Alexa Ardeljan lists some of the health benefits of regular massage as reduction of chronic pain, improved mental health, headache relief, better sleep quality, and more. If you have a desk job, getting a massage every now and then can be a lifesaver. And, bonus, you may be able to write off massage on your taxes as an unreimbursed medical expense if you have a chronic condition that is helped by massage.
If you have weather-induced migraines like me, this app is going to be your new BFF. MigraineX is an app that works in tandem with special pressure-reducing earplugs to help you stay ahead of migraines that are triggered by weather since up to 78 percent of migraines can be induced by changes in atmospheric barometric pressure changes.
MigraineX notifies you up to seven days in advance about possible weather patterns that could trigger a migraine attack, and 24 hours in advance about patterns that are highly likely to trigger migraines. When you get the alert that the trigger is imminent, you can pop in the pressurizing ear plugs and reduce your chances of suffering. I have this one, and it's pretty rad.
8. Mental Health Apps
If you struggle with anxiety and depression like me, you might be considering trying apps to supplement your treatment. There are myriad mental health apps in the digital space right now, and with so many to choose from it can be hard to navigate the one that's best for you. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has compiled a list of mental health apps reviewed by ADAA members, and it's all organized in one place.
Additionally, other mental health apps, like Talkspace Online Therapy, can connect you with a licensed therapist right from your phone so you're never without someone to talk you through a tough time.
9. Doctor On Demand
Similar to some of the other on-demand health apps I mentioned, Dr. On Demand can get you a video appointment with a doctor for conditions for anything that would normally cause you to trek to urgent care or the ER, plus treatment for chronic conditions.
The best part is that they take insurance, but even if you don't have insurance a video appointments start at $75. They're open 24/7, and also treat mental health issues. If you have just one medical app on your phone this one has most of your bases covered.