Your smartphone is good for more than social media and texting – it can also be a powerful tool to improve your heart health. There are a ton of mobile health apps that make it easy for you to do everything from check your heart rate to record information about your blood pressure, and you can even save all of this data to share with your doctor during your next appointment.
A quick search on the iTunes store or Google Play results in hundreds of choices. While some apps must be purchased, others are free. And if you’re not sure which apps to choose, ask your doctor for recommendations.
See how heart-healthy apps can help you maintain a healthy lifestyle and manage your risk of heart disease, all at the tip of your fingers.
State-of-the-art apps can track and chart specific heart-related measurements:
- Pulse apps have you place your finger over your phone’s camera lens, and the app then measures your heart rate by tracking color changes in your fingertip.
- Blood pressure apps allow you to manually enter your latest blood pressure reading. Some apps also allow you to attach an external blood pressure monitor (sold separately), which takes the reading and automatically stores the data. That info can be charted, graphed or even sent directly to your physician.
- Heart rhythm apps are designed to detect irregular heartbeats. These apps instruct you to attach a special device (sold separately) to your smartphone, and either place your fingers on the device or hold the device to your chest to take an electrocardiogram (ECG) of your heart’s electrical activity.
A large assortment of apps can transform your smartphone into a personal health coach and help you develop habits your heart will love:
- Exercise apps promote fitness by helping you develop and maintain a heart-healthy exercise program. Some apps show workout videos, while other can create exercise routines based on your specific goals and needs.
- Medication apps are designed to alert you when it’s time for you to take a medication or even notify you when it’s time to refill a prescription. Many of these apps allow you to track any symptoms you experience while taking your prescribed medications.
- Diet apps do everything from suggesting heart-friendly meals and recipes to calculating how many calories you’ve consumed and how many you need each day to lose, maintain or gain weight.
- Meditation apps can help you slow down and develop mindfulness techniques. With both guided and self-guided options, as well as calming nature sounds and music, these apps can help you discover relaxation tools that can lead to better help.