If you suffer from chronic illness, you probably have your hands full trying to manage a million different things around it. Over the years, we have realized that technology can be very helpful for disease management. But the world of mobile apps is crammed to the brim.
Most of them appear to be great choices until that upsell stares at your face. That’s why we decided to do the legwork for you. We have handpicked the 5 best apps for chronic illness management. The best part is that all of these are completely free.
In case you seek more features, we have also picked some paid ones for you later on. So, stay tuned.
Medication management: Medisafe
Good Apps are rarely free and vice-a-versa. But Medisafe is an exception. It is one of the best free apps that we recommend to our readers. It helps caregivers, as well as patients, stay one step ahead of medication management.
We all have missed our medication doses from time to time. But if you have a chronic illness, even missing a single dose can trigger symptoms. In some extreme cases, it can even be life threatening. For example, missing an insulin dose can be potentially fatal in some people. That’s where Medisafe shines. Once you enter all the details of your daily/weekly medications, Medisafe sends you reminders. You can snooze the reminder if you are busy. You can take the dose and record it.
Even the most complex medicine dosage schedules become a cakewalk with Medisafe. The app has a clean, easy UX. You can share the data with your healthcare providers as well.
Flare prevention: Flaredown
Flaredown is a customizable app that shines some light on an aspect of healthcare that rarely gets the attention it deserves. It shows you how your choices might be contributing to symptom flareups.
So, it tracks illness, treatments, and symptom triggers and allows you to visualize it in the form of charts and graphs. Every time you experience a flareup, you can log it into the system. The app does the heavy lifting and crunches the numbers for you. How did treatment affect you? What were the symptoms? Did it work? Did it not? How frequently did you experience a relapse? How mild or severe was it? You get all the answers.
What’s amazing is that Flaredown covers most of the chronic conditions. You can also request support for specific conditions if it’s not included already. Oh, a neat bonus is that you can choose to share your symptom data anonymously with researchers.
Health tracking: Apple Health, Google Fit
The market is teeming with health trackers and you probably have your own favorite one. But we’d like to recommend two of the most basic choices. Because they are free and so widely used.
These are Apple and Google Health. Neither are very fancy choices mind you. But they tick all the important boxes that we look for while recommending health apps. They can track all the basics. Blood sugar, the calories you burnt in the day, your heart rate through the day, your cholesterol levels to name a few. It allows you to store emergency health information (illnesses, blood group, allergies, meds) as a lock screen on their phone. There’s one click integration with a bevy of other apps. You can customize your health records and you can also share them with your healthcare providers, as well as export everything in multiple formats.
Navigating health care costs – iTriage Health
For someone with chronic illness, navigating health care costs is a legitimate curveball. There can be a million different expenses to think about. That has now extended to mobile apps too. Most patients use a bunch of different apps to tackle this. They start with their health insurance app and then the pharmacy app. Then there are condition-specific apps as well.
iTriage app is an umbrella app that covers all of these and a lot more. It allows users to search for their symptoms and find potential causes. Next, it lists and explains the possible treatment options. It also suggests nearby doctors and facilities, shows you the next available appointment, possible wait times. That’s not all. It can also estimate care costs, including insurance information in some cases.
Other worthy Additions
Your illness may not be the sole governing factor in your life. You also have a laundry list of other things to take care of. What about budgeting for everyday expenses? How can you invest? Can you even save some money with all this happening? What about emergency travel, hotels, flights? We have handpicked a few apps that cover everything else. Here’s a list of those.
Apps for Nutritional Recommendations
Once again, there are hundreds of choices for people who have to adhere to a dietary restriction or wish to make healthier choices every time. But we really like HealthyOut. It’s a simple app that lets you find restaurants close to your menu. For instance, if you are on a carb restricted diet, you can find restaurants that offer it.
ShopWell takes the guesswork out of grocery shopping by displaying the nutritional value of what you are buying. It’s very useful to help avoid buying junk.
Another major hurdle that people face while trying to eat healthy is meal planning. Mealime is a terrific app that maps out a complete, healthy meal plan for you. It also creates a complete grocery list of the things that you should be shopping for. All it needs is answers to a few simple questions about you and your health.
You can then take this list and customize it according to your needs. All recipes that it lists take less than 30-minutes to prepare. Moreover, you get the entire recipe with detailed, guided steps within the app itself. They also have a great community vibe with people sharing recipes, other apps, or health recommendations. However, the basic version might be a little limited. If you have health restrictions for instance, then you might have to subscribe to one of their paid plans to get recommendations.
AllRecipes is a great app for those looking for very specific nutritional information on the food they consume. If you get hung up over micronutrient value or calorific value, this will make life easier for you.
Know of any other great free apps for managing chronic illness? Let us know on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!