Apps for health care are becoming a regular tool in the self-care armoury. There are so many now it is difficult to know where to start. Here are a few of our favourites.
More information on health apps can be found here at the Mobile Knowledge at NHS Education for Scotland
– In this app you will find: –
• Advice on common muscle, back and joint problems
• Exercises and video clips to help you get moving safely
• Self help quizzes to help tailor information for your MSK problem
• Information to help with Work – Working lives information
• Reminders to do your exercises and/or attend any appointments
MSK is shorthand for Musculoskeletal. Any injury, disease or problem with our muscles, bones or joints is known as a Musculoskeletal disorder (MSD). A broad term covering common injuries such as a sprained ankle and stiff neck through to conditions such as arthritis.
MSK problems are very common. Symptoms can include pain, stiffness, swelling, muscle weakness, numbness or pins and needles. They can bother you at home, at work, or through activities and sport. There are over 400 medical conditions that can affect bones, muscles and joints.
Muscle and joint problems are the single biggest cause of work absence and physical disability in the UK. Over one million people in Scotland consulted their GP for these reasons last year.
Getting quick access to good information helps people with muscle, back and joint problems get back to normal quicker. It also helps them to stay at or return to work and their normal life sooner. We have included within the app, a specific section about work which contains some useful advice and information to help both those in work but also managers and employers.
– Where did the information in this app come from? –
Scottish patients, doctors, MSK therapists, pharmacists and employment services have helped develop this information.
The content in this app is linked directly to the self-management information that can be found at NHS inform.
We liked Clean and clear presentation. Useful advice.
We would like to see : More personalised information and support
NB MSK Help app will be re launched in a major update in early 2018
Active 10 tracks your walking and shows you when to increase your pace to benefit your health.The app is designed to quickly and simply help you do more brisk walking in bursts of ten minutes, known as Active 10s. It tracks all your walking and rewards your progress.
• Breaks your target down into manageable chunks of ten minutes of brisk walking
• Shows you when you’ve walked at the right speed
• Gives you goals to work towards
• Rewards your progress
• Shows where you can convert normal walking into Active 10s
• Provides hints and tips
BRISK WALKING BENEFITS YOUR HEALTH
We all know how important it is to be active. The good news is that you don’t have to go to the gym or start expensive fitness programmes, walking counts too!
Just ten minutes of brisk walking every day can get your heart pumping and can make you feel more energetic, as well as lowering your risk of serious illnesses like heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Going for a brisk walk is a great way to clear your head.
Active 10s are simple to fit into your day, from taking the dog out to going for a lunchtime walk.
This app relies on your phone’s inbuilt sensors to measure activity so you may experience varying levels of accuracy especially in older devices/operating systems. To improve accuracy, keep your phone in a pocket close to your body rather than in a loose coat pocket or bag.
We liked: Really clear and useful advice to keep active.
We would like to see : Reduced battery drain
mhGAP Intervention Guide
WHO’s mhGAP Intervention Guide app, is intended to help generalist health-care workers diagnose and treat a range of mental health disorders including depression, epilepsy and dementia.
Each module includes a description of the disorder, an assessment tool and treatment guide.
Also launched today are mhGAP training manuals to help trainers and supervisors build the capacity of non-specialised health workers in providing mental health care.
We liked: The accompanying training manuals
We would like to see : Less medical jargon in introduction in case it puts people off downloading it.
Download it here
A community minded app that’s helping people look out for their neighbours.
Purple Alert is a missing persons service for people with dementia that allows the community to help if someone with dementia is missing. The service uses an app to share information at the point of crisis and allows for eyes and ears on the ground immediately helping with the search. Top of the list in the challenges identified by people living with dementia is the desire to maintain independence for as long as possible and to continue to get out and about safely. There are a number of technologies that can help with this e.g. personal alarms, door sensors and GNSS devices, however they rely on wearable technology or interventions in the home, and both options can be expensive and/or intrusive. Our answer to this is Purple Alert, a free app designed by people living with dementia and carers.
Purple Alert can give reassurance to families and carers who are concerned about the safety of loved ones living with dementia. The app is intended to complement other services and products available and we would always recommend looking at the full range of options and considering what is in the best interests of the person with dementia.
You can download here
We liked: Filling a necessary gap in the market
We would like to see : It’s brand new, but in time some case studies about it’s success would be great to see