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How Health Apps Are Saving Americans Nationwide

This post was last Updated on by Himanshu Tyagi to reflect the accuracy and up-to-date information on the page.

We all know what we’re supposed to do regarding health, more or less. We must eat a healthy diet with less processed food, drink more water, exercise regularly, and get enough sleep. Those are the basic building blocks of physical health, but keeping up that healthy lifestyle long-term can be a considerable challenge.

In addition to the basics of physical health, humans also have mental health needs. We need to socialize, minimize our stress, and feel safe. Keeping up with mental health can be just as complicated (if not more difficult) than caring for our physical health.

When we let healthy habits fall off the radar, there can be significant consequences. Neglecting physical health can lead to cardiac events or chronic health problems. Letting mental health deterioration go unchecked can lead to issues like depression and even self-harm.

Fortunately, technology has made it easier to stay accountable to our health goals and prevent life-threatening problems. There’s an app for every health need now, thanks to dedicated coders passionate about creating functional systems for tracking our progress and giving a nudge to get back on track when needed.

Apps are also helping to transform the medical industry by allowing for remote monitoring and other essential functions. These apps are saving lives and helping people stay independent longer.

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Here’s how different health apps are helping Americans to improve their well-being— and even saving their lives.

Fitness Apps: Promoting Active Lifestyles

how health apps are saving americans nationwide

Exercise is critical for overall health. Regular physical activity can help people experience fewer health problems over time, typically resulting in a longer, more active life. All good stuff!

The problem? Exercising isn’t convenient, and it isn’t always fun. Sticking to fitness goals can be a significant challenge. Enter fitness apps.

Fitness apps are designed to help people create fitness plans and consistently follow them. Many people don’t know how to start, so they keep putting off their plans. Or, they go to the gym as a New Year’s resolution and ultimately fizzle out because they weren’t sure how to progress or it was too difficult to stay consistent.

Different fitness apps have a variety of functions, including:

  • Personalized fitness plans/routines based on individual goals
  • Guidance throughout fitness sessions
  • GPS tracking for outdoor fitness
  • Heart rate tracking
  • Community engagement
  • Gamification features for motivation
  • Reminders to stay on track
  • Integration with other devices, such as smartwatches

By helping people make fitness a long-term lifestyle, these apps make it easier for Americans to get the recommended amount of physical activity and improve their overall health. It’s just the motivation some people need to make exercise a habit!

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Health Trackers: Monitoring Vital Signs and Chronic Conditions

People with chronic health problems must always be aware of their bodies. They don’t have the luxury of forgetting their heart rate, blood pressure, and other vital signs. Health tracker apps can help automate these reminders, making it easier for Americans to manage their conditions while living a relatively everyday life.

Different apps on the market are designed for individuals who want insights into their health or for patients working with a healthcare provider to manage their health conditions. The casual user might use these apps to monitor their heart rate or sleep patterns to keep an eye on their overall health.

However, patients with chronic health conditions might use health trackers to get automatic alerts sent to their phones and their providers if an abnormality is detected.

Health trackers can help with the early detection of health problems, provide personalized health insights over time, and monitor ongoing health issues. These trackers are also helping to make medical care more personalized, streamlined, and timely for doctors and patients. Real-time alerts can sometimes mean the difference between life and death!

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Food Tracking & Meal Planning Apps: Promoting Healthy Eating Habits

In the United States, it’s easy to get delicious, unhealthy food that hits every craving center. Unfortunately, eating heavily processed food full of saturated fat, sugar, and salt can lead to significant health problems and early mortality. Food tracking and meal planning apps are designed to help people make better food and portion choices to enjoy a healthier life.

Food tracking apps allow users to count calories, log their food intake, and track their diet goals. Many people use food tracking and meal planning apps to assist in personalized weight loss efforts.

Some of these trackers also provide nutritional information to help people choose food that fuels correctly. The most popular trackers even have barcode integration so users can get nutrition information on the go!

Most food-tracking apps focus on weight loss, but that’s not the only function they can offer. Meal planning apps can help people learn to choose and prepare healthier food while reducing the impulse to get takeout because there’s no plan for dinner.

Apps can even help people understand which foods are the most sustainable and least contaminated by pesticides and other chemicals.

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Telehealth Apps: Increasing Access to Quality Care

Telehealth has increased since the COVID-19 pandemic, breaking down barriers to care that lead to health disparities. Most of these apps are communication platforms, allowing providers to securely message and video chat with patients about their health from anywhere.

Apps for facilitating remote care save lives by encouraging people to get help for their physical and mental health problems before they become emergencies. For people in rural areas or those without access to reliable transportation, telehealth is increasing access to quality care and improving health outcomes for these populations.

As an additional benefit, telehealth apps encourage preventative care. This leads to better overall health and reduces healthcare spending, unnecessary in-person visits, and stress relating to health condition management. For many people, telehealth availability can significantly impact their quality of life.

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Reminder Apps: Enhancing Medication Adherence and Health Routines

Doctors make recommendations to their patients about what they need to do at home to manage their health conditions. That might include cutting out certain foods, taking their medications on schedule, and building healthy habits. However, getting patients to comply with these recommendations isn’t easy.

Reminder apps can act like a “pocket doc,” helping patients maintain the routines that keep them healthy. This is especially important for patients managing severe and complex medical conditions requiring a complicated at-home care schedule. These apps track adherence and can even provide medication interaction alerts.

For doctors, these apps are revolutionizing patient care by promoting patient engagement. They help to promote better health outcomes by providing accountability, and they save time for everyone involved. Reminder apps might seem simple, but they improve patients’ quality of life and can even save their lives!

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Mental Wellness Apps: Supporting Mental Health

In our modern world, mental health has come under the spotlight for many reasons. Many people are anxious, overwhelmed, depressed, and stressed in American society. Daily life’s pressures, fears, and demands lead many people to look closer at their mental health.

Mental wellness apps have many functions. Some offer telehealth services, making connecting with a trained professional much more accessible. Others provide mindfulness techniques and recommendations for improving individual mental health. Some of the functions of mental wellness apps can include the following:

  • Providing guided meditations
  • Teaching relaxation, mindfulness, and breathing techniques for stress management
  • Offering “sleep stories” to help people relax and fall asleep
  • Giving daily affirmations
  • Connecting people with mental health resources

Mental health apps can help people manage stress and maintain good mental health. However, they are no substitute for help from a trained professional for mental health concerns. These apps offer support, not solutions.

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Sleep Cycle Apps: Encouraging Quality Rest

Sleep is essential for every aspect of physical and mental health. People who do not get enough sleep regularly, whether due to insomnia, poor sleep, or other issues, experience mental and physical health problems over time. Sleep apps can sometimes help manage these problems and promote better sleep.

Apps for better sleep can provide the following functions:

  • Sleep trackers to map patterns
  • Wake-up reminders based on the user’s sleep phases
  • Sleep quality analysis

Water Intake Apps: Boosting Daily Hydration

Lots of people struggle to hydrate regularly throughout the day. While this might seem simple, it’s a real challenge for some Americans.

Water intake apps work well for some people, as they provide accountability. These apps are usually straightforward: they allow users to track and log water intake, providing daily reminders to hydrate.

Hydration affects overall health. While drinking more water generally won’t solve health problems, hydration is essential to well-being and long-term health.

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The Impact of Health Apps on Society & Individual Americans

A healthier society is a happier and more productive society. Health apps contribute to the overall quality of life of the population and help increase lifespans. They can also reduce the number of people leaving the workforce due to health problems and positively impact healthcare spending.

This is significant, as the United States spends more per capita on healthcare than any other country. Yet, Americans’ overall health is still much worse than the populations of many other countries.

Health apps can ease the burden on healthcare providers by getting patients more involved and invested in their health. If people take preventative steps for improved health, they are less likely to need extensive medical care. In an increasingly overcrowded American medical system, health apps significantly impact hospital readmission by enabling patients to manage their health at home better.

On an individual level, personalization matters, and it’s what helps to make health apps so effective. If someone tells you “regular exercise is good for your health,” it probably won’t make you change your habits.

However, suppose someone directly reminds you by name to exercise and recommends what you need to do to hit your daily goal, even via an automated app reminder. In that case, the effect is going to be much more powerful.

Accountability is a powerful force. Manually holding people accountable is impractical and time-consuming, but an app can provide accountability on a schedule that helps health goals stay top-of-mind. That ongoing accountability helps build good habits and ultimately offers long-term health improvement that saves lives.

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Challenges and Limitations of Health Apps

Although health apps save lives and improve the quality of life for people all over the United States, that doesn’t mean they are exempt from criticism or legitimate concerns. There are some challenges and limitations of health apps that need to be considered.

For example, compliance isn’t guaranteed when people download a health app. They can turn off reminders or ignore them, negating the potential power of the app to improve health. Sometimes, users also input incomplete, false, or otherwise unreliable data. Or, they might find the interface difficult to use.

There are also concerns about data privacy and the sale of consumer data, an issue the tech industry continues to face. This is incredibly challenging in the healthcare industry, which must protect patient data by law.

App developers must address these problems and develop creative solutions, such as implementing more robust cybersecurity measures, having ethical data collection and storage policies, and prioritizing user-centered design. However, the benefits of the current apps on the market, even with these concerns, justify their widespread use in the United States.

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Health Apps are Positively Disrupting the Healthcare and Wellness Industries

Overall, health and wellness apps have a significant, positive impact on our society. They are disrupting the healthcare and wellness industries, emphasizing preventative care and helping people feel more connected to their health.

In the future, health apps will become even more advanced, integrating artificial intelligence-powered personalization, integration with wearable devices and advanced sensors, and helping healthcare providers easily monitor their patients.

With all we know about how health apps can improve health and save lives, there’s an excellent opportunity for even more innovation. As time passes, we can look forward to exciting new app developments that will continue shaping the American health landscape.

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Ojasv Jain
Ojasv Jain
In the world of tech since 2015. I started writing about it in 2019. I have also expertise in food reviews, photography and travel blogs.

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