Lack of sleep is a national epidemic for kids today. Sleep deprivation can affect cognitive skills, health, academic achievement, and relationships. For children, getting enough sleep helps with everything from schoolwork, to behavior, to friendships, to physical wellbeing. Sometimes the problem isn’t how much, but how well, a child is sleeping. That’s where the Sleep Champ app can help.
When people have a medical question, they schedule an appointment to see their doctor. Palo Alto, California-based HealthTap aims to change that. The company’s free web and mobile applications enable 24/7 access to personalized, relevant and trusted health information from thousands of leading doctors without leaving your home or office.
At the HealthTap website, users post questions and doctors post brief answers. The service is free and the doctors aren’t paid. Instead, they are allowed to use the resource to enhance their real-life practice with more efficient patient visits (saving everyone time and money), as well as build their reputation and attract new patients.
Fooducate is an app for the iPhone and Android that allows consumers to get easy-to-understand information about the quality of a product by scanning the bar code with their smart phone. A first-place winner of the U.S. Surgeon General’s Healthy Apps Challenge, Fooducate was developed by dieticians and parents to help consumers see through some of the “tricks” product manufacturers use to conceal unhealthy ingredients, including artificial food colorings (which are controversial among nutritionists and scientists), high-fructose corn syrup, trans fats (which can legally “hide” in foods in small amounts), and various additives.
The U.S. Surgeon General recently challenged mobile device application developers to come up with apps that would “provide tailored health information and empower users to engage in and enjoy healthy behavior.” The first place winner in the Fitness/Physical Activity category was Lose It!, an app designed to help users lose weight. According to the Lose It! website, the average user loses 12.3 pounds with the help of the app, with a 99% success rate (defined as losing any amount of weight) over 4 weeks.
Intake interviews — the long series of forms and questions that patients must fill out and answer prior to receiving medical care — are critical for accurate diagnosis and treatment. However, they’re boring and can be confusing, which decreases the rate at which patients respond accurately and completely. The company Tonic Health is trying to revolutionize data collection with a patient-friendly iPad app called Tonic that promises to make the process of an intake interview fun and interactive — game-like, even — for patients.