Clean up your act with tracking apps

Clean up your act with tracking apps

This week I was interested to see an official on the BBC urging patients to think twice, or even three times, before making an appointment with a doctor. With waiting rooms particularly crowded during the winter months, doctors unable to cope, so the idea is to encourage and assist people to sort themselves out, and failing that, to consult a chemist, before using the National Health Service.

The NHS has launched a medical advice smartphone app that will use chatbots to diagnose symptoms and advise patients over their smartphones.  It couldn’t be more different from the home calls we received from family doctors in the past, but apps and other digital tools can encourage us to be healthy, and go a long way to relieving the pressure on our overworked health professionals. You need to no further than the NHS website to find advice on treating common ailments, and preventing conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol, obesity, and smoking.

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These days, wearable fitness gadgets have become very affordable. They come in the form of wristbands, watches, and earphones, and can provide us with real-time information about our health. They will even give you a nudge to remind you to get up and move about, or to drink water.

At the beginning of the year, giving up smoking is at the top of many people’s self-improvement lists, and the UK’s health service has created an app that can be downloaded free of charge from iTunes or Google Play called NHS Smokefree. Using this four-week programme will mean you are five times more likely to quit for good. Worth a try, isn’t it?

Many people need a little help to give up drinking alcohol. Did you know that drinking more than 14 units a week is harmful? The NHS has several tools on its website to help you cut down on your alcohol consumption, such as the alcohol concern drinks calculator. When you realise how many calories there are in that piña colada, you might decide not to drink it! You can also download the One You Drinks Tracker app, which will show you how much money you can save by drinking less, and compare your drinking habits with the alcohol unit guidelines.

You will also find help with losing weight, healthy eating, fitness, and sugar tracking. I don’t drink or smoke… my downfall is sweets. Do you think there is a special app for chocoholics?

Juliet Allaway

Written by editor