Nurse Practitioner Ashley Davis has downloaded a heart rate app to her iPhone. She has her finger over the camera, and it's taking her measurement.
"So it shows me at 86. Then I can store it," she says as she reads her tabulation.
"I think it will be a good way to get information, and you can track it and bring it to your doctor," she says.
And in many cases, for simple measurements, the apps are free.
Other health apps are much more high tech. For example, one app, which requires an attachment to your smart phone, acts as an EKG machine. Time and money that could be saved if similar applications become mainstream in the future.
Family Practitioner Dr. Timothy Quinn is generally optimistic about health apps, and what they could mean for early detection and saving lives.
"A lot of these apps give good information. For example, one app can actually test how hard you can blow. If you're an asthmatic, it can let you know if you need to go to the emergency room immediately," he says. "But I do want to add that we don't want these apps to give patients a false sense of security. We don't want the app to replace the doctor/patient relationship."
Consumers are also advised to read an app description thoroughly before paying and downloading. Many health apps don't give a measurement, they simply provide information or link to a website.
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