The Best Health Apps For Chronic Illness: Maintaining and Managing Health Issues

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®

Managing chronic illness is even more challenging for seniors. But with the help of modern technology, from digital devices to health apps, it has become easier for the elderly to manage or improve such conditions.

Health Apps For Chronic Illness

Managing chronic illness is even more challenging for seniors. But with the help of modern technology, from digital devices to health apps, it has become easier for the elderly to manage or improve such conditions.

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Managing chronic illnesses is often difficult, especially for seniors. There are often different medications that need to be taken (at different times), symptoms to track, appointment reminders, and lots of other information to take in.

Thankfully, the modern digital age has made it much easier for seniors to use digital devices to track, improve or manage their chronic illnesses.

Health Apps For Congestive Heart Failure

Heart failure is a serious and complex condition that often requires both lifestyle and medical interventions. Self-management can also get very complicated for senior patients.

From tracking symptoms, medications, vital signs, fluid intake, and appointments to eating healthy and exercising regularly, it is common for a patient to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, there are now many mobile apps designed to help caregivers and patients stay on track. 

Here is a list of some of the best apps for congestive heart failure:

H20 Overload: Fluid Control For Heart-Kidney Health

Provided by the National Kidney Foundation, H20 Overload features functions that help people to cope with hyponatremia, kidney disease, and heart failure. 

HeartMapp

Created by Engineers and Health Professionals at the USF College of Nursing and the USF College of Engineering, HeartMapp was made to encourage self-management for people with congestive heart failure.

It syncs up with a Bioharness BT external sensor that allows for measuring:

  • Heart rate
  • Activity level
  • Breathing rate
  • Skin temperature 
  • Posture
  • SpO2 (optional external sensor)
  • Blood pressure (optional external sensor)

Heart Failure Storylines

In partnership with the Heart Failure Society of America, Heart Failure Storylines was developed to make sure a patient with “heart failure” is getting the required functions to balance their health. Within the app, the user gets to choose from a list of HF management tools.

Health Apps For Diabetes

Today one of the popular health tools available to seniors is their cell phones. Seniors with diabetes can now take advantage of management apps that will allow them to better manage their condition.

Here is a list of some of the popular apps to manage diabetes:

Fooducate: Best For Healthy Eating

Knowledge is power when managing a condition like diabetes. Fooducate is one of the best apps to work out what types of food a person should be eating to maintain a healthy blood sugar range since not every food is created equal.

Many people enjoy this app since there are over 300,000 foods programmed in. The user scans one of the barcodes, and it will come up with an A, B, C, or D “grading,” which determines whether the food is healthy or not.

If the item fails to “make the grade,” the app provides alternative suggestions of options that are more nutritious. 

mySugr: Best For Comprehensive Diabetes Management

mySugr does everything for type I, type II, or gestational diabetes management. It provides glucose tracking, bolus-dose calculation estimates, and carb counting. It can also provide reports on the patient’s blood glucose levels over a week, months, or even a year.

One of the bonus features of this app is that it estimates the user’s hemoglobin A1C according to their tracking.

Diabetes:M: Best For Tablet Or Phone

Diabetes:M is a log app for diabetes that contains many useful features. Some of these include blood-sugar trend mapping, integration with a fitness app, test-time reminders, and a nutritional tracking and log system.

This app is also both tablet and phone-friendly. This is one of the best apps for seniors with diabetes since it also includes an insulin-bolus calculator according to any nutritional information that is added. 

health apps for chronic illness hypertension
Health apps that support self-managing hypertension have the potential of lowering the blood pressure of their users.

Health Apps For Hypertension

Hypertension is one of the chronic diseases that not only affect seniors. In fact, it is now regarded as one of the public health problems that require an effort on the patient’s part to self-manage their condition.

The growth globally in tablet and mobile phone use has also been linked to a sharp increase in using health apps. Many of these health apps support self-managing hypertension and, for this reason, have the potential benefit of lowering blood pressure.

Here are some of the popular apps that caregivers and seniors can use to help manage a condition such as hypertension:

Blood Pressure Diary

A free and simple blood pressure app that can be used to log and track pulse and blood pressure (found on the Google Play Store).

Blood Pressure Tracker

This is also a free app on the Google Play Store that helps people easily manage and monitor their blood pressure. 

Blood Pressure

Also available on the Google Play Store, this app can be used to prevent hypertension and as a tool to improve overall health. 

Blood Pressure Tracker – Cardio Journal

Blood Pressure Tracker – Cardio Journal is a handy app that allows seniors or their caregivers to track pulse and blood pressure and to monitor and log cardio. 

CareClinic

This is one of the helpful health apps that can serve as an efficient hypertension tracker app. CareClinic includes an activity and symptom tracker for conditions such as hypertension, where the information is stored daily.

In addition to monitoring hypertension, this app also includes medication reminders to help patients to avoid missing doses. 

Has Your Doctor Prescribed Walking For Your Chronic Health Condition?

If your doctor has recommended that you start walking to combat your chronic health condition, take a look at the 99 Walks app. This app provides a virtual walking challenge that encourages you to get walking in fun ways. Plus, if you meet your monthly goal, you even get a free bracelet as a reward. There is a monthly fee after a free trial period.

Health Apps For Chronic Disease Management

Managing chronic illnesses is not easy, especially for the elderly. Fortunately, in the era that we live in today, there are now apps that serve as tools to help seniors to manage their chronic illnesses. Below is a list of some of the popular apps to choose from.

Medisafe

Medisafe is designed to assist patients when it comes to managing their medications. It assists with a reminder and the required dosage that the patient needs to take, which helps to increase adherence rates.

This type of information can also be shared with a pharmacy or healthcare team. 

My Pain Diary

This is a useful app for any person suffering from a chronic illness. My Pain Diary allows the person to score and chart their pain and track and record other symptoms relating to the illness, such as mood swings and fatigue. 

Zocdoc

This is a useful app for patients that have just found out that they have a chronic illness since the first step that needs to be taken is to find the right doctor to provide a treatment plan.

Zocdoc searches for specialist doctors in a local area. This app can even tell the patient when a doctor has the availability to see them. 

My Medical Info

My Medical Info is a very useful app that stores the insurance details and health history of the patient. This can make filling out forms a bit less challenging since the patient won’t need to rely on their memory for every detail.

This app also allows the user to program their doctors’ appointments along with the medications they are currently taking. 

Sleep Cycle

Sleep Cycle is one of the best apps to ensure quality sleep. This is a clever app that analyzes the sleep quality and how much sleep the person is getting every night.

There is also an option to use the alarm, which will wake the person up when they are in their lightest sleep, which means they will feel more refreshed and less groggy each day. 

health apps for chronic illness tracking
Apps that track chronic illnesses can be very helpful to seniors.

Best Apps For Tracking Chronic Illness

Apps for mobile phones or tablets to track chronic illnesses can be very useful to a senior since many of them help to track overall progress. These apps also help patients to share any relevant and important information with their healthcare providers.

Without it, it can become much harder for patients to see what medications, lifestyle issues, or treatments may require adjustments or the best actions to take. 

Below is a list of some of the best apps for tracking chronic illnesses:

Symple

As the name suggests, Symple is easy to use and simple. It also features a great user interface since it is fast to use and easier on the eyes. It is also not one of those apps that requires the person to spend many hours logging their symptoms. 

It has a list of symptoms for the person to choose from. In this way, when the person is asked to choose the ones they are suffering from, they are less likely to leave any symptoms out. 

It can link to Apple Health to monitor various daily habits such as heart rate, body temperature, and sleep. 

Allows the patient to directly send important reports to their health care provider and to export their data to a CSV. When choosing the paid-for premium subscription, patients can add entries into a journal and document their symptoms photographically. 

HealthTrak

This is one of the easiest health-symptom tracker applications to use. This is an app that is designed specifically to help patients manage their symptoms alongside their medications. HealthTrak is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

It is an app that is extremely simple to use, which means minimal time is required when it comes to working out how to use the app. In fact, the patient will only have 4 options to choose from. 

This app allows users to track their medication and symptoms or to view their history and create to-do-list notes. 

The app can also provide an overview of the patient’s symptoms using a timeline format in either a list or a graph. The information on the app can also be downloaded as a CSV so that it can be kept in a journal. 

PatientsLikeMe

This is one of the health-information sharing apps where the user gets to use their health data so that they can gather information about their condition or the symptoms they are experiencing.

PatientsLikeMe also allows users to connect with others that are experiencing the same or similar issues. 

It is simple to create profiles with helpful timelines and charts to monitor symptoms, meds, and the overall health of the person over time. 

This app is also helpful for patients to discover they are not alone. It allows for a way to contact others that are faced with the same issues or those that are experiencing the same symptoms. 

It also allows the users to automate reports from doctor’s visits by adding the health data they have gathered over a specific time frame. 

Conclusion

The growth of “mobile technology” has bought an increase in mobile applications geared at the senior population over the last few years.

The health sector has also propelled its way into this mobile space and now offers a range of useful health apps that benefit both care providers and seniors.

Photo of author

Scott Grant, CSA®, ATP, CRTS®

Certified Senior Advisor (CSA)®
Assistive Technology Professional
Certified Rehab Technology Supplier (CRTS®)

I have been serving seniors and the elderly for over 20 years as a medical equipment and custom wheelchair specialist for a regional medical equipment company. I am also a lucky dad to four awesome daughters and grandfather to three pretty terrific grandkids. When not helping older adult improve the quality of their lives, I enjoy early morning runs and occasional kayak trips. I am also a self-admitted nerd who loves anything from the 1980's. Learn More

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