On any given day there can be much debating on whether or not government works for the people and where all those tax dollars go. As it turns out our tax dollars are at work, making apps that might help us with our health issues. There is a U.S. Government Digital Strategy and it is responsible for more than a hundred apps, some of which were designed with our health in mind. Want to know if your goose is cooked? There’s an app for that. You can AskKaren about food safety and food borne illnesses. The EPA offers an app with air quality maps, all the better to breathe easier. And if you’re stressed out in a war zone, an app from the Department of Defense called Breathe2Relax can help you do just that. Furthermore, if you have returned from a war zone, there’s the PTSDCoach app for iPhone, iPad or Android. It provides tools for assessing yourself and also gives tips on managing stress. Among the plethora of government apps there is something for everyone.
Beyond government, health related mobile apps are a growing species. Also for iPhone and Android, Castlight is an app that literally casts a light on what you might pay at different doctors and hospitals. It also provides patient ratings on hospitals. It is usually provided by employers so that employees have a better understanding of their health care options. Not all health related apps are for patient care either. Using apps, doctors can also use iPads to illustrate specific body parts or surgical procedures for patients. As it turns out, 80 percent of doctors use mobile devices at work. And one popular app for them is likely to be Sermo, a doctor-to-doctor social networking app where doctors can share thoughts and questions. Meanwhile, if a doctor needs to communicate medical information in either the mandarin or Cantonese languages, well, there’s an app for that too.