There are a lot of health apps out there, and research shows that women are more interested in using them than men, according to Wired. Women install 40 percent more apps, buy 17 percent more paid apps and spend 83 percent more on those apps than men.
Health apps have become increasingly popular as smartphone and app technology has increased. With women as the dominant market for apps, here are some of the top women’s health apps:
Not All Apps Are What They Say
Before you download or pay for an app, take some time to read reviews of them because not all apps are equal. In fact, many don’t deliver what they claim, as Murray Aitkin, executive director of the Institute for Healthcare Informatics, and researcher Carolyn Gauntlett learned in 2013, when they looked at more than 43,000 consumer health apps.
Aitkin and Gauntlett excluded about 20,000 apps because they made bogus health claims, and were really about beauty or fashion. Another 7,400 were considered more appropriate for physicians, and that left about 16,300 for a deep dive into their user-friendliness and overall usefulness, states Medscape Medical News. They then looked at the instructions, ability to save information and display it graphically, provided medical guidance, and communication with a provider. They concluded that most of the apps, about 90 percent, received a grade of 40 or lower. The message? Downloader beware!
Popular Health Apps for Women
Here are a few apps that get rave reviews from women’s magazines. All are available for iPhones and Android except where noted.
- According to mobihealthnews, 5 percent of women use apps to get information on reproductive health. One such app that Elle loves is an app called Glow. It is a fertility app, which tracks a woman’s menstrual cycle and activity level as well as prompts the user to collect data on what foods to eat, vitamins to take and optimal times to conceive. Greatist also praises its calendars, charts and fertility tips.
- Marie Claire and Women’s Health and Fitness both recommend Nike Training Club. The app covers a lot of workouts women engage in such as cardio, core, strength, balance and flexibility. It also offers step-by-step videos, and allows users to make their own workout videos!
- The new Samsung Galaxy S 5 comes with a built-in heart monitor, which pairs with the preloaded S Health app. It allows you to track your heart rate over time, which means you can see differences in your blood pressure, according to CNET. T-Mobile explains that you also can see the number of steps you walk, get nutrition advice and more.
- Women’s Health and Fitness gives high scores to FoodSwitch, an iPhone app developed by the George Institute for Global Health in Australia. The app makes sense of food labeling and contains information on 20,000 packaged food items. Shoppers can scan product barcodes to get information on calories, fat, sugar and salt while also getting information on healthier alternatives.
- Working Mother recommends WebMD’s mobile app to get information and treatment advice. WebMD is ranked #114 in the US and #331 globally, according to Alexa Traffic Ranks. It is particularly trusted by women, who Alexa says are “greatly over-represented” on the site.
- Breast cancer treatment advocates have been busy developing apps to help women undergoing treatment as well as prevention. Healthline suggests various apps such as Keep a Breast, which automatically reminds you to perform a self-exam every month. It also teaches you how to perform a breast exam, and encourages you to share on Facebook or Twitter in order to remind the other women in your life.
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