Keeping track of the intricacies of your health can sometimes feel like a full-time job—Did I take my pills? How many refills are left? When is my next doctor's appointment?—But technology can make your life a little easier. The health
care industry has been using digital technology to improve health and reduce costs for years. Now it's time to make health-related technology work for you. Here are some ways to start.
- Check out the new POZ app iStayHealthy, specifically designed for people living with HIV. This free app allows you to store lab results and medication information, turn test results into simple charts, look up HIV-relevant terms, and send your information and labs via email to doctors or individuals. It's available on the iPhone, iPad and Android.
- Always know if you're on the right track by using Graph My Labs, available at AIDSmeds.com. This free service lets you create colorful and informative graphs of all your test results. Every account automatically includes 10 tests, including HIV viral load and CD4 cell counts, plus a selection of more than 400 possible lab test results. You simply enter your lab information and let the site draw and track your results, past, present and future. Find it at aidsmeds.com/graphs.
- Schedule a doctor's appointment anywhere, anytime with ZocDoc. This free website helps you find a doctor and make an appointment, all in one. Simply plug in your ZIP code, insurance carrier and the kind of doctor you want to see, and you'll get a list of options. Then, after selecting a doctor, you'll be able to see his or her availability by the week and book a time that works for you. You can even read patient reviews ranging from doctors' attitudes to wait times. Find it at zocdoc.com.
- Stay connected and keep others updated with CaringBridge. This free site makes it easy for people living with a chronic illness or facing a medical condition and hospitalization to share news, information and thoughts in one place. It's similar to a blog in that users can upload pictures and videos and post regular updates on their health. Plus, family and friends are able to leave words of support via public forums and private one-on-one conversations. Find it at caringbridge.org.
- Shop smart and save on medical costs with New Choice Health. This free website allows you to compare costs for 400 of the most common medical procedures, gather info on local facilities and even get a binding quote—a process that could save you as much as 40 percent. Find it at newchoicehealth.com.