Imagine a doctor handing you a prescription for an app for your smartphone. It's not as far-fetched as it may seem. That's what doctors at New Orleans' Ochsner Health System are doing.
So far, they've had patients use apps to lose weight and tackle chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension. Even better, most of the apps are free or inexpensive.
Click ahead to see 11 of the most popular apps used by Ochsner's doctors and patients.
—By CNBC's Bertha Coombs
Posted 9 June 2015
Never miss a pill again. With MediSafe, you can set reminders for taking medications on time, refilling prescriptions and keeping track of doctor's appointments. There also is a function that will send caretakers a notification to make sure parents or children are adhering to their medication scheduling.
Drugs.com is a reference app that lets you look up drug information, identify pills and check drug interactions, including how some drugs interact with food. The app contains data on thousands of prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications.
With RunKeeper you can track your exercise using the GPS on your phone and add music to your workout. Even better, the app integrates with other dieting apps to calculate how many calories you've burned.
RunKeeper works with apps from MyFitnessPal, including those that track exercise and diet. The company's calorie counter has information on more than 5 million foods and a barcode scanner to input packaged foods—which makes food journaling easier.
Not having a gym membership isn't an excuse with this training app, which provides workout routines that don't require weights or other equipment. The exercises are designed to maximize cardiovascular fitness, with built-in rest periods.
Telcare Diabetes Pal allows users to log blood glucose levels, track food and activity data, and chart and graph progress. You can even print out the data to share with your doctor.
This app's motto is "Make diabetes suck less!"
MySugr Logbook helps monitor food intake and integrates the information with Apple Health, to help bring your glucose levels under control through diet.
When you are watching your diet, eating out can be a real challenge. HealthyOut attempts to fix this problem. The app helps find healthy meals from local restaurants to stay on target. Users can filter its searches for diet preferences, including low-calorie, low-fat, or heart healthy meals.
What's really in the food you eat? This app can be used to scan product labels and analyze their nutritional information. Fooducate also makes suggestions for healthy foods based on items it scans. It also has a social sharing aspect that allows users to connect with others to share dieting tips.
This app is a motivational tracker for those trying to quit smoking. The app logs how many cigarettes you've avoided and how much money you've saved since you've quit. It also connects with indicators on how your health is improving.
This app helps you track the day-to-day changes during your pregnancy, from selfies that measure your growing baby bump to features that record the time and pace of your contractions on delivery day. There also are images and videos that explain the fetus' growth and development.