John Hogue has struggled with his weight for years. He knew diet and exercise could help bring his diabetes and blood pressure under control, but admits he was never one to count calories.
"I would go to the doctor and say 'yes, sir' and listen to all the good advice, and then I would go down the street and have a po' boy," the 53-year-old attorney said with a laugh.
That changed last fall, when his doctor at New Orleans' Ochsner Health System prescribed some mobile apps he could use on his phone to watch his glucose levels, monitor his blood pressure and closely track his diet.
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"I still struggle with my weight, honestly, but it's made me more aware of what I'm eating," and Hogue said that has helped. "I'm managing my blood pressure better."
Nonprofit Ochsner is making mobile technology part of its protocol to treat patients with chronic diseases. Doctors now write out prescriptions for apps that patients can take to its "O Bar," where they find tech advisors to help install the applications on their phones and show them how to use them before they go home.