You’ve had an inoculation and you’re still concerned about contracting the flu. Aside from living in a bubble or wearing a mask, technology can only do so much to protect you. If you do get sick, these three smartphone apps might help speed relief.
- iTriage. The app lets you diagnose symptoms, identify an illness and book an appointment with the appropriate doctor. HCA West Florida Division uses iTriage to promote its 15 hospitals, including Blake Medical Center, Doctors Hospital of Sarasota and Englewood Community Hospital. Sarasota Memorial Health Care System uses AppBrain to provide users with a dynamic listing of its services, locations and physicians. Venice Regional Medical Center uses ER Extra to let users see the current emergency room wait time for the hospital and receive a map and directions to the facility.
- RXmindMe Prescription. The app tells users when to take their medicine and offers nine types of reminders, from daily and weekly to a customizable schedule.
- ZocDoc. A more social version than the others, ZocDoc allows users to check a doctor’s availability, view his or her credentials and rate the experience after the visit.
If that doesn’t work, take two aspirin and have the smartphone call you in the morning.
Jeff Widmer is a PR and social media strategist.
Payphones have gone the way of steam engines and spats. Concern about security has not. Colleges have responded by installing emergency call stations known for their blue lights. Adults old enough to remember rotary phones can use their landlines and lifelines.
Leave it to the Internet generation to develop an alternative.
Security apps for smartphones have become a booming business. They provide a wide range of functions, from receiving emergency notifications to connecting you with commercial monitoring teams through a subscription service. Apple’s App Store alone lists 98 apps in the emergency-alert category.
What’s your best bet if you want to use your smartphone as a mobile substitute for blue-light boxes? Here’s a short list of apps, some free, some not, starting with passive software and advancing toward interactive systems.
- CodeRED Mobile Alert. Designed to keep you informed, this app taps into the national CodeRED Emergency Notification System to alter subscribers of public safety issues.
- Emergency. The utility allows the direct dialing to four main emergency services (general, fire, police, medical).
- SOS Panic Button. This app features a large panic button that, when pressed, will use the phone’s GPS tracking feature to notify friends and family of your location by telephone and email.
- Bluelight. The app notifies your friends and family when you don’t arrive at your destination as planned.
- SOS Response. This is for users who want their smartphones to act more like hardwired home alarm and blue-light systems. The app sends photos and GPS information to a monitoring team, who then alert responders.
- MyForce. Another subscription-based service, this app sends reports to alarm monitors who, the developer says, will connect to 911 dispatchers “after an emergency is validated.”
A word of caution about the technology. Anyone can use a blue-light emergency call button or home-alarm system. Only those who can afford a smartphone and the monthly fee can access some of these subscription services. And what happens if your phone can’t find a signal?
It’s Nurses Week, time to pay tribute to the people who keep us on our feet. For me it’s more than a Hallmark event. Our daughter graduates from nursing school in a year and has learned from the inside the rigors of the profession . . . as well as the value of digital charting. She’s opened our eyes to the importance of the profession.
We used to have luncheons and speeches to feat the troops. Social media has given us a more dispersed and immediate way. Sarasota Memorial in Sarasota, Florida is honoring staff on its Facebook page with tributes and a button to “Thank a nurse.” And the folks at HCA are giving a shout-out to their nurses in a humorous way. Here’s the video posted on the corporate site.