Feeling flu symptoms? Coughing? Sneezing? Achy all over? Where is the best place to turn for help? How about your smartphone?
As the cold and flu season kicks in, you might be surprised to find that there are now downloadable health and fitness apps for your
( DT) G-1 Android
phone and other mobile devices.
Apple's iTunes App Store has an entire Healthcare and Fitness shopping aisle of downloadable "products." Some, like "Pocket First Aid (pictured below)," "Weightbot" and "iPump Pilates," you pay for. Others, like "Calorie Tracker," "
Mobile" and iPump Free Workout," are free.
The G-1's Android Market (officially still in beta) has also been growing by leaps and bounds. In a quick search of the Lifestyle section in the Applications section, there are now a slew of free, downloadable applications, including "Calories Calculator," "Body Fat Calculator," "CardioTrainer," "Fitness" and the brand new "Cold & Flu Companion."
This last app's full name is "Zicam Cold & Flu Companion." According to Zicam's parent company,
( MTXX), the software was created "to enable on-the-go consumers to take charge of their health by checking cold and flu activity by zip code, among other features."
The official explanation continues: "The software shows users the percentage of sick people in any given zip code, what types of symptoms are most prevalent and which ones to look out for in a specific area. It also keeps users updated on the latest cold and flu news. The app provides vital information to keep consumers healthy and informed whether on the move around town, traveling for business or going on vacation, so they are prepared no matter where they are."
As added value, and just in time for the start of cold and flu season, Google has also launched "Flu Trends," a Web site that can show if the number of flu cases is increasing in areas around the country. Get it? Google has a Web site, and now there's a matching application for the Google phone. But iPhone lovers shouldn't feel left out in the cold -- an iPhone compatible version of Zicam is promised to be released on the iTunes App Store in mid-December.
What are some of the best mobile health/fitness/lifestyle apps you might consider downloading?
"Pocket First Aid and CPR Guide" (by Jive Media, $1.99, Apple App Store): Offers concise, clear information and instructions to help care for you and your family.
"Lose It!" (by FitNow, Free, Apple App Store): Set goals and set-up a daily calorie "budget" which helps you to succeed. Record your food intake and exercise to help stay within your food budget.
"WebMD Mobile" (by WebMD, Free, Apple App Store): Medical information, on demand, at the tap of a finger. Whether you need to investigate symptoms, drug or treatment information, WebMD mobile has answers.
"Natural Cures" (by Plum Amazing, Free, Apple App Store): Developed by author Dr. David Teitelbaum and his nutritionist wife, Laurie, this applet shows you how to combine the best of natural and prescription therapies.
"Fitness" (by Lifeng Sang, Free, Android Market): This app senses your body motion and counts your footsteps, converting that count into distances (like a pedometer), like burnt calories, and keeps track of all of this.
"Mr. Liver" (by Jeremy Ellington, Free, Android Market): This is a semi-beta application that is a real-time BAC (blood alcohol content) estimator. You input drinks, and the info is time-stamped and saved. Works best if you remember to input data. I just love the name.
"LifeAware" (by LifeAware.net, Free, Android Market): Not strictly a health program, but it utilizes the G-1 phone's internal GPS features to let you know when other people are running the "LifeAware" app nearby. Could be a real lifesaver in an emergency.
Gary Krakow is TheStreet.com's senior technology correspondent.