Tag Archives: health

App of the Week – mRelief

mReliefWhy, in the richest country on earth, are people still going hungry? According to Feeding America 25 – 40 percent of food grown, processed and transported in the U.S. will never be eaten. This food is often thrown out as leftovers or destroyed because it is simply not pretty enough for the grocery store.  That is why mRelief is the App of the Week.

First of all mRelief is not exactly an app. It is a new web and text messaging tool for low-income families. The service helps low income families to easily locate where and when they can receive free or discounted meals this summer for their children. According to mRelief 22 million children in the U.S. receive free or reduced-price breakfasts and lunches during the school year. But during the summer, four out of five of those same children can no longer count on a meal every day. So mRelief helps families not only find where to get free or reduced price meals but also help them locate food banks and determine their eligibility for food and nutrition assistance programs even if you don’t have children.

According to USDA statistics $11 billion in food stamps went unclaimed simply because people who are eligible either didn’t know or didn’t have access to applications. mRelief provides low-income people with the help they need to figure out if they qualify for programs like food stamps and much-needed social services.

mRelief was launched in September 2014 and has helped 30,000 families locate the social services they qualify for. mRelief is looking to the future with plans to help people determine the documents they need as well as submitting those documents.

The mRelief website is fairly straight forward. All the user needs to do is enter their zip code and the type of assistance they need. But the user can also find help with a variety of other needs that include;

  • Cash
  • Child Wellness
  • Education
  • Energy
  • Food
  • Health
  • Housing
  • Transportation
  • Veterans assistance

Those without access to the internet can text their zip code to 1-844-877-6111. mRelief is currently available in 42 states.


App of the Week -Ipiit

Food allergies suck! Black people with food allergies have to be on constant alert no matter where they are eating. Diabetes, high blood pressure and other health problems common in the African-American population can make eating inconvenient and even dangerous. That is why ipitt is the App of the Week.

Depending on your health and the drugs you may be taking keeping track of dietary restrictions can  be a life or death chore. For example some medications react dangerously to a simple grapefruit.

But many food allergens can be hidden and difficult to detect. The ipiit app is an excellent tool to have while browsing supermarket isles. ipiit allows the user to scan the barcode on any product and identify foods that are safe to eat and alert you if there is danger based on your preset preferences.

After downloading the ipiit app the user customizes it to their food allergies and preferences. For users needing to avoid certain foods or ingredients ipiit creates a food profile unique to each user. As you walk through the grocery aisles and find an interesting food you just scan the barcode. The app will show the user symbols that determine whether you have the green light to buy and eat or just leave it on the shelf. 

Product comparison is also available in the app allowing users to analyze the overall nutritional value of the food product and narrow it down to specific dietary restrictions like sodium levels and trans fats. The ipiit app also suggests to the user alternative products that suit their needs.

As we get older our bodies change and our diets must change as well.  It is not unusual to be come intolerant or allergic to something you been eating all your life.  The developers of the ipiit app admit that many health experts warn against eating processed foods labeled with barcodes. However, for most people, eating all fresh foods all the time is an unrealistic goal.

The ipiit also has a social media facet as well and users can become part of the ipiit community. There they can write their own product reviews and read product reviews from other members.

ipiit is free and available for Apple and Android.

App of the Week – WebMD Baby

Web MD babyOne of the toughest jobs in the world is beng a new parent. A new baby can as joyful as it is mysterious. Trying to decypher exctly what is hapening with your your new baby cn be a tough even terrifying task. That is why WebMD Baby is the App of the Week.

The WebMD Baby claims to offer new parents hundreds of articles and videos that have been developed and approved by WebMD doctors. Other features of the app include;

  • A growth tracker allowing parents to track their childs weight and height and head circumference. The app can also track this growth using photos.
  • A diaper tracker that records the dates and times of every diaper change, if the diaper was wet, dirty, or both. This information can be emailed and a report can be compiled to see all changes in a calendar view.
  • A sleep tracker to record a infants sleep sessions and details like whether the baby slept in a crib or a car seat. You can also generate a report with ths information.
  • A feeding tracker to record feeding dates and times and source for every feeding and set up reminders for the next feeding.
  • For memories there is a baby tracker feature to record you baby’s key moments and milestones in the Baby Book. The new parent can add photos or videos along with their own captions and share them on Facebook or email to friends and relatives.

WebMD Baby also provides news articles, a weekly tip from doctors and other information for the first and second years of your childs life.

WebMD Baby is free and available for Apple and Android devices.

App of the Week – Hi.Q Health App

HiQIconWe all do it. The New Year’s resolution to lose twenty pounds. The promise to get in shape this year, eat better, smarter and get healthy. Not many of us succeed. We need some help. That’s why HiQ is the App of the Week

Hi.Q is an inquisitive app with 10,000 questions covering 300 topics about health and fitness. It is designed to get you healthy by educating you. To start using the app you answer 30 preliminary questions that cover your basic nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle. As you become accustomed to it you can start taking quizzes on the topic of the day. You can also examine more niche subjects like the Paleo diet, heart disease, or running.

With the frightening obesity epidemic among African-Americans we really need to improve our eating habits. We need to become more aware of what we are doing to ourselves. African-Americans consume more fast food than any other race. Top that with our traditional ethnic diet and we have a problem.

Many people, including black people, are focused on getting healthy. The popularity of health and fitness apps is up 87 percent compared to other app categoriesAnd do we need to talk about the billions of dollars spent on exercise equipment that ends up in the garage?  Or at a garage sale.  But for black people the trick has to be education. It can be hard if we don’t know, or get bad information on how to go about getting healthy, more active and losing weight.  For example, all those diet fads that say you can lose twenty pounds in ten days. Hi.Q attempts to give users all the best information without the tedious Google Search.

With the Hi.Q app you will find both the questions and their answers are vetted by health and fitness professionals like Harvard Med School physician Dr. James Colbert and U.S. Olympic Team orthopedic surgeon Dr. Scott Hacker. Most answers link back to scientific studies or the articles so you can learn more about the topic.

The Hi.Q quiz app can be fun. When you complete a quiz you’re given a score. A high score earns you status and titles such as “Elite.” Other titles included “Health Guru” or “Health Pioneer.” You can share this with your social media friends or diet buddy.

The social media aspect of the app keeps you interested and connected with other users. Hi.Q CEO and co-founder Munjal Shah created the title and scoring system to validate user credentials. So when a user claims he or she is an expert on this topic you can check their scores and see for yourself.

HiQ is a fun and useful tool. But the real benefit is what you get out of your increased knowledge. And for African-Americans knowledge is the way to a better more healthy life. Hi.Q can help us learn and understand the benefits of daily exercise and proper diet.

Hi.Q is free and currently available only on Apple.

App of the Week: Doctor on Demand

doctor-on-demand-logo-largeMedical attention is is one of the most needed and costly services in the African-American community. It can take as much as three weeks to get a doctors appointment and even longer using public medical assistance programs. Not to mention the fact that some black people, especially black men, are just too damn stubborn to go to a doctor. This week’s app may help solve this problem.

Doctor on Demand is an app that allows the user to have a video visit with a board certified doctor anytime they wish using video chat technology. The app allows you to consult with a doctor from anywhere. This is not an emergency medical service and is not a substitute for a trip to the emergency room.

We all know how a doctor visit can take a chunk of time out of our day. Doctor on Demand can make that trip completely unnecessary for common complaints such as cold and flu, sore throats, skin rashes, stomach illnesses, sports injuries and even traveler’s sicknesses. You can consult with a physician from anywhere in the world but they will not be able to write a prescription for outside the U.S.  And keep in mind that the doctor can see you so he or she may be able to examine those strange bumps or mysterious rashes. However there are some illnesses that are not treatable through the app and these are cancer and other complex illnesses and chronic conditions.

The website offers short profiles of the doctors you will find there along with images of their smiling faces.  This allows the patient to at least have some background knowledge of the doctor’s qualifications. I am sure it can be comforting for some people.

I examined some of the profiles and would have to say that Doctor on Demand has done an admirable job of bringing qualified professionals on board.

For parents there is a pediatric triage service available for your child’s minor illnesses including coughs and colds. Doctor On Demand offers trained pediatricians who can evaluate your child’s condition immediately.  The physician can determine whether their injury or illness requires in-person medical attention or not. In many cases, the doctor maybe able to treat your child in your home with a prescription or non-prescription therapy and answer any specific medical questions a concerned parent may have. Doctor on Demand can also prevent keep your child from exchanging those nasty germs and viruses with other kids in the doctor’s waiting room.

The Doctor on Demand app has recently undergone a  transformation and added some additional features for mothers. Now the app offers consulting services for lactating mothers. Doctor on Demand has partnered with Upspring Baby to provide board certified lactation consultants.  Another new feature of the app is psychology services. Using the video chat you can talk with professional psychologists from the privacy of your home or anywhere you may be using your smart phone, tablet or laptop. Some of the issues the psychologists can address include depression, relationship issues, stress and anxiety, addictions and eating disorders. You can see the complete list here.

The Doctor on Demand charges $40 for a regular video visit. A visit with a psychologist is $50 for a 25 minute session and $95 for a 50 minute session. The cost of a lactation consultation with Doctor On Demand/UpSpring Baby  is $40 for a 25 minute and $70 for 50 minutes. None of this is currently covered by insurance.

Doctor on Demand is available on Apple and Android as well as through their website.