I love technology. While medical science has yet to find a cure for lupus, the advancements made over the past 50+ years have given lupus patients a better shot at living long lives than ever before. Aside from that, wonderfully addictive inventions such as wifi, tablets and cell phones have made it easier for those of us with less-than-optimum health to still interact with the world and be better able to support ourselves…you know, instead of starving to death alone in a cave somewhere.
Technology is a wonderful tool to help make coping with lupus (or any other chronic illness) easier. From tracking what you eat to looking up a weird new symptom at 2am to more normal trials such as setting a budget and getting from point A to point B, there’s an app for that (sorry, couldn’t resist). Below is a list of lupus-friendly apps to help
Full disclosure – No company has paid me for the reviews or links below.
While there are tons of general health-related apps on the market, there was a time when it was tough finding something specifically for lupus patients. Happily, more and more apps for us lupies are being developed. With them you track symptoms such as fatigue levels, remind you of appointments and help keep you on top of your medications. Most of the apps have similar features, so try them all and see which ones work best for you.
We Can Beat Lupus (Android, free) – This one’s more a motivational app. It contains links to inspirational stories and lupus-related information. This is a great app for lupie friends and family who want to find out more about what living with lupus is like.
Lupus Connect (Android, free) – This app connects you to the Lupus Connection forum. Connect with other lupus patients from your phone.
WebMD : Coping With Lupus Day 2 Night – Technically not an app, the website walks you through several questions and then helps you create an action plan to take to your doctor. It’ll also send tailored articles and coping strategies for the top symptoms and concerns that you indicate.
Other Helpful Health apps
ITriageHealth – Aiming to be a one-stop shop for health questions, ITriage is great alternative to apps like WebMD. While the symptom tracker function could be a little more robust, my favorite feature by far is the app’s ability to use your current location to map all health services in real time, from pharmacies to urgent care clinics to hospitals. Sign up for a free account on their website and you can save your medications, insurance and doctor info for easy reference as well. It’s basically a medical planner on your smartphone or tablet. The app is free to download.
Med Helper – If you could go swimming in a pool of all your pills, then an app like Med Helper is probably right up your alley. Track your medications, get reminders on refills and track your inventory. Have to take medications several times a day? Set up alarms so you never miss a dose. Export and print your medicines for doctor appointments instead of dragging all your bottles along. Prices vary and it’s available for download on both Android and Apple.
My Pain Diary – Do you get more symptoms in certain weather or after eating certain foods? Instead of relying on your memory to find patterns for your triggers, use a tracking app like My Pain Diary. Available on Itunes.
mySymptoms Food & Symptom Tracker – A lot of lupus patients claim to have gotten symptom relief through changing their diet. If you’d like to try that for yourself, consider an app like mySymptoms to evaluate how well it’s working. Price varies. Available for both Apple and Android.
Uber – Props to my brother for this one. Uber provides cabs on demand throughout certain cities (currently in 35 countries and growing – check their list here to see if they’re in your area). When you sign up for a free account, you save your credit card info on the site and any rides you take are charged to that card, almost eliminating the need to carry around cash. The best part? When a cab is selected, the driver gets your picture and cell phone number, while you get their picture, name and the number of the cab coming to get you – no guesswork! And the driver will call you if they’re delayed or confused about where to pick you up. I find this a much safer way to travel and each driver come with ratings from other riders. The app is free to download for Apple and Android.
As an added bonus for you awesome LDL readers, if you decide to give Uber a whirl and use my referral link, you’ll get a $10 credit after your first ride. Click the URL and you’ll be able to check out the site for yourself https://uber.com/invite/uberlifedespitelupus .
Any.do/Cal – One of the most popular to-do lists, Any.do will tempt you with Kiip rewards (coupons and offers from a selection of retailers) to stay on track with your chores. Cal is the company’s integrated calendar app. You can connect it to your Google calendars, and social media to import your contact’s birthdays and other events. Use them together and you’ll also see your to-do items on your calendar. Plus, Cal’s interface is just gorgeous; it uses random art and images to liven up your phone or tablet.
Mint – Having lupus is expensive (the LFA estimates over $21,000 per year). Bad budgeting can lead to problems with getting your medications and staying on track with them. Mint.com is free website where you can keep an eye on all your accounts, evaluate your debt, set budgets and savings goals and categorize your spending. It’ll offer suggestions for savings and/or checking account or credit cards based on your credit scores and has tons of personal finance tips. The app is free for both Apple and Android.
Evernote/Springpad/Onenote – The internet is double-edged sword. On one hand, you can find out anything about anything – there’s more information floating around out there than any one person can absorb in 30 lifetimes. On the other hand, that’s exactly what’s make it all overwhelming. Apps like Evernote can help you collect what’s interesting or useful and organize it all in a way that’s easy to navigate. Create a folder for lupus articles (I have one!), another for recipes or for any other topic you like. While Evernote is one of the tops, look into Springpad and Onenote as well – their style might suit you better. Your sanity will thank you.
Edited to add : A brand-new company based in New York, Pager, is trying to bring back the good old days of doctor house calls. Right now, their list of pre-approved, board-certified doctors is small (only about 20 or so) and pricing is on the steep side if your insurance doesn’t cover the visit, but this could be a great alternative if you need a visit and don’t feel well enough to leave the house.
What are your favorite lupus-friendly apps? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t have to leave your inbox for every new post!