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Public Health Meets Mobile Technology

September 3, 2013

Originally published Dec. 12, 2011

According to our last PHPOLL, 60% of respondents want to avoid the holiday weight gain this year by increasing their exercise time or watching portions sizes. PHWEEK has gathered a collection of the latest gadgets and technology to assist in the effort to stave off holiday weight gain and stay healthy and safe in the New Year.

Stay Active:
The FitBit is a device that lets you monitor your physical activity. Equipped with a 3D motion sensor (similar to Nintendo Wii) it tracks calories burned, steps taken, distance travelled and sleep quality on a detailed minute-by-minute basis. The little device needs to be clipped on and beams data back to the wireless base station which automatically syncs the data with the FitBit’s online dashboard.

Prepare Healthy Meals:
Need a healthy recipe for dinner tonight? Just find one on your Eating Well app for your smartphone. This app offers healthy recipes in your pocket. Click here for more information.

Keep Your Family Prepared for Emergencies:
Many Georgians do not have family emergency plans. The Ready GA mobile app may be of real benefit to you, your family and your patients. Now urgent, potentially life-saving information on disease, weather and other emergencies can be instantly delivered to almost anyone with a Smartphone. The app is hailed as the "must-have-app for all Georgians" by public safety personnel, emergency workers and those in the medical community who have tested it. Funded and conceptualized by the Department of Public Health (DPH), the Ready Georgia app offers up-to-the-minute weather and hazard alerts based on a user's location, customizable emergency preparedness checklists and geo-location to deliver alerts, the ability to create emergency plans and show open shelter locations. Click here for iPhone.Click here for Android.

Offer Caregivers Piece of Mind:
A visual pain scale has long been accepted as a way for patients to communicate changes in chronic pain, but it can also help caregivers understand a loved one who cannot speak due to a medical condition. The mobile app, Pain Care, which won a Project HealthDesign award from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the California HealthCare Foundation, translates the pain scale into an electronic journal where a patient can indicate pain levels by touching frowning or smiling faces, as well as location, duration, characteristics, mood and triggers. That data can then be shared instantly with a physician who can adjust medications and treatments accordingly.

Support New Moms:
To help pregnant women and new moms get information about caring for their health and giving their babies the best possible start in life, The Georgia Department of Public Health, Maternal and Child Health Program is a State partner supporting text4baby. Pregnant women and new moms who sign up for this free service by texting BABY to 511411 or (BEBE for Spanish) receive three free SMS text messages each week timed to their due date or baby's date of birth. These messages focus on a variety of topics critical to maternal and child health, including birth defects prevention, immunizations, nutrition, seasonal flu, mental health, oral health, and safe sleep. Text4baby messages also connect women to prenatal and infant care services and other resources.