As a patient, would you benefit from apps that alerted your support network every time you visited the hospital or had a few spare minutes to chat? Almost definitely, right? Apps for patients are nothing new but apps that help connect you with your support network could have a seriously positive effect on your life and if they happen to be a little fun, all the better.
Staying in touch with your friends and family throughout treatment can benefit everyone involved. Allowing your loved ones to feel connected can remove the sense of powerlessness that they might feel as you battle onwards. Keeping them up-to-date also affords them with the opportunity to support and help you when things are getting tough.
In fact, when we asked our 15,000+ strong community of patients and former patients what helped them most on their darkest days, the responses were almost unanimous; family and friends rock at busting through the worst days.
The thing is, asking for help can be hard, as can predicting when you might need some extra support. The list of apps that aim to help people connect is endless, so we decided to find the ones that could help patients stay connected with minimal effort.
Though none of our favorites were designed specifically for patients and their support networks, we think these clever apps could become invaluable when it comes to connecting and informing your loved ones easily and safely.
Check out the list and be sure to forward it to everyone in your support network. Our bet is that each and every member will be excited to get such insights into your treatment and needs.
Android and iPhone Your friends and family are probably willing to do just about anything to help you on your road to health...so why do they never call? We hear it all the time, and we bet that nine times out of ten the reason is sweeter than you fear; they are afraid of disturbing you, of calling at the wrong time and causing setbacks, or waking you from much-needed sleep.
The “reachability” app lets the would-be caller know when you’re around your phone and likely to answer, when you’re already on a call, busy, haven’t been on their phone in some time (read: sleeping), or have a low battery.
Don’t worry, you decide who gets to see what information, so you can easily create a small network of people who always know if now is a good time. The best part is that it’s all done automatically so there’s no need to remember to update the app (or your network). Just download, invite your buddies, and never wonder why they didn’t call (or why they called at the worst bloody moment!) again.
Android and iPhone It’s probably a familiar scenario. You arrive at the hospital, fill in a number of forms, text mum to let her know you made it, fill in more forms, text your sister, quick chat with a nurse to clear up some of her questions, text mum back, compose half a message to your bestie, doctor meeting, back to unsent message, another meeting, and repeat.
Before you know it your day is over, you’re exhausted, and you’ve forgotten to message half of the people you promised updates to, while the other half are not entirely sure if you made it to the clinic at all.
Familonet aims to change situations like this. Download the app, create a group, and input the places that matter to you all.
Android and iPhone What good is a support network if they don’t know when you’ve run out of chocolate? Of course, we’re kidding (sort of), but there is a lot to be said for keeping your loved ones informed of the more mundane things, like whether or not you got to the pharmacy yet.
FamilyInSafe is a collaborative to-do list, that doubles as an instant messenger and locator.
What we love about it is that you can share your list of to-dos and ask your group to help out when needed.
If you’re not going to make it to the grocery store (or know that someone in your group is - thank you geo location!), you can give a nudge and get help whittling down your to-dos to zero.
The app also includes a panic button, so if anything goes wrong, your group will be alerted and can come to your aid.
Now, how much chocolate do you think they can fit into a shopping cart?
Android and iPhone What happens if you have a not too tech-savvy member in your support group or an android user in a family of iPhoners? What if your grandparents want to know how you’re doing, but don’t know an app store from their elbow?
Calling themselves a “private social network for your family”, (and dubbed “Facebook for your real friends” by users), Togethera is a no-nonsense image, video, and comment sharing service that allows only those who you have invited via email to see what you have shared.
There are no notifications from long-lost pals, no Farmville invitations, no comments from randomers; just the updates you choose sent to your invitees.
Available on IoS, android, and grandparent-friendly browsers, and you can even opt to receive all updates via email. The best part? Togethera is seriously committed to privacy, so you won’t have to worry where your updates might end up.
We believe that these apps could be valuable for people battling illness, but we also believe that people battling illness are incredibly valuable to others. If we got something wrong (or right!), or you have other suggestions for this list, we want to hear from you. Find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share your experiences and knowledge with us and help us help others.
DISCLAIMER: Nothing can replace the care of your clinician or doctor. Please do not make changes to your treatment or schedules without first consulting your healthcare providers. This article is not intended to diagnose or treat illness.