Who would have thought that using apps on your phone could in-fact support and improve your health and well-being?! This would have been unheard of in years gone, however now it’s almost common practice.
Amongst other things, apps can help you with things like monitoring your physical activity, planning healthier meals, teaching you how to sleep better (and who doesn’t want that!) and tracking your personal data and progress. In fact, research suggests that people are more likely to adopt healthy behaviours when guided by the internet or an app.
So… following a breast cancer diagnosis, it’s time to embrace your inner techy (we’ve all got one in there somewhere!) and find some apps that work for YOU.
First up, here are a few of my favourites that I’ve found really useful since my diagnosis:
Map my run….its a fitness tracking app that I use to record all my walks. It uses the GPS in your phone to record how long you walked for, distance, pace and speed.
My Fitness Pal….I use this to enter my food choices to monitor my calorie intake, and record my weight.
Headspace….my favourite meditation and mindfulness app that essentially teaches you how to do it!
MedAdvisor...this Aussie-made app helps patients to keep track of multiple medications and has a handy alert function when medications need to be taken or re-stocked.
Nike Training Club….an app loaded with workouts that vary in time, type and intensity.
Recharge….an app by Reachout which offers a personalised six week program focused on improving mood, energy and wellbeing by putting in place good sleep / wake patterns.
However if you want to research and find your own apps, I’ve got some tips that might help:
Identify the area’s you might like some help in eg diet, exercise, journal, and do some initial research.
Ask for recommendations from people you trust – any of your medical team, your physio, your personal trainer etc.
Look for apps with credibility - sponsored or created by established health professionals or advocacy groups, medical organisations or universities.
Narrow it down to a few in each area and take them for a test drive. This will eat up some of you phones memory, but you can just delete the duds later.
Read the fine print….you need to know how your personal data will be used.
Although the majority of apps are free, you should always check for in-app purchases.
Finally, choose your personalised suite of apps and use them to improve your health and well-being and make your life a little bit easier!
Now, this is all good stuff but there has been a glaring gap in this space for some time now – cancer management.
But I am thrilled to say that CancerAid - a cancer management and support app - has now filled this gap.
I recently spoke to the co-founders of CancerAid, Dr Nikhil Pooviah and Dr Raghav Murali-Ganesh. Nik, a radiation oncology advanced trainee, and Raghav, a radiation oncologist, were working together in the cancer ward at Chris O’Brien Lifehouse in Sydney when they saw the need to provide diagnosed patients with a better information source, leading them to the development of Cancer Aid.
Since launching the guys have won many awards, been featured in publications all around the world, and last year featured on Australia’s TV show, Shark Tank. They are true innovators and are positively impacting the lives of cancer patients and carers around the world.
So what exactly is Cancer Aid and how can it help you? Well, it's essentially an app that can store all of your cancer information (type, diagnosis, pathology, stage etc....you know, most of the things we forget!). Plus it's a personal journal where you can write about your experiences. There's also a champions section where others can monitor your progress, and finally, a community which allows you to connect with others going through similar experiences. There's also an amazing news feed with up-to-date information.
Even though I'm five years down the track, I started using Cancer Aid as soon as I spoke with Nik and Rav - It's relevant no matter what stage you're at.
For more information on Cancer Aid head on over to http://canceraid.com/. And keep an eye on these guys - they're doing amazing things!
If you’ve got some awesome apps you’re using following a breast cancer diagnosis I’d love to hear about them. Drop me a line at email@example.com.
In the meantime, happy app-ing!
LISTEN: Want to learn more? Check out The Pink Movement Podcast Episode 19 with Nikhil Pooviah and Raghav Murali-Ganes, where we talk more on Apps and the guys gives a full run down on Cancer Aid, how it works, and how it can be of benefit to you.