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LaterLife TechnoFile

Modern technology has so much scope and power to dramatically improve our lives. However it also changes at an incredibly fast rate, and keeping abreast of what's out there, and how it can help you, is a full time job!

So to accompany the 150+ articles in Jackie Sherman's YoucandoIT Question & Answer series we are introducing a new article series: The LaterLife TechnoFile

Technofile will help you to understand some of the bewildering array of technology available today, and possibly help to keep up with your grandchildren!

7 of the Best Free Healthcare Related Apps



If you have a Smartphone or Tablet, you have probably been introduced to the notion of Applications, more commonly called Apps. Apps are software programmes that feature on these platforms just like ‘Paint,’ ‘Grab’ or ‘Word,’ might feature on your desktop computer, mac or laptop. In most cases Apps are specifically designed for the change in screen size, different buttons and touch screens that are most commonly associated with hand held devices.

Apps have opened up a whole new way of consuming Media, playing games, as well as support for hobbies and communities, however they have increasingly become involved in health technology innovation. In this article we will explore some of the diverse range of Apps available for the health conscious. And if you have never downloaded an App before, we have a simple how to download an App guide further down the page.

If you are to open an App Store, whether that be Apple’s iTunes, Google Play or another medium, you will see that there are hundreds of thousands of Applications available for various different categories, prices and ratings. By selecting the Health and Fitness category, again there appears to be unlimited choice. We have made a selection of useful health Apps which can help put everyone in control of their lifestyle and make healthier choices.

The Apps listed below are all Free versions, although some are locked to certain devices e.g. smartphone or tablet. In some cases there are alternative ‘Pro’ versions available which are paid for. These tend to be advert free and have additional features but you will be able to see the difference between the free and paid versions in the App Store.

If you are already familiar with downloading Apps but want to be able to remove them, then why not look over the LaterLife how to remove an App guide at the bottom of the page.


First Aid by British Red Cross

This App works as a directory for all sorts of medical issues that you could be faced with in an emergency. It helps you learn through ‘how to’ descriptions and video content. This can be followed up by tests to ensure the information is getting taken in. It also can be really helpful in an actual emergency due to the information being stored within the App, which means no internet connection is necessary. Some examples of its sections include: Asthma Attacks, Burns and Choking.



My PillBox (Meds and Pill reminder)

Ever forget to take a Pill? Medication has never been so easy. By keeping this App up to date it sends reminders not only to take pills but also warning when it’s time to start thinking about a refill.



Instant Heart Rate

Does what is says in the name. It enables you to keep track of your heart rate and can be considered reliable as it states that it is accuracy tested regularly.



Calorie Counter – MyFitnessPal

This App is aimed at the diet conscious. It allows a user to account for the food and calories they are consuming as well as monitoring the exercise they are doing. Combining this information in an App enables us to really understand what is happening with our body, and monitor weight loss and gain.




Runtastic is dominating the Fitness and Exercise sector having evolved to broaden its range with Runtastic Pedometer, Roadbike, Running and Fitness, and a focused ‘Pump It’ range. Looking at the walking App (Runtastic Pedometer) in particular, it tracks all of your steps and works from being in any pocket. It also has a calorie count feature and includes challenges to get you active. Why not try the 10,000 daily steps challenge out to really push yourself.



Quit Smoking - Quit Now!

This App encourages the celebration of how long it has been since your last cigarette and highlights things like how many cigarettes have been avoided and how much money it has saved. This, teamed with images to prevent anyone from wanting to smoke provides a great platform to engage with when taking up the challenge of quitting smoking. There is also a community environment where people can share their achievements with others using the App.



Blood Pressure (BP) Watch

This App allows Blood Pressure to be monitored regularly and can provide a useful indicator of your blood pressure. In no cases should it be considered a replacement for regular health checks, however it could help demonstrate an issue you may feel you have to your Doctor through its history recordings.


How to download an App:

Any New Technology can be daunting, especially if you have never used it before, so here is some simple guidance on how to download Apps to your smartphone or tablet:

  • Firstly find the icon for your mobile devices App store. At the start of the article we mentioned iTunes, which features on iPhones, and GooglePlay, that features on the majority of Android phones, but it is good to remember there are others available.

  • Once you have located your App Store, click on the icon. This will open the store and it will open a window demonstrating all the different things it has to offer.In this case we are most interested in Apps, so click on the App button from the list of different products usually located on the left hand side. E.g. music, books, films

  • Now you are on the App section of the store, you could choose to type in the name of the App you are looking for in the Search Bar commonly located at the top.
    Alternatively you can click on Categories which will enable you to browse numerous different topics for instance: Business, Shopping, Games or Weather.

  • If you spot an App that might be of interest to you click on the icon. On this page you can view the App in more detail. Graphics will show what the App looks like, and this is accompanied by text of what the App can do as well as user reviews.

  • If you want to download the App click on the Open/Install icon, usually located to the right of the App image. (Here you may then have to enter your password.)

  • Downloading Apps should only take a few minutes if you are connected to a good internet service. While they are downloading a bar will normally display to demonstrate its progress. Whilst this is downloading you can click off of this screen and use your smartphone or tablet for other functions.

  • Once the download is complete it will usually send you a notification which will take you straight to the App. If this does not happen then scroll across your smartphone or tablet until you see the new icon and access it that way.

  • To access music or books or other alternative products in the store you can gain access to them the same way.

How to remove an App:

Ever downloaded Apps and regretted it? This is how you can go about removing them. The method for deleting an App can differ slightly between each handheld device, this ‘how to’ will cover two of the most popular platforms, Apple and Android.


  • Tap and hold the App icon that you want to remove. A cross should appear in the top right corner.
  • Click on the cross and select the ‘Delete’ option.


  • Go to the ‘Settings’ menu.
  • Select the category ‘Apps’ of ‘Application Manager.’
  • Click on the App you want to get rid of.
  • Then select ‘Uninstall.’

Don’t panic if you have deleted multiple Apps and realise that actually you made a mistake! If you go back to the App store you can always choose to ‘Install’ and download an App again.

Also if you have followed the above steps but there is no ‘Delete’ or ‘Uninstall’ option you may find that you are trying to remove a System App. System Apps are usually pre-installed and are locked to the device and therefore cannot be removed.



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