TODAY

TODAY   |  March 21, 2013

Which wellness apps to use (and which to avoid)

A slew of smartphone apps offer better health at the touch of a button, but a recent surge in the number of them brings a new concern. Sascha de Gersdorff of Women’s Health warns of some of the hazards and shows off four of the best health-related apps.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> today's health, the growing popularity of wellness apps, calorie counters.

>> there are some apps that promise to heal or diagnose medical conditions ?

>> here with everything you need to know is sasha , the health and features editor for "women's health" magazine. hi, sasha . we were talking about how we like to go on web md to diagnose our symptoms?

>> not only are people doing that, but now they're turning to health apps right on your phone. you're feeling something, you look it up, there it is. the problem is, there's over 40,000 of these things. and a lot of them claim to treat or cure medical conditions . which usually -- is kind of sketchy. so you want to be careful with which ones you go for and which ones you ignore.

>> you have four that you like that are good ones. one of them is called --

>> angry birds?

>> no.

>> besides angry birds.

>> what is this --

>> first aid by the american red cross . a reputable source. this is really cool. if you're ever in an emergency you can just log on and say you burn yourself cooking, right. here we go, a video, step by step of what to do and then lots of illustrations, frequently-asked questions, you can kind of solve any problems yourself.

>> that's a question when you burn yourself.

>> should i burn myself?

>> the first thing, no. no burning. so another one that we like is called i-triage, this is like an encyclopedia of all kinds of medical knowledge. and the cool thing about this is that you can also find a doctor near you. say you're in a little bit of trouble. you know, say you need a dermatologist, stat. so you can search and they'll come up right near you. so within your area. plug in your zip code , you're good to go, that one is pretty neat.

>> i've been to all of those people this morning.

>> there's one called um skin checks.

>> this is from the university of michigan , a great comprehensive site for all things skin cancer prevention. they have a risk calculator. you tap on that and you can put in where you live, gender, you know, and then sort of scroll down, they've got all sorts of questions at. and at the end they tell you how careful you need to be in the sun. the last one is health taps. can you interact with doctors live from your mobile phone .

>> can you date them?

>> it's basically dating.

>> we could try that, yeah.

>> you can ask a question and you hit submit and then within 24 hours , an actual doctor will get back to you. maybe it will be a love match. for medical question, you can scroll done and see ha other people have asked. very interactive, very cool.

>> sasha , thanks so much.