Harvard Heart Letter

The smartphone will see you now

"Apps" and devices are turning cell phones into tools for health.

The powerful computer you may carry in your pocket or purse — more commonly known as a cell phone or smartphone — can do so much more than make calls, send text messages, and play games. A host of applications ("apps") and devices that plug into or connect with smartphones and tablets can help you monitor your health, manage a medical condition, and communicate with your doctor.

Hundreds of heart-related applications are available for the iPhone, Android, Blackberry, and other smartphones. Many are little more than glorified diaries or pamphlets. A growing number, though, are tapping into the sophisticated technology packed into these phones.

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