Have you ever left a medical visit unsure of what the doctor meant? Or realized you forgot to ask an important question? Or felt scared by a diagnosis and simply stopped absorbing information?
Patients forget 40 to 80 percent of medical information they receive, according a Journal of the Royal School of Medicine study from 2003. And worse, nearly half of the information is remembered incorrectly.
This is why many doctors recommend bringing a spouse or friend along to appointments.
However, if you’re flying solo, there are tools to help you remember information, including a new $12 medical planner and organizer book by Dr. Leslie Collins Cole called Docrates, which provides spaces to jot down your medical history, medications, doctor appointments and medical concerns.
Below is a quick-hit guide to four helpful electronic apps for smartphones and tablets — all under $8; one is free — so you can digitally plan and record your doctor’s appointment.
Health apps are like digital file cabinets for your medical records, available at your fingertips.
What it does: Organizes medical appointments; stores documents and test results; sets reminders for taking medication; records health data on graphs
Cool feature: You can select people to share your medical information, making it useful for family caregivers.
Devices: iPhone and iPad
What it does: Sets medical appointment reminders; records doctor visits via voice, text and photo options
Cool feature: The voice notes let you record and play voice memos.
Devices: iPhone and iPad
What it does: Charts test results; sets medical appointment reminders; stores information about medications, allergies, diagnoses, etc.
Cool feature: Its autocompletion and autosuggestion helps you spell tricky medical words and medications to better keep track of health information.
Devices: iPhone, iPad and Android
What it does: Sets medical appointment reminders; stores health information, including documents, reports and images
Cool feature: It tracks your medical entries, so you can analyze the progression of your disease or treatment.
Jill Yanish is the assistant editor of Next Avenue.
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