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The Best iPhone Medical Apps

Medical Apps
Something's wrong. You don't know what it is, and you don't know why it's happening, but something deep within you just doesn't feel right. Then, like a bolt of lightning, it hits you: you're sick. Great, now what? Your jerk of a boss won't let you go home early, and the blink-of-an-eye lunch break won't give you enough time to see that doctor who can't remember your name anyway. Luckily, you have your iPhone.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta it's not, but your iPhone, surprisingly enough, can offer some pretty helpful medical advice and information in a pinch -- assuming you've downloaded the right apps. Whether you're dealing with chronic back pain, struggling with seasonal allergies or, God forbid, faced with an urgent 9-1-1 emergency, having a well-stocked collection of medical apps can make your next health crisis a whole lot easier to handle. Here are nine medical apps worth checking out, and who (or what) they are best for.

WebMD Mobile

Web MD App
Considering how extensive WebMD's library of medical knowledge is, it's no surprise that this app offers information on just about every health-related issue known to man or woman. Neatly organized and easy to navigate, 'WebMD Mobile' provides in-depth drug breakdowns, a comprehensive index of various medical conditions and, coolest of all, a virtual 'Symptom Checker' that offers personalized guidance to ailing iPhone users. Compulsive WebMD fans might also want to check out the sister app, 'Medscape,' which offers more extensive information and videos on drugs, drug interactions and clinical procedures.
Verdict: A must-have for hypochondriacs and health nuts alike.
WebMD Mobile (Free)

Epocrates

Epocrates
The 'Epocrates' family of apps has always been popular with the medical community, and for good reason. Whereas most entries in the Epocrates series are drenched in jargon that only professionally trained physicians can decode, this comparatively general app offers basic drug information that even the most scientifically clueless should find valuable. In addition to its plethora of clinical information on thousands of prescription and over-the-counter meds, it also features a drug-interaction checker, allowing patients to make sure they're not taking dangerous medical cocktails. The app's most practical tool, however, is its 'Pill ID' feature, where users can identify a mysterious pill by matching it to one of the pictures in the app's database.
Verdict: Might give you more information than you need, but that's never a bad thing.
Epocrates (Free)


Medicinal Herbs

Medicinal Herbs
The younger, more puerile versions of ourselves would've seized this opportunity to make a not-so-subtle weed joke. Because we're so above that kind of humor, though, we'll skip it and say: 'Medicinal Herbs' is the perfect app for anyone looking for a natural approach to modern medicine. There aren't too many bells and whistles, but it delivers exactly what you'd expect. (Unlike pot dealers. Bam!). Namely, that involves information on a variety of (legal) herbs and natural remedies, along with their respective palliative qualities. Your curmudgeonly general physician may not buy into the herbal approach, but you can use this app to hear a bit of the counterargument at the very least.
Verdict: Pseudo-science or not, it can't hurt to learn more.
Medicinal Herbs (Free)

Cannabis

Cannabis
As we (may) have said before, weed is no laughing matter -- and especially not when it's legal. This app's name may very well lure a few stoners hungry for a quick score, but, as we explained in July, 'Cannabis' is devoted entirely to helping the sickly find medical marijuana centers within their vicinity. Use this straightforward app to pinpoint all of the doctors, clinics and collectives that are dishing out the stuff in your area, as well as any activist organizations pushing for legislative reform. We know that none of our readers would ever attempt to buy medicinal marijuana without a prescription, but, in the unlikely event that they do and run afoul of the law, 'Cannabis' also gives a list of lawyers who can help out.
Verdict: Might want to make the most of this app before the feds destroy it.
Cannabis ($2.99)

Cures A-Z

Curez A-Z App
Browsing through piles of pharmacological information is all well and good, but, sometimes, you just need an easy, straightforward remedy for your persistent health problems. That's exactly what you'll find in the smorgasbord of treatments offered by 'Cures A-Z.' All you have to do is scroll through the app's index of medical conditions and find your ailment of interest, and the tool will provide you with a variety of things to help ease your discomfort. Creators Dr. Jacob Teitelbaum, M.D. and his nutritionist wife Laurie Teitelbaum offer both natural and prescription-based remedies. They refuse to accept any money from pharmaceutical or natural product companies, guaranteeing the most objective and circumspect advice you'll find on the medical app market.
Verdict: Perhaps the most practical app for self-medicators.
Cures A-Z (Free)

iFirstAid Lite

iFirst Aid Lite App
You never know exactly how you're going to react when faced with a medical emergency, but that doesn't mean you can't prepare yourself. This app gives step-by-step guidance for a wide range of emergencies, including bleeding, burns, choking and even poisoning. In case you're dealing with an emergency in a foreign land (or simply forgot the phone number for 9-1-1), you can use 'iFirstAid' to look up the local emergency numbers for a full 80 countries.
Verdict: Think of it as a CPR refresher course in your pocket.
iFirstAid (Free)

Allergy Alert

Allergy Alert App
The change of seasons usually implies new beginnings, freshly turned pages and, for many people, an onslaught of allergies. Created by Pollen.com, 'Allergy Alert' offers regularly updated forecasts that can soften the frequently harsh seasonal transition. Whether you're suffering from allergies, asthma, a common cold or ultra-violet sensitivity, this app can let you know when the weather will be friendly -- and when you might be better off spending your day indoors (reading Switched, of course).
Verdict: It won't do much to cure your chronic allergies, but it can definitely help you deal with them.
Allergy Alert (Free)


Hermes

Hermes App
The thought of storing something as personal as your medical history in something as ostensibly flimsy as an iPhone app might seem like a terrible idea. Doing so, however, may save your life. 'Hermes' offers a single place to easily store your blood type, allergies, prescriptions, family history and medical contacts, as well as those of your loved ones (including your pets). You can even add your own personal physician into the database, and find the exact locations of other specialists in your area. In the event that you fall prey to an emergency or accident, Hermes can help others easily find medical assistance when you need it most.
Verdict:
It's not often that we say this, but this app could truly save your life.
Hermes ($1.99)


Night Recorder

Night Recorder App
It may seem like nothing more than a stylized voice recorder, but 'Night Recorder' could be just the thing you need to find out what you really do when you turn out the lights. Just open the app before you go to bed, leave it by your side, and, while you slumber, it will automatically record any noises it picks up during the night. Specialized receptors, meanwhile, can instantly detect even the faintest of noises (think, grinding teeth), and will only record when it picks up sounds. In theory, 'Night Recorder' should help people with sleeping disorders to monitor their overnight habits. In practice, though, you may very well find yourself using it to conduct surreptitious espionage on your girlfriend.
Verdict:
What's there not to love about having your own personal wiretap?
Night Recorder ($2.99)

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