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About half of adult Americans suffer from one or more chronic conditions. Many of these, including diabetes, heart disease and lung disease, can be monitored by apps which provide information for the doctor and suggestions and reminders for us.

Monitoring and Reporting Apps

Some of these apps can help ward off the conditions to begin with. High blood sugar, but not high enough to be called diabetes, affects one in three Americans, increasing the risk of stroke and heart attack. Of people who have “prediabetes”, perhaps 30% will develop diabetes within 5 years – if they do not lose weight, exercise and adopt a healthy diet. Education, monitoring apps and “high touch” personal intervention by coaches can help according to a study of Humana Medicare Advantage beneficiaries published in the Journal of Aging and Health.

COPD (including emphysema and chronic bronchitis) needs to be treated early. Monitoring and reporting apps allow health care providers to direct the 30 million Americans with COPD to appropriate therapy before they need to go to the ER.

But apps can only remind us what to do: they can’t do it for us. One out of five people do not even fill their prescriptions for diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, turning the last two into “silent killers.”

If your app pings, will you respond?

Estate Planning attorney, Terry Garrett, is a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and is active in the Texas and Austin Bar Associations. She graduated with honors from Cornell University. She was on the Dean’s List at Wharton Business School. She earned her J.D. at Columbia Law School, receiving the Parker Award and a Mellon Fellowship.

She assists families of people with special needs, people planning for the retirement years and people administering estates.

 

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