I've been sick nearly nonstop for the past two weeks. But apparently I'm not the only one, because trying to get in to see my doctor these days is like seeking an audience with the President. What this has meant for me is I've been spending increased amounts of time online, scoping out symptoms and scouring hopefully for cures. In doing this research, I've discovered more than a few handy apps that can take a lot of the guesswork out of getting better—and they’re free! If you or someone you love is under the weather, I hope my research will help you too!

1. Doctor on Demand

This innovative app is free to download. It lets you talk to a licensed physician over video chat. The chat replaces an in-office doctor visit and costs $40. While this may seem a bit steep, think of what it’s like when you’re really sick and your doctor doesn't have any available appointments for three days. You can consult with a doctor for around the same price as most insurance co-pays, and you don't even have to leave your house. You can also use the app for research free of charge.

2. Health Tap

Health Tap has been given rave reviews from The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and many others. It’s fast, free and a veritable repository of information from more than 50 thousand physicians—all free of charge.

3. iTriage

iTriage was created by a team of emergency room doctors to help take the guesswork out of when to seek treatment. The database is vast and the answers are detailed. You can also scout out a doctor and see wait time estimates at local emergency rooms. The app also has its own integrated website you may find helpful: https://www.itriagehealth.com

4. Medscape

If you ever have concerns about a drug prescription, a medication you’re taking or interactions between drugs (whether prescription or herbal) this free app has the answers. Physicians also use the app. To date, it has been downloaded more than half a million times for Apple alone.

5. Cancer.net

Cancer.net is the go-to resource today for all cancer information. Designed by the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), the app is oncologist-recommended and also has its own website: http://www.cancer.net.

6. Hello Baby

Hello Baby comes courtesy of diapers giant, Pampers. The free app comes complete with beautiful visual tools to help new moms visualize their baby at each stage of development. You can also add personalized data, access the "womb translator" (this shows you what you might sound like to your in-womb baby) and even share your progress with family and friends.

7. Dosecast

Reader's Digest, Real Simple and other leading publications have recommended Dosecast, a free app to help patients remember to take their pills on time. The simple interface performs surprisingly complex functions, including dose reminders, pill tracking, refill reminders and more.


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