By Daniel Gaitan
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - As part of the 18th Annual Webby Awards, 11 mobile health applications ranging from personal wellness journals to allergen and symptom trackers were chosen as honorees.
WebMD, available for iOS and Android mobile operating systems, provides a symptom checker allowing users to indicate pain or symptom levels to learn about potential conditions or issues (http://bit.ly/1tHoL2U). "We are thrilled," said David Ziegler, director of mobile product management. "In addition to improving the look and feel of the entire app and our popular symptom checker utility, we wanted to offer users the ability to read about healthy living-related content on a daily basis."
My Wellness Journal is a personal health record app created by California-based Project Tiki (http://bit.ly/1f7Rjyy). For $2.99, the app allows users to store their own and their family's medical information through an iPhone or iPad. "It allows you to take all your information with you and store it easily and safely, even email it," said John Hobson, founder and C.E.O. "App stores are tough, but we saw a need that would be valuable to consumers, and went after it."
The American Red Cross is honored for First Aid, a multi-platform app fully integrated with EMS (http://rdcrss.org/1rpPheZ). It provides safety tips and alerts for emergencies, including severe winter weather, tornadoes, hurricanes and earthquakes. Other diagrams and videos are designed to teach users basic first aid, including treatments for burns, choking and heat stroke.
"Everybody has the need to know what to do in case an emergency happens, and they need accurately information," said Dom Tolli, vice president of product management with the American Red Cross. Tolli said First Aid has been downloaded more than 2 million times.
Zyrtec's Allergycast with a symptom tracker boasts it is "the first pollen app that learns what you're allergic to, teaches you exactly why you're sneezing and lets you log your symptoms to unlock prizes and charms." With the app, for both iOS and Android, users may log symptoms, such as an itchy nose or throat, and learn about Zyrtec products (http://bit.ly/1f7RDgS).
Diabetes HealthMate from GlaxoSmithKline helps users track their blood sugar readings over time, and chart how they relate to factors such as mood, activity level and diet (http://bit.ly/1fuK3qY).
My Pregnancy Today from BabyCenter is designed to help expectant parents learn about their baby's development (http://bit.ly/1idtJQr).
Also honored were apps from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (http://1.usa.gov/QCaOnx), CVS Pharmacy (http://bit.ly/1mEqYrv), FitStar (http://bit.ly/1hqcevA), Sharecare (http://bit.ly/1fbnX1V) and PingMD (http://bit.ly/1gUBeY8).
These 11 honorees are not among the top five nominees. The top five in the mobile app category are listed here, http://bit.ly/1rp6rYh, and the winner will be announced April 28. The five nominees are: Glow, a reproductive health service; Win the Hour from Nike; Charity Miles, an effort helping athletes raise funds for charity; Touchfit: GSP from Zolmo; and Walgreens, the official customer service app allowing users to chat with pharmacists and refill prescriptions.
This is the first year health and fitness apps were given their own category. "There is a lot of promise for health and fitness apps, and I think we are really just at the beginning of what we will see and how important some of these experiences will become in our daily lives," David-Michel Davies, executive director of the awards, said in a statement.
Established in 1996, the Webby Awards are presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, an organization made up of more than 1,000 technology experts and artists.