If you don't have a medical condition now, you will have one at some point. That sounds depressing, but it's just how life works for us fragile humans.
That's why it pays to keep track of your medical history, including checkups, shots, medicine you've been on, surgeries and everything else. A full medical history can help a doctor diagnose you, or make sure you're getting the proper care.
Keeping a medical history is easier said than done, though. Your doctor probably has a complete record, but even with electronic health records it might not transfer correctly to a new doctor or be available in an emergency when you're on vacation.
You also don't want your complete medical information floating around on a third-party server somewhere. Fortunately, there are apps available that give you the best of all worlds.
1. A connected app
If you want an app that integrates into other health systems seamlessly, take a look at iBlueButton (Android, Apple; $14.99). Instead of filling out forms each time you visit a doctor, you can put all that information one time onto iBlueButton. Even more convenient, you can import online medical records from sites such as MyMedicare, My HealtheVet, Aetna, RelayHealth, TRICARE for people in the military, and others.
You can securely access your electronic medical records. Plus, you can scan information into iBlueButton with your smartphone's camera, or import photos from your camera roll.
When all of your medical information is in iBlueButton, you can further customize it by adding your own notes. Even with all that, iBlueButton is committed to keeping your medical information secure. Everything is encrypted and stored directly on your smartphone, not on a third-party computer server.
2. An app for the entire family
While it isn't as connected as iBlueButton, My Medical (Android, Apple; $4.99) is great for families since it stores medical records for as many people as you want. That includes information about medication, blood tests, X-rays, immunization records, insurance and allergies and more. Again, your information is encrypted and stored locally on your smartphone, not online.
However, it's great for emergency medical situations. You can choose information that first responders can see without entering a password. For example, enter your doctor's contact information and email information. That way, if you are unable to speak about your medical history, emergency responders will have a way to know who does.
3. Communicate with your doctor
Unlike the above apps, MyChart (Apple, Android; Free) doesn't cover as much medical information, although it will let you keep track of your entire family. It also doesn't store your information locally. However, it does link directly to your health care provider's servers (for supported providers), so you're grabbing your information directly from your doctor's office.
Not only does this mean no third-party is involved in your information, you can also schedule appointments and get appointment reminders, as well as send your doctor non-urgent messages. You can see past appointments, lab results, prescription history and medical procedures.