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Your one-stop resource for trusted health app reviews

Practical Apps helps primary care providers find the best apps available to recommend to their patients, so they can better manage their health.

App Reviews by Topic

Catch up on our latest review topic or use the search to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Adult Asthma

Smartphone apps have great potential to improve patient care for asthma. The most recent Canadian Thoracic Society asthma guidelines emphasize the importance of asthma education, self-monitoring and self-management (1). This is because asthma is a dynamic disease that can be exacerbated by triggers that require treatment modification, sometimes urgently. When patients effectively monitor their symptoms, … (see more)

Alcohol Consumption

For centuries, alcohol has been among the most used and abused substances in the world. In Canada, national survey data estimate that approximately 90% of the population will use alcohol at some point in their lifetimes.1 These same data also estimate that 10-20% of alcohol users drink in excess of Canada’s low risk drinking guidelines … (see more)

Anxiety in Adults

Anxiety disorders are extremely common with a lifetime prevalence as high as 31% and a 12-month prevalence around 18% [1]. They are associated with an increased risk of major depressive disorder and are often comorbid with substance use disorder and other mental illness. Anxiety disorders cause substantial functional impairment to the individual and a significant … (see more)

Atrial Fibrillation

As Ontario’s population ages, the incidence of atrial fibrillation increases. We know that atrial fibrillation can be intermittent or asymptomatic. We also know that diagnosed or undiagnosed atrial fibrillation without proper stratification can lead to stroke. If physicians were able to identify these patients earlier and more efficiently, there could be a significant impact on … (see more)

Breast Cancer

Breast cancer represents up to 25% of new cancers in Canadian women and is the second most common cause of cancer-related mortality2. The umbrella term “breast cancer” includes a group of conditions with a number of distinct tumour types, genetic markers, and cancer stages. Treatments and approaches can vary based on patient preferences, local reimbursement … (see more)

Changing Behaviour (Part Two)

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), “Health promotion is the process of enabling people to increase control over, and to improve, their health.” Part of this process involves access to credible medical information, but determining what is or is not credible is not straightforward. Part of this process involves access to credible medical information, … (see more)

Changing Behaviour with Apps

While much of medical science focuses on the treatment of disease, there is growing recognition in health care around the importance of disease prevention through the promotion of healthy behaviours. An Ontario-based study suggests that 60 per cent of deaths are attributable to poor health behaviours. In fact, life spans would increase by seven years … (see more)

Child & Adolescent Anxiety

Kieran has a hard time leaving his parents when dropped off at school. Tanya becomes sick to her stomach and throws up if she has to speak aloud in class. Rowan is afraid of bugs and dirt. All children experience fears and worries as a normal part of healthy development. For some children, these fears … (see more)

Chronic Pain (Revisited)

This review is an updated version of the Chronic Pain review posted in May, 2017 Chronic pain is a complex experience, with multiple causes, variations in symptoms and many factors and treatment modalities that may better, worsen, or not affect the pain at all. This can make monitoring and reducing pain quite challenging [1, 2]. … (see more)

Hypertension

Hypertension affects about one in four Canadian adults, and can cause complications such as cardiovascular disease, kidney disease and death1 2,3. Research shows that self-monitoring blood pressure (BP) 4, self-management and self-adjustments of medications 5, and M-Health based support groups 6 can achieve reductions in blood pressure. The apps reviewed allow for BP self-monitoring and … (see more)

Insomnia

Insomnia is a common problem encountered in family medicine that causes significant morbidity for patients. A survey of Canadian adults found that 40.2% met at least one symptom of insomnia,13.4% met all criteria and 13% had consulted a healthcare provider for sleep difficulties at least once in their lifetime (1). Patients with insomnia have daytime … (see more)

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Irritable bowel syndrome, a commonly encountered problem in family medicine, affects five to 15 per cent of the global population [1]. In Canada, patients with IBS take three times the number of sick days as their colleagues without IBS [2]. IBS is currently diagnosed clinically using a set of criteria, such as the Rome III … (see more)

Menstrual Cycle Tracking

As clinicians, we have all had the experience of walking into an exam room when the only note on the chart reads “women’s issue”. At that moment, a whole catalogue of potential diagnoses runs through our minds and the most valuable tool in our armament is a detailed history. We turn to our patient, see … (see more)

Migraines

As many of us know, migraines are a significant concern in primary care with an estimated 8% of Canadians known to be suffering from migraines (Martin, 2001). However, that is likely an underestimate as many patients do not seek medical treatment for their symptoms (Ramage-Morin & Gilmour, 2015 ). Even for those who are diagnosed, … (see more)

Pediatric Asthma

Asthma is the most common chronic condition affecting children and the most common reason children are hospitalized. It is estimated that more than 15% of Canadian children have been diagnosed with asthma, nearly double the number of adults with the disease. There are excellent national guidelines on asthma in those six years of age and … (see more)

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis -- a chronic autoimmune disease affecting 1 in 100 Canadians [1] -- is characterized by inflammation, joint pain, and stiffness, with fatigue and progressive destruction of symmetrical joints. The main goals of treatment are slowing of chronic damage to joints and reduction of symptoms to improve quality of life and functioning for patients … (see more)

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The views expressed in Practical Apps are the views of OTN and do not necessarily reflect those of the Province.

Important Information about Practical Apps

OTN is making available articles and other information (“Information”) on various health-related apps that may be of value to patients, and their caregivers, with respect to a variety of medical conditions. While OTN and its content providers are endeavouring to provide helpful and accurate Information, the Information is subject to a number of restrictions and provisions. Read more about Our Approach…