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Managing Your Health with Apps: Top Healthcare Tools for Seniors

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Summary: Managing your health at home can be a challenging task, but healthcare apps can help make it easier. In this article, we’ll discuss the different kinds of health apps that are available for smartphones and tablet devices including patient portal apps, fitness apps, prescription management apps, and more.

Choosing Healthcare Apps: Where to Start

Virtual doctors’ appointments and e-visits aren’t the only way technology can help older adults manage their health. Apps on smartphones and tablets can also help seniors manage various aspects of their health.

Tips When Choosing Health Apps:

  • It’s important to remember that some apps are free, while others will either have a one-time cost, recurring subscription fee, or in-app purchases. When choosing an app, be mindful of any costs or fees. Even if an app is only $4.99, costs can quickly add up if you’re purchasing multiple apps.
  • Be mindful that not all apps are available on all devices. If you read about an app online and want to download it, there’s a chance that it isn’t available on your device.
  • Consider what you need help with. Do you need help remembering to take your medications? Do you need help with staying physically active?

With so many different types of health apps available, you may be unsure of where to start. Below, we’re going to review some different types of healthcare apps and how they can benefit older adults.

Patient Portal Apps Allow Seniors to Manage Their Health Information

In our previous guide – Navigating Telehealth and Virtual Doctors’ Appointments – we briefly explained how patient portals work. Though some patient portals can only be accessed in a web browser, some patient portals are available as downloadable apps.

One of the most popular patient portal apps is called MyChart. It can be accessed via your web browser on your computer and is also available as an app for smartphones and tablets.

MyChart is powered by Epic, which is the software that is used by many large health organizations across the U.S. Because the Epic software is so widely used, MyChart has a feature called “Happy Together”, which allows you to pull all your medical records from participating providers together. This means you can view your test results, scheduled appointments, and other health records from multiple healthcare providers all in one place. This feature, along with an easy-to-use interface, is why MyChart is one of the most popular health management apps out there.

If you see multiple providers and want access to all your health records in one app, ask your doctors if they use MyChart and if they use the Happy Together feature. Providers who do not use MyChart may have a separate app that you can download to easily access your patient portal.

Apps Can Help Seniors Manage Prescriptions

According to a survey by KFF, more than half of adults ages 65 and older report taking four or more prescription drugs. If you’re one of those individuals, managing your prescriptions can be a challenging task. However, applications available on smartphones, tablets, and other smart devices can help make managing your medications easier. These apps can be especially beneficial if you:

  • Take multiple prescriptions
  • Have trouble remembering what time you should be taking your medications
  • Need reminders about which medications shouldn’t be taken together, or should be taken with food
  • Want reminders for ordering prescription refills

Though there are many medication management apps available. One of the highest-rated apps is the Medisafe Medication Management app. This app not only helps you keep track of your prescriptions but will also provide warnings if two or more medications have a potentially harmful interaction. Another feature of the Medisafe app that can be beneficial to seniors and their families is the Medifriend feature. This feature will notify a caregiver or loved one if you miss one of your medications.

The MyTherapy app is another highly rated application that can assist you with reminders for your medications. It has a clean interface that is easy to use, even if you’re just starting to get familiar with technology.

Most big pharmacies, such as Walgreens or CVS, have their own apps that you can use for managing prescription refills. If you’re unsure if your pharmacy has its own app, give your pharmacy a call or ask your pharmacist next time you go in person.

GoodRx also has its own app for those who use GoodRx coupons to save money on prescriptions. With the app, you can easily compare prices between pharmacies and view available coupons.

Fitness Apps Help Keep Seniors Moving at Home

Staying active as you age is important, however, going to a gym may not be an option for many individuals. Thankfully, many great fitness apps help you stay moving at home.

If you have the SilverSneakers benefit through your Medicare Advantage plan, you can download the SilverSneakers GO app to gain access to multiple free fitness programs. This app includes both on-demand fitness videos as well as live online fitness classes.

The YouTube app is a great option for finding free fitness and workout videos that you can do at home. From yoga to tai chi, you can find a little bit of everything on YouTube. There are even YouTube channels specifically dedicated to fitness for seniors.

Smartwatches and step trackers such as Fitbit often have their own apps that you can download on your phone for tracking your health and fitness. You can use these apps to set fitness goals, track your exercises, and manage your device. The instructions that come with your device will tell you which app to download for your specific device.

Tip for Seniors Using Fitness Apps: When choosing workouts and fitness classes to do at home through an app, make sure you are choosing programs that are suitable for your body to avoid injury. If you’re unsure what sort of exercises are appropriate for you, speak with your doctor.

Apps Can Help Seniors Manage Stress & Practice Self-Care

Everyone, regardless of age, can benefit from reducing stress and practicing self-care. The American Psychological Association explains that long-term stress can put you at a higher risk of anxiety, depression, headaches, heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and memory impairment.

There are numerous apps available that can help guide you through techniques to relax and practice mindfulness, which can help reduce stress. The Mindfulness Coach was originally developed by the VA’s National Center for PTSD to help veterans and service members learn how to practice mindfulness. Even if you aren’t a veteran, you can still benefit from the lessons offered in this free app.

Some other mental-health-focused apps include:

  • The Healy Minds Program app is another free app that helps guide you through mindfulness and meditation.
  • Happify is a popular app for helping reduce stress and anxiety and has both free and paid features.
  • If you want a self-care app that feels more like a game, consider checking out Finch.

These are just a few of the many apps that focus on helping you improve your mental health. It’s important that you find an app that you are comfortable using and that resonates with you.

Apps Can be Used with Diagnostic and Monitoring Devices

With smartphones and smart devices, it has become increasingly easier to monitor your health from the comfort of your home. Smart blood glucose measuring devices, personal EKG devices, smart thermometers, and more connect with apps on your smartphone or tablet to easily monitor and record your readings.

These apps can make it easier to spot abnormalities or patterns in your health. These apps can not only help you monitor your own health but can also help provide your doctor with more information regarding your health.

Like smartwatches and step trackers, each health monitoring device generally has its own app that it will interface with. You can generally find information about which app you need to download in your device’s manual.

Medicare’s What’s Covered App

Did you know that Medicare has an official app that provides coverage and cost information for Medicare-covered services? Medicare’s What’s Covered app is free to download and is available for both iOS and Android devices. You can use this app to quickly look up healthcare services to see if they are covered by Original Medicare. This app will also detail whether your service is covered under Medicare Part A or Medicare Part B, which will help you determine what your out-of-pocket costs will be ahead of receiving care.

Apps can make it easier for seniors to monitor their health and adopt healthy habits. If you have a smartphone or tablet, consider looking at some of the health apps that are out there. With such a variety, you’re likely to find an app that can assist you in some way.

Though health apps can provide ample benefits for seniors, they certainly aren’t the only kind of apps available. In the next portion of this guide, we’ll take a look at media apps and other forms of Online Entertainment for Seniors.


Happy Together, MyChart.org. Accessed April 2024


Number of health and fitness app users in the United States from 2018 to 2022, Statista. Accessed April 2024


New App Displays What Original Medicare Covers, CMS.gov. Accessed April 2024


Thomas Liquori

Thomas Liquori