Download these to stay informed and in good health during the COVID-19 outbreak.
The coronavirus pandemic has changed a lot about day-to-day life, but the abrupt lack of access to medical care might have the greatest impact. Many doctors are no longer seeing patients in person, and urgent care facilities and hospitals have their hands full helping COVID-19 patients struggling with advanced illness.
But as the outbreak has grown, so have the number of medical resources you have at your fingertips. Apps can help you find coronavirus health info and manage your care if you think you have it or do develop symptoms—or you’re dealing with a different health issue yet your doctor isn’t available. Check out the eight we’ve called out here.
The Apple COVID-19 app provides users with solid info about the coronavirus, plus stay-healthy recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and other trusted sources. The screening tool can help you determine if you’re at a higher risk of contracting the virus. The app also provides next steps on what to do if you think you have it and how to get tested. (Free; available on iOS)
The Healthlynked app allows you to build a patient profile where users can access their medical records and nearby providers. Users upload their medical data into the app, which they can easily send to a provider (and no longer fill out 10 pages of forms every time you visit the doctor). This app is especially handy if you need to visit a doctor while traveling and don’t have time to dig up all of your medical paperwork. Patients can search for doctors by specialization and location, but users need to contact the physician’s office to determine if their insurance plan is accepted. All doctors featured on the app are connected to the Healthlynked app. (Free; available on iOS and Android)
If you think you might have COVID-19, the last thing you want to do is infect other people. The Health Tap app gives you 24/7 access to doctors via text, phone, or video calls, so that you don’t have to put anyone else at risk by making a trip to the doctor. The Health Tap virtual doctors are able to fill prescriptions, order lab tests, and refer you to specialists, all from your phone. While the app does not accept insurance, users can buy unlimited virtual doctor visits for $119 per year. (Free to download with in-app purchases; available on iOS and Android)
Centers for Disease Control
The best place to get accurate coronavirus information is the CDC. Stay informed with the apps’s news feed of constantly updated info on COVID-19 and other illnesses through resources like podcasts, videos, and features. The app also features podcasts, videos, and plenty of infographics and maps to help users easily understand the virus, symptoms, and how it’s spread. (Free to download with in-app purchases; available on iOS and Android)
The COVID-19! app provides users with colorful maps and graphics regarding coronavirus outbreak information, including up-to-date maps that pinpoint the areas where the infection has spread—allowing you to easily see how the virus is affecting your area. A regularly updated newsfeed pulls in the latest news articles on the coronavirus and a “help” section walks users through the steps they should take if they think they are infected. (Free; available on iOS and Android)
MyChart keeps your medical information all in one place. The app lets you view test results, request medications, review immunization history, and access other personal health information. You can use it to schedule appointments and pay medical bills, too. (Free; available on iOS and Android)
Corona Checker by Open Med
The Corona Checker app is an extension of the Open Med app. It takes you through an AI-directed chat to determine if you qualify for a COVID-19 test. If your symptoms fit the CDC’s criteria for getting tested, a lab in the Open Med network will prepare and send a test request form to your doctor. (Note: you must have a preexisting Open Med account.) Once your doc has signed off on the test request, the lab will send a test kit directly to you; you bring it to your MD to administer and send back to the Open Med lab via overnight shipping. The lab tests the sample, then sends the test results to your doctor and your Open Med profile. (Free; available on iOS)
Managing your own health information is stressful enough. When you have an entire family to worry about, details can get confusing. The Teledoc app lets you manage your family’s health information in one place while connecting you to board-certified physicians through text, phone, and video calls. Available practitioners can diagnose and prescribe medication over the phone for common conditions including allergies and respiratory infections, such as the coronavirus and flu. The app accepts some insurance and recommends contacting your provider to see if you are covered. (Free; available on iOS and Android)