My Favorite Apps
You really can’t beat the cost and convenience that comes with great quality, effective apps for managing life with psoriatic arthritis. They can make life easier for both you and your doctor and allow you to have a fount of information literally at your (if somewhat aching) fingertips. You know how some people have secret obsessions with llamas or yarn? Well, I’ll share with you a little secret. I have an obsession with apps. And I fear I have passed it on to my children (eek!). Without further ado, after extensive testing, here are some of my favorite free and low-cost apps, neatly broken down for you into my favorite categories.
No matter which pharmacy you use, adding their app to your mobile device is a smart move. Stay up-to-date on refill reminders and the status of your orders. This is especially crucial for timely medications as well as checking price changes or comparison shopping for the best prices. ScriptSave, WellRx, GoodRx, and RetailMeNot Rx Saver are all great apps to check prices and make sure you are getting the best price possible on all our medications.
Health insurance apps
Many major health insurance companies such as United and Aetna have apps to have quick access to your ID cards. They also offer the ability to find covered providers or even keep track of how close you are to meeting your deductible. Some health insurance apps can put you in touch with a registered nurse that can quickly respond to questions or concerns you may have. In addition, some can give you an idea about prescription and procedure costs.
Emotional and mental health apps
Keeping track of your emotional and mental health plays a big role in managing your psoriatic arthritis. From personal experience, I can tell you that one “bad” day can quickly become a slippery slope that you might not realize you are falling down unless you were keeping track of it. Charting good emotional days and bad ones can help you see the "bigger picture" about your overall emotional and mental health.
Having easy access to daily logs for your emotional health will make it much more likely that you will pay attention to how you are feeling and if it is easy, then you will be much more likely to do it. Some of my favorites are "Moodpath," "Replika," and "Youper." All of these allow you to track and chart your emotional progress. Some even use artificial intelligence to “talk” you through the reasoning behind your emotional health.
Symptom logs and trackers
Symptom Tracker: "Pain History" is an app that does what it says: tracks symptoms like fatigue and pain. It is good for general tracking. However, what I really like about this is that you can specify your symptoms. For example, if you want to differentiate foot pain from hand, wrist, or elbow pain, you can. In addition, you can track moods such as motivation and happiness. You can generate a report to take to your doctor or generate a spreadsheet. It is free for the first month, then $2.99 a month after that. But in my opinion, it is worth the cost for ease of use and an ad-free experience.
"Health Vector" and "Symple Symptom Tracker" are both health diaries/symptom logs that are free. "Symple Symptom Tracker" does have an “upgrade” version, but the standard version is also filled with useful features which include import of step and sleep information from Apple’s Health App. For those who use wheelchairs, you can even track wheelchair pushes.
Yoga and movement apps
If you’ve read any of my articles about managing your symptoms through gentle movement, you know I am a big proponent of yoga. Not crazy, stand on your head yoga, but gentle, introspective, restorative yoga. "Yoga for Beginners- Mind+Body" is a great, free app that doesn’t overwhelm you with “unrealistic” poses or long, drawn-out practices. When it comes to walking, even though it cost a bit on the front end, a FitBit or similar device is a sound investment in my opinion. Mostly because it reminds you to move knowing full well that the longer I sit, the more likely it is that I will avoid moving.
Mindfulness: meditation, reflections, and prayer
Time for meditation, reflection, journaling, or prayer is just as important when it comes to managing your psoriatic arthritis as some medications in my experience. "Reflectly," "Journey- Diary," and "Jour-Guided Journaling" all offer easy to use formats and accessibility for journaling and reflection. "Simple Habit-Meditation" and "Headspace: Meditation & Sleep" both offer simple solutions to manage the increased stress that comes with living with psoriatic arthritis. If you are Catholic or Christian, the app "Laudate" contains a ton of opportunities for prayer and reflection.
There you have it, my (somewhat) extensive list of must-have apps for your chronic illness app collection. Do you have any you simply can’t live without? I’d love to hear about it!
**Of course, remember that all apps that include dietary changes, exercise of any sort, or nutrition, please be sure to check with your doctor before following any and all recommendations. In addition, the recommendations and information are accurate as of the date of publication. Please check with your cell phone or tablet provider for any fees or subscriptions that may be associated with any and all apps.**
Do you have a sleep disorder (eg. insomnia, sleep apnea, RLS) in addition to your PsA?