Want a fun way to teach your kids about asthma management? Need to access your medical records while traveling? Now, there are apps for that. Companies across North America have identified specific troubles in the asthma and allergy community and put simple solutions at your finger tips. Check out some of our favorite tech tools, as previously published in Allergic Living magazine.
Translate your food allergies into French, German and Spanish with AllergyFT. To prevent a bloated cellphone bill while dining abroad, no Internet connection is required. The app’s creator has a severe shellfish allergy, and came up with the idea while touring Spain. More languages and updates are planned, all included in the one-time cost. $2.99, iOS only; www.allergyft.com.
The new Wellapets app features a unique blend of asthma education and engrossing fun. Players make their own virtual pet dragon and then play games to help manage the animal’s asthma. Crucial topics include remembering the controller inhaler, using a spacer and avoiding triggers. Unlock upgrades through proper management. $2.99-$3.31. iOS/Android; www.wellapets.com.
Weave a web of awareness with OnlineAllergies.com. This free website was created in the wake of a life-saving event: the founder’s step-sister fell into a coma while traveling, but her health records were back home. In the nick of time, it was discovered that she was being given a drug she was allergic to. To avoid similar situations, the website allows users to create and share profiles that list triggers, symptoms and action plans for food, drug and other allergies. Access can be given to friends and caregivers for preparedness in time of emergency.
Gluten- and dairy-free meals at Walt Disney World in Orlando are now on the menu of YoDish, a special diet dining guide. Simply select your allergens for a quick list of restaurants across the U.S. that can accommodate your needs (including over 50 locations at Walt Disney World). User reviews and food photos help to narrow your options and give your tired tootsies a rest. Free. iOS only; www.yodish.com
Take control with the new Peak Flow Meter ($19.99) and free Tracking App (iOS and Android) from AsthmaMD.
With the novel interactive tracker, users are able to log asthma attacks, display actions plans, create medication replacement alerts, keep their doctor in the loop, and even advance asthma research with the option to share anonymous data. Find out where to buy the meter at www.asthmamd.org.
Recalls and Safety Alerts, an official app from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, notifies the consumer in real time of any food or products recalls, covering everything from undeclared tree nuts or dairy to faulty strollers. The app includes allergen warnings, product images and sharing features. Free for iOS, BlackBerry and Android; allergicliving.com/CanadaRecallApp (Only available in Canada).
When it comes to checking food allergens, the list of ingredients on the label doesn’t always tell the full story. Allergence.com, created by the husband and wife team behind Snack Safely, is an online portal that goes beyond the label to provide the manufacturer’s insider information on the manufacturing process for 11 of the most common allergens: peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, milk, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, gluten, sesame and mustard. The website also identifies if specific products are certified Kosher, organic, gluten-free, or non-GMO – a great tool for those with severe allergies looking for great snacks.