Dr Lim pointed out that different methods and tools are used to collect and analyze health data.
For example, some people may find that the numbers on their fitness tracker (such as Garmin, Fitbit watch) differ from what is viewed on their mobile device. This may be due to the way the jobs are viewed, he said.
When it comes to blood sugar monitoring, such errors in data can lead to wrong treatment decisions and potentially fatal injuries, he said.
For this reason, he studied the selection of programs that are supported by evidence-based science and have shown good health results in high-quality studies such as randomized controlled trials. It would be better if the programs offered an option of health education from health care professionals.
And while knowing when blood sugar rises or the number of calories consumed during a meal, experts say that it is not necessary to change the data from health programs to change the medical advice or treatment.
An app cannot replace your doctor
Dr Yip and Dr Koh from Alexandra Hospital spoke about over-reliance on health apps, which can lead to missed diagnoses, delays in treatment and poor health outcomes.
“Data obtained through health programs, especially those generated from artificial intelligence, can create unnecessary anxiety for patients who do not understand its meaning.
“On the flip side, people who use these apps may think they have good control over their health and don’t seek help when they need it,” said Dr Yip.
For these reasons, Dr Lim from NUH said it is a good idea to use health apps with advice from medical doctors. This is important for people with certain diseases or on certain medications.
“For example, if you are on diabetes medication, you need to work with your healthcare provider to manage your health to prevent hypoglycaemia (a condition in which blood glucose is too low).
“Doctors may need to reduce diabetes medication when your blood glucose is controlled with lifestyle changes,” he explains.
With so many options in the app store, it can be hard to know where to start. TODAY has selected some of the health apps that are being used successfully to support various health issues and needs.
1. FOR DISTRIBUTION AND PAYMENT: LUMIHEALTH AND HEALTH 365
If you have an Apple Watch, check out the LumiHealth app designed by the Health Promotion Board (HPB) in partnership with Apple as part of the country’s Smart Nation initiative, a government effort to use technology to provide benefits to its citizens and businesses.
Created with a collaboration of doctors, public health experts and powered by Apple Watch, LumiHealth promotes healthy lifestyle changes through a personalized program, designed with built-in privacy and data security . Pairs well with an Apple Watch Series 3 or later models.
In addition to looking at exercise, it looks at your mental health, sleep, diet, immunity and medications. The app is designed to motivate and guide you through everyday challenges using personalized health tips and nudges – think of yourself as your own personal health coach.
Participants can earn rewards, by reading articles and completing regular challenges, for example, and buy rewards for HPB e-vouchers that can be used at department stores, food-and-beverage stores, and supermarkets.
Another fitness and lifestyle program that HPB will focus on is Healthy 365, a must-have program for the National Steps Challenge, an initiative to encourage Singaporeans to adopt a more active lifestyle.
Users can sign up for health issues and programs to earn “Healthpoints”, and convert their health activities into rewards. The app integrates with a variety of fitness tools to help users keep track of their daily numbers and the amount of time spent on vigorous exercises.
There is also an option to scan QR codes through the app to earn Healthpoints when purchasing healthy foods, drinks and snacks from participating partners.
LumiHealth and Healthy 365 apps are free.
2. FOR NUTRITION, DIABETES CURE: NUTRITIONIST BUDDY (NBUDDY)
There are many food and nutrition apps that track calories, vitamins and minerals in different foods, and help you plan meals.
But not everyone will tell you the food and drink available in Singapore, for example, the C (tea with evaporated milk), kaya toast or roti prata.
Buddy Nutritionist has and is supported by many randomized controlled trials conducted in Singapore.
The app was designed by Dr Lim and developed by HeartVoice, a Singapore company that provides medical technology for healthcare providers, patients and organizations.
There is also nBuddy Diabetes, for people diagnosed with pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes.
Like nBuddy, it integrates evidence-based interventions and strategies to promote weight loss and maintain glycemic control.
Users record their daily meals by choosing from the app’s database of over 14,000 meals available in Singapore. He immediately started and promoted better food that was preserved in the human race.
The app’s step counting function is linked to the built-in pedometers of participants’ smartphones, allowing users to track their physical activity. Users can enter physical activity parameters manually, if the exercises are performed without mobile devices.
It is used by NUH’s nutrition team to help patients manage their health and nutrition, especially those who are overweight, obese and those with pre-existing conditions or problems. of developing diseases.
Dr Lim said the nBuddy Diabetes was used to support women with diabetes at NUH, to help them achieve better blood glucose management during pregnancy.
However, the public can download the app for free and access basic features, such as a food diary logging system that allows people to track their calorie intake.
It has an automated response system that evaluates food choices and generates healthy options. A peer support chat feature is also available.
In terms of payment, more features are unlocked. For a monthly fee, features in the app include nutrition advice and weekly educational videos on weight loss strategies.
Studies led by Dr Lim and his team of researchers found that compared to those who only received advice from a nutritionist, those who also used the app for guiding them to food choices and exercises that are more likely to reduce body weight and improve blood sugar levels. .
For example, the pre-diabetic group given the nBuddy Diabetes app was 2.1 times more likely to have normal blood glucose. In patients with poor diabetes, the app group had a greater reduction in normal blood sugar levels.
Those in the control group were four to five times more likely to have a weight loss of 5 percent or more, and had greater weight loss than those in the control group.
3. For keto dieters: NBUDDY KETO
For those thinking of going on a keto diet, the nBuddy Keto app can help support weight loss goals, in a healthier and more sustainable way without compromising on health. heart.
The keto diet means eating low-fat foods and replacing them with high-fat foods. Generally, people on such diets are high in saturated fat, which can increase bad cholesterol levels and heart disease, said Dr Lim.
An important feature of the app is the addition and tracking of a limit of 50g of net carbs per day.
The app is based on the principles of the Healthy Keto plan – a healthy way of eating that was developed by Dr Lim – which includes a calorie restriction like a human being.
It promotes healthy fats, such as those found in nuts, seeds, avocados, fatty fish and unsaturated oils, which do not increase bad cholesterol levels.
This Keto Healthy diet is high in lean protein, high in fiber from non-starchy vegetables and low in carbohydrates.
An ongoing controlled trial, including 80 participants from the NUHS, shows that people on this Keto Healthy diet lost an average of 7.4 kg over six months without weight gain. measuring their cholesterol levels.
The nBuddy Keto app is used to help with food selection and meal planning.
All of the people with cancer or diabetes managed to lower their blood glucose levels, and 70 percent of people with high blood pressure saw improvement. Those who followed the diet found they were less dependent on their prescribed medications and had better quality of life, said Dr Lim.