How many health-related apps do you have on your smartphone? It is predictsedthat the market for mobile health app services will reach $26 billion by 2017. Consumers have embraced these tools because they have many benefits, from keeping weight in check to researching medicine data. The communication benefits are often understated, but health apps can also promote alignment and dialogues between doctors and patients.

1 AskMD 

This award-winning mobile app with a US focus uses clinically-proven research to help you find potential causes for your symptoms. You can use it to find a physician based on your location, insurance provider and speciality. You can also prepare for appointments with your doctor by answering a series of questions and saving notes about your symptoms. AskMD lets you upload photos and videos and store your medication information. It is also useful in life-threatening situations, helping you find the nearest emergency room. The app is available for iOS and Android.

2 WebMD Better Health Evaluator

This desktop application from WebMD helps you prepare for your doctor appointments. It’s a good tool to use if you’re going to a doctor for a general check-up. The tool poses a series of questions and develops a summary for you, a report for your doctor with possible health risks you face, and a list of questions you should ask during your doctor visit. You can go in-depth and answer questions for specific health areas, such as eating and nutrition, fitness and activity, sleep, heart health and family health.

3 MyChart 

This mobile app from the creators of MyChart, a website that helps patients organize their health information, helps you stay in touch with your doctor, manage appointments, review test results, medications, immunizations, family health history and more. Patients can access the app if their healthcare provider is using MyChart. Medical bills can also be paid through the app. MyChart integrates with Apple Health, letting you upload health and fitness data if you’re enrolled in self-tracking programs. It can also be used on the Apple Watch and Android devices.

4 Patient IO

Patients can access Patient IO on their desktop, iOS or Android devices if their physician is a registered user. The app helps you communicate with your doctor, family and care team in a secure way. It lets you set up daily tasks and reminders to complete your treatment plan, and keep track of your health data. Patient IO is also a source of educational information, helping you understand your condition and find ways to improve your health. It syncs with Apple Health and can be used in several wearable devices.

5 Medipal

This mobile app, available in English and Swedish, improves doctor-patient communication by helping patients answer questions posed by their doctor. Physicians can create a Medipal account for their patients and enter the questions they want to ask. The app will then remind the patient to answer them. Medipal helps patients take a more active role in the treatment process and
increase their understanding about their health condition. Information sent to and from the phone is encrypted, as is the data stored on it. Medipal is available for iOS and Android.