4 apps to use during flu season

Flu outbreaks in the United States begin as early as October each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. A few apps on the market now can provide support for those with a need for information regarding the contagious respiratory illness.

FluView
The CDC tracks flu outbreaks and explains the annual vaccine. The FluView app shows flu levels across the United States and provides access to state health department websites so users may see local information. 

Doctor On Demand
Video visits provided through the Doctor On Demand app involve patients interacting with doctors for care. While the app itself is free, virtual visits may cost what a co-pay at a doctor's office might cost. The app has a website, doctorondemand.com, that explains how it works. Psychologists and lactation consultants are also available through Doctor On Demand, according to its website. The app does not allow for care of chronic or more serious conditions such as cancer.

Sickweather
Billed as the "first doppler radar for sickness," Sickweather crowd-sources flu reports in communities to provide real-time tracking for users. One feature of the app is a "hand-washing timer," which includes a color-coded meter and timer so users know when their hands are clean.

Kinsa Smart Thermometer
This app requires users to purchase the Kinsa Smart Stick Thermometer ($19.99 retail), which connects to the app and provides a way to track body temperature. Parents can then take the data to a doctor. The thermometer is approved by the Food and Drug Administration for use by all ages. It can plug directly into an iPhone for temperature readings.

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