• The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

  • The online Community for people with spinal cord injury, their relatives and friends

The best apps for wheelchair users

  • Jamie
  • News

Regardless of your interests, there’s likely ‘an app for that!’

In today’s technological world, there are a number of apps available for download. In fact, one of the most enticing features of getting a smartphone is the availability of apps. But which ones are really useful?

Below you find a compilation of the best reviewed and rated apps for wheelchair users and caregivers that are available for download today. I chose the apps based on reviews stating satisfaction and usability. I also tested the apps out myself. Almost all apps are available for free download.

Medisafe meds and pill reminder

  • language: English
  • for: Android and iOS
  • price: for free
  • rating: 4.6 stars (Google Play), 4.5 stars (iTunes)

With ‎146,578 reviews on Google Play, this app can help to manage vitamins and drugs taken for many complex health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Medisafe is also used to keep track of blood pressure, glucose level and other health-related measurements. This helps with sharing the results with the doctor. Many reviews state that the app is user-friendly and like its customizability features. Here is a video to demonstrate how Medisafe works: https://youtu.be/FS3z4Adnf-E.

Instant Heart Rate

  • language: English
  • for: Android and iOS
  • price: for free
  • rating: 4.3 stars (Google Play), 4.9 stars (iTunes)

Maintaining a healthy heart rate is important for wheelchair users. This app has over 230,000 reviews on Google Play! According to reviews, the major negative claim is that the user receives upgrade messages for the premium app. However, the accuracy of the monitor is stated as impressive. The app functions by holding up your index finger to the device's camera for approximately 10 seconds. By this, it will get a reading on your heart rate and compare it to the range you should be in based on your age. No external hardware is needed for use. The app uses your phone’s built-in camera to track color changes on the fingertip that are directly linked to your pulse. This is the same technique that medical pulse oximeters use. With this being said, the only device requirement is that you have a mobile phone with a camera.

Extreme Wheelchairing

  • language: English
  • for: Android
  • price: for free
  • rating: 3.9 stars (Google Play)

This fun game’s concept is a combination of doing stunts, jumps and rolling through the levels. Reviews of the app explain the game as being challenging yet fun. As you progress through the game, levels become more difficult and you will have to compete tasks and find hidden objects to unlock the game’s achievements. If you are someone who is looking to try a wheelchair-centric sport, this app is for you.

Physiotherapy Exercises

  • language: English
  • for: Android
  • price: for free
  • rating: 4.1 stars (Google Play)

The app contains over 950 exercises for people with spinal cord injury and other neurological conditions. You can search through a variety of categories and specifications in regard to condition, body part, available equipment, exercise difficulty and age category. The app’s purpose is to improve strength, flexibility and fitness for the user while simultaneously promoting independence. This app can prove to be helpful when seeking exercises in addition to physiotherapy. Reviewers particularly enjoy referring to booklets they have made from the printed exercises. However, a common complaint is that the user must make the booklet by choosing exercises from a list, prior to viewing the illustrated demonstrations of the exercises.

Manage My Pain

  • language: English
  • for: Android
  • price: Lite version: for free, Pro version: 4 CHF
  • rating: Lite version: 4 stars, Pro version: 4.3 stars (Google Play)

The app offers two versions – the free ‘Lite’ version, as well as a ‘Pro’ version for 4 CHF. Developers claim that there was extensive medical research influencing the creation of the app. Functions include: tracking, recording and analyzing pain levels. The entry screen can also be customized to your preference. A well-reviewed feature is the ability to get insight to your condition through statistics, charts, graphs and calendar views which are synced to your cloud for safe-keeping of all records. With the app, you can also get support from a responsive team when needed.

Wheelchair Calorimeter

  • language: English
  • for: iOS
  • price: 1 CHF
  • rating: not available

While this app does not yet have many reviews, the feedback it has gotten has all been positive so it’s safe to assume the app will be easy to navigate and useful. The app uses GPS location services on your mobile phone to calculate the energy you have used while moving in a manual wheelchair. The app denotes distance as well as upward climb for its calorie calculation. It is customizable so that you enter your specific measurements and height of the wheelchair for accuracy. The program is able to run in the background so that you are able to utilize your phone for other functions while it is recording. Reviewers state that it is one of their most used apps and great for goal setting.

Stop, Breathe & Think

  • language: English
  • for: iOS
  • price: for free
  • rating: 4.8 stars (iTunes)

Stop, Breathe & Think is free to users, with additional meditations available for purchase. In addition to assisting with minor breathing problems, the app can act as a means of controlling anxiety. It guides the user through exercises to control their breathing through varied breathing patterns. It also serves as a means of relaxation and meditation. The bright, colorful interface offers a pleasing display to the user. The options for meditation also vary in length, making it a nice option for beginners as well as for the more experienced. The app includes an option to check in with your mood, allowing the app to make meditation suggestions that may be helpful.

Have you tried any of these apps? If so, how was your experience? Are there other apps that you have tried and would highly recommend to anyone in the Community? I’d love to hear your thoughts so feel free to comment.

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