Glen and I recently had some sort of creeping crud and it was brutal. Now that we’re feeling better and the cleanup is over, I learned that we can fight colds and flu with our smartphones. If you’re sick, there’s an app for that.

One of the worst things around is being sick and having to call the clinic for an appointment and with everyone having some sort of something, it can be really frustrating when your regular doctor doesn’t have any open appointments. The app called ZocDoc does the work for you. Just type in your insurance plan and your zip code and it generates a list of doctor’s offices with open appointments. It even works for the dentist. ZocDoc is free and it works for the iPhone, Android or web.

Influenza is running rampant lately with schools, work places and nursing homes all reporting outbreaks recently. So, how do you know if you have the flu or just a nasty cold? With CDC FluView app from the Centers for Disease Control. The CDC keeps track of flu outbreaks and trends week by week all throughout cold and flu season. The FluView app shows trends, outbreaks and gives you access to the Minnesota Department of Health for super local information. It’s free and available for the iPhone or web.

Speaking of influenza, the Flu Defender app is an interactive app that helps you find anything and everything related to the flu. You can look up symptoms, outbreak activity in our area and there’s a vaccine assistant to help you find out if you should get a flu shot and where you can get it. It also hooks you in to the CDC’s Twitter feed so you get up to date real time flu activity. It’s free and available for the iPhone.

WebMD is the hub for all things illness and injury on the Internet, but now WebMD has an app so you can take all their information with you. It has the symptom checker so you can try and self-diagnose illnesses and injuries. There’s also a drug and treatments section to find help for your ailments and you can even find a local doctor. The app also allows you to track your condition, your medications and articles related to whatever it is you’re sick with. It’s free and available for iPhone and Android.

I know when I was sick, the only thing I wanted was just to feel better. I could deal with the occasional drippy nose and cough. I just wanted my energy back to get though the day. Well, the Cures A to Z app has literally an a to z list of sicknesses and ways to treat them. There’s also a section for vitamins to best treat what you’re sick with and nutrition to help you get healthy and stay healthy. There are also constant health updates from the news, science world and expert blogs. It’s free and available for iPhone and Android.

One of our first lines of defense against getting sick is by getting enough sleep. I know that waking up to a blaring alarm that scares you out of your skin at zero dark hundred is not a pleasant experience every day so the Sleep Cycle app is here to help. It looks at your sleep/wake cycle and gently wakes you up when you’re at the lightest point of sleeping. How does it know? Well, whether you know it or not, there’s an accelerometer built into your iPhone that detects your movements. When you’re in the lightest cycle of sleep, your body twitches a little bit. The app detects this twitching, knows you’re in the light sleep cycle and it wakes you up. Creepy.

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