With thousands of health-related websites and smartphone apps to choose from, finding the best can be daunting. We checked in with local doctors* to find out which sites they recommend—and use themselves.
7 Great Websites
I want trustworthy general medical information
The National Institutes of Health’s website offers very good general health information and a good place to start for health-related searches.
I just heard a troubling health news report and want to find out if it’s true
A media watchdog website that casts a critical eye on television and other media reports, via a team of more than two dozen physicians, professors of medicine and health journalists.
I want to investigate my child’s symptoms
Swedish Kids Symptom Checker
Swedish hospital’s site for parents offers quick advice for coping with a wide variety of children’s symptoms, including possible causes and home treatments, and when to seek professional help.
I need reliable info about child health, safety and development
The American Academy of Pediatrics’ website is packed with information, tips and tools for parents, including a symptom checker, pediatrician Q&As, safety checklists and more
I need more information about preventing cancer or coping with a cancer diagnosis
The National Cancer Institute’s website covers a wide variety of cancer-related topics, including prevention, treatment, coping strategies and resources, new research and more.
I want to learn more about fertility options
Pacific NW Fertility’s new website connects users with the area’s first frozen donor egg bank, where women seeking fertility treatments can browse to find a “match,” reserve eggs and arrange to have them fertilized. Must call for an initial screening to obtain a password to the site.
8 Great Apps
When you’re away from home and illness strikes, this app lets you search for a local provider and asses your symptoms. iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Palm and Windows Mobile; FREE
Hold the tip of your finger on your smartphone’s camera lens and you’ll get your instant heart rate. By Azumio. iPhone, Android; FREE
Uses your iPhone’s GPS technology to track your running, cycling and other workouts over time, and lets you connect with friends. iPhone, Android, Windows Mobile; FREE
Turns your workout into a game. Play with fiends, beat challenges, earn reward and track progress on this interactive app. Phone; Android; FREE
My Fitness Pal
A portable exercise journal and calorie counter that includes more than 1.5 million foods and restaurant items; syncs up to your online food diary. iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows Mobile; app and online membership are FREE
Taking tracking and calculating a big step further, this app includes a barcode scanner, so you can instantly calculate Weight Watchers points values for brand-name foods. iPhone, Android; FREE with online subscription; $29.95 sign-up fee; $18.95/month
This diet app lets you establish a daily calorie budget and goals, and offers a comprehensive database of foods and a nutrition tracker. iPhone; FREE
One of the best medical apps (but only available to Group Health members), this lets you chat with your doctor, schedule appointments, get lab results, refill prescriptions and find out about wait times. iPhone and Android; FREE for members
*Doctors consulted: Linda Pourmassina, MD, Internist, The Polyclinic; Tarynne Mingione, RD, dietician, Swedish Medical Center; Wendy Sue Swanson, MD, pediatrician, Seattle Children’s Hospital; Jeffrey Grice, MD, OB/GYN, Group Health; Wellesley Chapman, MD, primary care physician and medical center chief, Group Health; Julie Lamb, MD, OB/GYN, Pacific NW Fertility