One techy solution makes it easier to stay healthy.
The numbers are hard to ignore: African-American women are 40 percent more likely to die from breast cancer than white women, and Latina women are about 1.4 times more likely to die from cervical cancer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Eager to reverse these staggering statistics, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services launched an app contest in 2012.
The challenge: Find a new way to improve access to care for women in underserved and minority communities.
The winner:Everhealthier Women, a free Web-based mobile app (available in English and Spanish) designed by a group of nursing school professors and techies. "We have a high no-show rate in our clinic," says nurse Anne Teitelman, PhD, an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and one of the app's creators. "By the time some women show up, they already have abnormal cell changes that if left untreated could lead to cancer. We realized that one way to change this was to make screening information more accessible and appointments easier to remember."
How the app works: Enter a few details about yourself—age, if you smoke or are pregnant—and you'll instantly find out what tests you may need and why (like, say, a mammogram or Pap smear), plus directions to the nearest free or low-cost health center. The app will ping you reminders until you make an appointment—and show up. Bonus: You can set up e-mail reminders for other women in your life (like your grown daughter or too-busy-for-checkups friend), making staying healthy a true group effort. Get the app now at EverHealthier.org.