9 Ways Your Smartphone Could Save Your Life

How your cellphone might be hurting you is a hot topic these days. It’s frying your brain. It’s distracting you while you drive. It’s exposing you to identity theft, and your kids to bullying. Heck, we even published Danger: Curb Ahead at MensHealth.com a few weeks ago—complete with a video of a chatty woman falling into a fountain—explaining how your cellphone is making you a bad . . . walker!

And it all might be true. But, fact is, there’s another smartphone story that’s not being written. Some of the newest apps can actually help you improve your health—and, in some cases, even save your life. Here are nine favorites from Men's Health's editors and medical advisors.

When You Need a Doctor, Stat!
With ZocDoc, you can quickly search for physicians and dentists in many major U.S. markets. After you read the reviews and make your choice, you can then book an appointment—no phone calls needed. Free; Android, BlackBerry, iPhone

When You Can't Remember Your Last Tetanus Shot
Recommended by Men’s Health urology advisor Larry Lipshultz, M.D., Gazelle can store your medical records for later viewing, log your Quest Diagnostics lab results, and help you remember medication names and doses. Free; Android, BlackBerry, iPhone

When You Can't Resist the Drive-Thru Window
Need a reality check to nudge you off the sofa or away from the fast-food fries? Use the Heart Disease Risk Calculator to estimate your odds of having a heart attack, stroke, or heart failure within the next 10 years. It can’t replace a doctor, but it can help encourage healthy habits. Free, iPhone

When Your Medicine Cabinet Is Full
Is it okay to take aspirin with your cholesterol prescription? Find out with Medscape, an app that tracks drug interactions and provides safety data on more than 8,000 drugs. The reference section, which features medical news and info on some 4,000 diseases and conditions, is the “best out there,” says Adam Cifu, M.D., an associate professor of medicine at the University of Chicago medical center. Oh, and if your medicine cabinet is empty, fill it with the 20 Best Medicines for Men. Free; Android, BlackBerry, iPhone

When It Hurts—and You Don't Know Why
SportsInjuryClinic has the lowdown on more than 100 different sports-related injuries. Compare symptoms, receive rehab info, and watch YouTube treatment videos, a favorite feature of Moshe Lewis, M.D., chief of physical medicine and rehabilitation at California Pacific Medical Center. Just make sure you clear any new exercises with your doctor first. $3, iPhone

When You're Craving a Nicotine Fix
Resist! My Last Cigarette reminds you how much cash you’re saving and how much you’ve increased your life expectancy. It also provides motivational messages—which, a British study says, may increase your chances of being smoke-free at the 6-month mark. $1, iPhone

When You're Feeling Stressed
Put your finger over your smartphone’s camera, and the Instant Heart Rate app measures yours in a matter of seconds. It’s highly accurate as well, says Dr. Lewis. Free; Android, iPhone

When You Notice a New Mole
Thanks to sophisticated pattern-recognition technology and a Johns Hopkins image database, MelApp can help assess your skin cancer risk. Just snap a photo of a new or questionable mole with your smartphone's camera, and the app will match it against the database. Your next step: Follow up with a dermatologist. $2, iPhone

When the Menu Ingredients Are Murky
Allergy Caddy helps you avoid triggers at more than 30 restaurant chains by consulting the chains’ public allergy data, so you don't have to. $2, iPhone

As for my favorite app? That’s a no-brainer: Men’s Health Workouts, which now includes our super-popular Spartacus Workout. It’s available in iTunes here and in Android here. Check it out!

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—Additional reporting by Kiera Aaron

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