Review: Semler Heart App for iPhone – The Interactive Way to Beat Heart Disease
Cardiac disease and heart attacks are the #1 cause of death in the United States. Sadly, many people aren’t aware of the simple things they can do to prevent cardiac disease. While there are a number of apps in the iOS App Store that help you track your daily steps, internationally known preventative cardiologist Dr. Herb Semler, M.D., M.S., F.A.C.C felt he could do better, and developed his own app, Semler Heart, for the iPhone.
Semler Heart 1.0 was released on October 3, 2016. It claims to be the first interactive mobile app that not only tracks your daily, weekly, and monthly step totals, but also offers useful medical heart facts and other useful information to help users reduce their risk of cardio vascular disease and the associated health problems that come along for the ride.
Semler Heart is a simple to use app, which integrates with Apple HealthKit to track a user’s daily steps. The app’s information page in the App Store also mentions the app awards points for users to be redeemed at retail partners, however, I didn’t find any such thing noted inside the app itself. Perhaps they are still working out the details with the retail partners at the moment. We’ll keep an eye on that and let you know when more information is available.
According to the Simler Health Perks website, The Semler Heart Health Plan is based on “Seven Pillars” of heart healthy living. They are:
- Stop smoking
- Control high blood pressure
- Control diabetes
- Control cholesterol
- Increase physical activity
- Follow a heart healthy diet
- Avoid obesity
The app is designed to get users to increase their physical activity, by tracking their daily steps. Users can set a step goal, be it a daily one, or weekly or monthly goal. By encouraging the user to set goals, this encourages them to meet or exceed the goal, thereby becoming more active, and as a valuable side effect, becoming more healthy.
Along with the daily step tracking, the app also offers you a history of your previous days’ step totals, as well as quick tips from Dr. Semler on how to lead a healthier life. Users can get a new tip with just a tap of their iPhone’s screen. Tips include everything from informative information such as: “Four conditions you can control are regular physical activity, normal weight, blood pressure, and never smoke.” All the way to “The More You Know” type blurbs such as: “Stop heart disease before it stops you!” And, a little bit of everything in between, including reminders that you can collect points that can be spent at retail partners. (Again, I didn’t see this option in using the app, but I am a writer, and lead a sedentary lifestyle. Perhaps I just didn’t rack up enough activity for the feature to kick in.)
I found the Semler Heart app to be an excellent way to track my steps, and the accuracy of the app seemed to jibe with other apps I have on my iPhone and Apple Watch that track steps. The tips the app supplies range from the ridiculous to the sublime, which is par for this type of app. The ability to set goals, and to be able to trade in points earned for benefits at participating retailers is also a nice feature.
If you’re looking for an app that will track your daily steps, encourage you to do better each day, by bribing you if necessary, check out the Semler Heart app. At the rock-bottom price of free, the price is certainly right, and you might even live longer.
Semler Heart for iPhone is free, and is available in the App Store. It requires 16.9MB of free space on your device, and requires iOS 9.0 or higher. [GET IT NOW!]
Note: The above review was commissioned by the developer, and has been written in an objective, unbiased fashion.