Tonic tries to take on the wellness world

A new smartphone app, Tonic, wants to be everything to everyone, at least when it comes to wellness tracking and support. Unlike many new apps that focus on one condition or a wellness goal, Tonic developers have created what they call a "self-care assistant" that can be customized to the users' health needs, including multiple illnesses or conditions the user needs to manage, and any "day-to-day health activities," like tracking fitness or diet compliance, company officials say.

One example: Cancer treatment. Users can access a series of charts to track their medication regimens, symptoms, side effects, treatment outcomes, and vital signs. They can input the frequency of needed meds or therapies, appointment times, specific dosing or time requirements and even notes about which activities should be conducted in conjunction with one another, such as taking drugs with food.

The app also features reminder alerts and charting/tracking of compliance over time.

Tonic debuts with guidance on hyptertension, cancer, cystic fibrosis, diet, liver transplants, and eye infections, with more to come, company officials say. It also includes a module for managing "family health" where users can track family members' medications, wellness goals, and even "flea-control for the family cat," company officials say.

In one testimonial, a user explained how she used Tonic to manage her daughter's cystic fibrosis: "Tonic might be the thing that we can use to communicate better with our CF-team. We can monitor our set-backs and difficulties with medication and infections and we can show the doctors that we have done our home-work."

One possible downside: The app (cost $4.99) is only available for iPhone and iPods right now, with iOS 4.0 or later. No word from its creators on how soon it might be available for other smartphones or mobile platforms.

To learn more:
- check out Tonic's website

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