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Safety apps

People who travel alone, work with violent accused, or find themselves in other potentially dangerous situations may want to try out personal safety smartphone apps. These work in a variety of ways: they can allow loved ones to track you remotely via GPS; send out an alert to friends if you fail to check-in as having arrived home; or even initiate a call to first responders if you give your phone a vigorous shake. Try Kitestring, bSafe, Guardly, or one of the many others in this category.

Smartphone wellness app

Applications like fitnet®, Pact, and Strava® can stand in for a workout buddy, personal trainer, or even your mother – reminding you to make time for wellness strategies and tracking your progress. Fitnet in particular is aimed at people with busy lives, prescribing specific workouts that take just 5-7 minutes.

Online support communities

A wide range of online support communities – often set up as bulletin boards or chat rooms – exist to promote supportive community-building. For general encouragement, try Weight Watchers® or SparkPeople®. If you have a specific health concern such as childhood illnesses, allergies, chronic pain, or cancer, you can find a community of people who have gone through the same thing. There are even communities focused on mental health: see for example MentalEarth or PsychCentral.

Fitness wearables

Count steps and calories burned, measure your heart rate, and even track your sleep with wearable technologies like FITBIT®, Garmin®, and Withings®. These devices now exist for every budget, and come in various styles, including some that masquerade as traditional wristwatches.

What’s next in wellness tech?

Wellness technologies are a huge growth area. Would you believe us if we told you that the following already exist?

  • Glasses that can determine whether the wearer has sustained a concussion
  • A pill bottle that tells you when you’ve missed a dose
  • “Adult diapers” that diagnose urinary tract infections
  • A t-shirt that warns the user about cardiac arrhythmias

These – and many other technologies – do exist, and new ones are being developed every year. It’s fun to think about – as long as you protect your sense of work/life balance by refraining from thinking about the legal implications!

Not a technology person?

Sometimes, nothing can replace support and wisdom from another human being who understands what you are going through. Homewood Health™ provides the confidential Member Assistance Program (MAP) for Ontario lawyers, paralegals, judges, students at Ontario law schools and accredited paralegal colleges, licensing-process candidates, and their families, with financial, arm’s-length support from the Law Society of Upper Canada and LawPRO. To learn more about the MAP, please visit or call 1-855-403-8922.