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SIF volunteers complete emergency nursing course in Indonesia.

For many patients trying to lose weight and ease chronic diseases such as diabetes‚ weight–loss programs downloaded for the iPhone‚ Blackberry‚ or other “smart” devices may help.

There is currently no data on whether mobile apps are more effective than a traditional dieting program‚ but programs such as the LoseIt app available on iTunes are increasingly popular. With the LoseIt app‚ users program in age‚ weight‚ and goals‚ and record each day what they eat and how much they exercise. Some experts consider these applications more successful than tracking calories at the end of the day because smartphone programs can work in real time‚ and rely on databases to record the calorie content of thousands of foods. Diabetes specialist Dana Green‚ of the St. Joseph Healthcare Diabetes Institute of Behavioral Medicine in Bangor‚ Me.‚ is testing the LoseIt program with 17 of his patients. Since April‚ nearly all of them had lost weight and lowered their blood sugar‚ and two women were able to reduce their insulin intake by 20 percent.