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The two most useful free apps ever

Do you know whether heartburn pills are safe for long-term use?

Here at TheySaidWhat? World Headquarters, we pride ourselves in advising employers and employees what not to do. That’s our wheelhouse.

And for good reason. Apparently the opposite, our advice on what to do, sometimes backfires. For instance, our most popular post ever, with 12,000+ hits last year along, is an ironic guide to cheating in corporate weight loss contests. It was intended as a gag to show how worthless and harmful these contests are, but has apparently morphed a how-to manual for employees who want to do exactly that. Here are our stats for 2019. No other posting exceeded 6000 views.

Today, however, we are going to shake the what-to-do dice again…and present two tools that are powerful, ridiculously easy to use, free, and unique.

Measure your heart rate just by looking at your iPhone

This amazing app was invented by my former wife’s sister’s son. (Legally speaking, that makes him my ex-nephew-in-law.)

it;s called Hands-Free Heart Rate.   All you do is look at it. Yes, just look at it. (You may need to take your glasses off, if that’s not too inconvenient.) And not even 30 seconds later (most of the time) it tells you your heart rate. is the contact info.

It’s also totally accurate. I’ve benchmarked it on the low and high ends to see if it works across the spectrum of potential heart rates. Pulse is at rest above. Then, the below screen shot is shown after being added to Apple Health. it captured the two data points immediately upon completion of my stair climb, and ten minutes afterwards.

While the coolness factor is quite high, there is also cost-saving potential.  Perhaps employees who score 60 or lower on resting pulse can opt out of annual screenings. Screens, however worthless they are when done every year on every employee (against the USPSTF guidelines), are even more of a waste of time and money on healthy people. And it’s fair to say that most people with pulses below 60 at rest are indeed healthy. Or if they aren’t, they have some kind of rare brachycardia issue that a wellness vendor likely can’t even spell, let alone identify. (Maybe wellness vendors should be required to undergo 6 days of training instead of 5.)

Just go to the app store and download it. You won’t be able to look away.

Conversation starters for doctor visits

1000 covered lives will generate roughly:

  • 1 heart attack
  • 1 admission for diabetes, and…
  • 4000 doctor visits

And yet, how much more time, energy and money does your company spend on tilting at those two rare event windmills, which have never been avoided through wellness programs anyway (and vendors don’t track those event rates, so you don’t even know you failed) than on teaching employees how to talk to their doctor?  Well, it turns out, there’s an app for that.  Quizzify has updated the 5 Choosing Wisely questions that you are supposed to ask your doctor before any test or treatment…and made them downloadable right into your Apple Wallet.

Then, when you are actually in the doctor’s office for anything other than a checkup that you probably didn’t need, you have the questions to ask right on your person.

Of course, in virtually none of those 4000 doctor visits does anyone ever ask those questions, for one of three reasons, all of which are covered with this download:

  1. They don’t know them (check)
  2. They forgot to bring them (check)
  3. They are reluctant to question the doctor (check — see the PS below)

Beyond the basic Choosing Wisely questions (which Quizzify updated), you’ll find the app useful for surprise bill avoidance and for high-cost scans.  Those are all freely available. Here is the short version of the Apple Pass for scans. On the back of the Pass is the “long version,” reminding employees of what they learned in Quizzify about why they want to ask these questions.

Long version excerpt (back of Pass)


This will be very useful…but nowhere near as useful as if it is combined with Quizzify’s standard curriculum, which teaches employees the importance of asking questions in a doctor visit. Quizzify customers can get these Apple Passes (and Android equivalents) for Humira, stents, back surgery, antibiotics, MSK procedures, and procedures generally. Basically anything that is controversial, high-cost and frequent. Employees shouldn’t Just Say Yes without understanding why — and whether — they should be saying yes.



  1. Sam Lippe says:

    That seems a little low — 46 — are you sure?


    • whynobodybelievesthenumbers says:

      I counted the beats. (46 at rest is probably about average for someone who plays Ultimate 3-4 times a week.)


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