02/15/2013 03:57 pm ET Updated Apr 17, 2013

Your Smart Phone Might Just Save Your Life

Many of us regularly use technology to simplify our lives. Our smart phones allow us to check email, text our friends, and do very important work on Facebook and Twitter. But did you know that your cell phone could save your life? I'll tell you how.

First, let me give you some facts straight from the CDC. Every year, 935,000 Americans have a heart attack. Heart disease is the leading killer of both men and women in America, accounting for roughly one in four deaths. And on average, 5,500 Chicagoans die of heart disease each year.

The Million Hearts Campaign was launched in 2012 by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) with a goal of preventing one million heart attacks and strokes by 2017. The HHS put out a call to developers seeking a mobile app to help people track their cardiac health status.

The best app would "help consumers take a heart health risk assessment, find places to get their blood pressure and cholesterol checked, and use the results to work with their health care providers to develop a plan to improve their health".

The competition was fierce with developers from far and wide throwing their hat in the ring. After a rigorous evaluation period, the winner was chosen. Heart Health Mobile, an iPhone app, was created by the Marshfield Clinic Research Foundation (you can download the app here for FREE).

The app is incredibly simple to use. You can get a good assessment of your heart risk in about 1 minute, with a list of area clinics to call for follow-up care.

The pilot campaign for the Heart Health Mobile app is launching in five cities this month: Chicago, Baltimore, Tulsa, Philadelphia, and San Diego. I am thrilled that Chicago is at the forefront of using technology to bring health empowerment to its residents.

Download the app for free and take responsibility for your Heart Health today! Don't forget to let me know what you think. You can always Tweet @ChiPublicHealth with feedback as well.

For more by Bechara Choucair, click here.

For more on heart disease, click here.