HAWMC 2013 Day 23: “There’s an app for that!…”




Welcome to the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health – a social network for all health activists.  Again, I am participating in the annual Writer’s Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon prompts given.

Today’s prompt reads as follows:

“I wish this gizmo could track my condition!”  Write about which device, application, program, etc, you wish helped to track your health 

I have an iPhone, and there are an overwhelmingly large number of applications available for the phone; many of them health related.  There are applications to remind you to take medications; to track fitness and nutrition, as well as keeping a record of symptoms and possible triggers.  There are also diaries and journals that you can download to the phone in order to take detailed notes of what is happening to one’s health.  For example, on my iPhone I have the following applications to help not only track my health but also keeps me entertained through illness itself:

  • Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube and Instagram – love these as it keeps my spirits up; entertains me as well as allowing me to keep in contact with all of my friends and be up-to-date with all the latest goings on. 
  • WordPress – this is to keep up with my blog
  • Symple – this is a fantastic tool in order to track symptoms associated with your condition as well as all the factors that affect them.  If one has started a new medication then it really is a great tool in order to see whether it has been effective in managing pain, for instance. Find out more about the application by visiting their website
  • Games such as 4 Pics 1 Word, The Chase, etc – purely for entertainment value and excellent at keeping my mind off my pain and keeps me occupied whilst at appointments




However, if I were to invent an application that could track my health condition; what features would it include?  For starters, I would love a way to track the number of falls that I experience.  During doctors’ and hospital appointments, I am always being asked how many times I have experienced falls in a given period, however, the truth is the number is so great that I lose count!  Therefore, an app which record the times I fall would be extremely useful; even more so if it could be done with one press of a button.

I would also find use of an app, that could send an alert to someone whenever one occurs.  This could be useful as a way of recording times when falls occur but also will be useful for getting help when a fall does occur, especially as I am often unable to get back up by myself.  It may also be useful in gaining a little independence when out and about with my parents, or carer – I could go and have a look at what I wanted to by myself without needing someone constantly with me, but then if a fall did occur, they would be alerted and come and assist me when necessary.

Because of the recent attacks, I have been experiencing of complete vision loss, the doctors advised to keep a diary of when such attacks occur and to record the time that the attacks last for.  However as my vision completely goes, I am unable to see the time, and therefore cannot record how long the attacks last for.  I searched and searched for an app that could assist be in doing so without needing my vision; perhaps through voice assisted technology, however I was unable to do so. So, an application which could do just that for me, would really help in keeping track of this particular troublesome symptom.  Even recording the times within the app, would also be useful, so I could instantly share it with doctors’ or consultants.

But most of all, the most helpful apps would have the option to be able to send all the data that has been collected could be sent to your doctor or hospital consultants and could then be added to your records.  This would make it much easier than, for example, keeping a written record and then remembering to take them to appointments.  Wouldn’t it be easier to be able to send data to our doctors between appointments so we can keep them up to date on our progress?  Especially if new medications have been introduced to our treatment regimen.  If doctors could keep-up-to-date by seeing data such as these between our appointments, and became concerned over deterioration in symptoms perhaps then they would be able to invite us for an appointment before a flare or relapse in our conditions occur.  Wouldn’t that make it easier for both doctors and patients alike?

If you could invent an application to assist you in your daily struggles with chronic illness what features would you like to see?  Share your thoughts and comment below!

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