If you’ve ever suffered through a migraine headache before, then you know the term “headache” really doesn’t even begin to describe the experience. This neurological condition can leave you incapacitated for hours on end. Although not universal, some migraine sufferers experience early symptoms (called prodromes) which warn that a serious headache is right around the corner.
Those who do experience these prodromes often are thankful for them, since it gives them at least some time to prepare for what’s to come. The migraine can sometimes be effectively snubbed out if the appropriate treatment is taken right away.
Better Collaboration with Your Doctor
Doctors often ask their patients to try and write down the symptoms they have experienced before and after the migraine. This collaboration can help them prescribe more effective treatments for their patients. However, it can be difficult to actually write anything down following a specific attack due to sheer exhaustion.
This is an issue that Healint, a healthcare startup based in Singapore, would like to address with their brand new mobile application. The app is called Migraine Buddy, and it allows migraine sufferers to keep a more efficient and comprehensive record of their aura symptoms. The doctors are then able to access the Migraine Buddy dashboard during their routine checkups.
Migraine Buddy’s Key Features
One of the key features that sets this app apart from the competition is the software’s ability to collect and store data on the user’s movement and sleep patterns through the smartphone sensor. This means that doctors will see some important data, even when the patient forgot to enter anything in manually.
At the moment, Healint’s app is only available for Android owners, but they’re developing the software for an iPhone and lite version (users won’t also need to get a code from their physician). The healthcare startup predicts that these new versions will be released before 2015.
Where’d This Idea Come From?
The co-founder of Healint, Veronica Chew, said that the inspiration for the app actually came from the discussions their team had with several leading neurologists. Their previous big project had been developing a mobile alert system for stroke patients. Many stroke patients don’t have smartphones, so Healint decided they’d shift their focus to a larger demographic– migraine sufferers.
(Studies have identified a connection between repeat migraine sufferers and strokes.)
“It’s the condition that they get asked the most about and a lot of patients have a history of not being able to tell exactly what happened. They can’t answer questions about whether or not certain treatments helped them, how many migraines they had, what they did, or what they were doing before,” explained Chew.
How Does Migraine Buddy Work?
Migraine Buddy is capable of generating in-depth reports that’ll provide key insights for both doctors and patients. It should help them understand what things can trigger an attack, as well as what treatments worked best. We may not be testing this in one of our migraine clinical trials, but it does seem like an effective tool.
The application asks the user specific questions in order to compile the most relevant information as fast as possible. Patients will be asked about their:
- Applied treatments and medications
- Pain’s point of origin
- Activities before the attack
The user’s information is stored in a separate place (not on their phone) so that it is safer (in case they lose the phone) and accessible by their primary physician. If you’re interested in trying out Migraine Buddy for yourself, you can contact Healint at firstname.lastname@example.org for an access code.