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Chronic Disease and the App Solution

Published on May 26th, 2014 by in Uncategorized

Chronic diseases can often lead to hefty medical and insurance bills. Constant, repeating treatments and complications result in a pile-up of unavoidable debts, leading to stress that can exacerbate the disease. One such disease is Diabetes, which currently affects more than three million people worldwide. Diabetes requires consistent monitoring of insulin levels, and a lack of regular monitoring can result in severe complications, to the extent of fatality. Diabetes patients have no choice but to pay for expensive monitoring equipment and frequent doctor visits. It is estimated that Diabetes patients spend over six thousand dollars every year on equipment and supplies. These patients can’t skip a treatment or a test; they must remain on top of their condition. So how can they cut costs and try to be frugal while still keeping their illness in check? Mobile apps can drastically help these patients. Apps are reusable, cheap to free, constantly improving for no cost, and they often implement many functions for one price and in one unit. Diabetes patients often have to buy many test strips, needles, and a device to read the results and inform the patient of their insulin level. Mobile apps are being released that use biometric functions to provide insulin monitoring with no test strips or needles. This drastically reduces tracking costs, alleviating the pressure of constantly buying test strips. These apps are often free or cost very little, which is a nice relief from the monitoring and reminder devices of the past. Additionally, if radical new technology or information about Diabetes comes out, an app has the ability to update to encompass this information, unlike a classic device. This is a cause of confidence in the quality of your purchase and in the quality of the care you receive. Diabetes control apps have the ability to encompass many different functions. Because apps have such a range of ability, apps can be developed that have multiple functions, which saves the cost of buying multiple devices. This also collates information in a way that prompts further understanding of the patient’s disease and maintenance success.

This mobile approach has been a success so far for Diabetes patients and app developers. There are over a thousand apps for diabetes patients in the Apple App Store and Google Play store. Now it is time to begin exploring options for other chronic disease sufferers. There is a multitude of tracking apps out that can assist in the observation and ultimately prevention of many chronic symptoms. There are classic, well known tracking apps, such as those that record menstrual cycles or food intake. But there are also tracking apps to help those who suffer from high-blood pressure, asthma, potential heart disease, kidney disease, and those with chronic pain. Obviously app developers have seen the potential for helping chronic patients. Now they’re just waiting on the technology to enable these apps to delve deeper and replace archaic expensive monitoring equipment.

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