Pain Management with Technology: App Adds Medication Support
Many of us use a variety of apps to help manage pain from rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, migraine, back pain and more. Today, Manage My Pain, an award-winning app for Android, is launching the addition of medication support.
Manage My Pain was first released in 2011 with the aim to provide long-term trends, insight and analysis to people living with chronic pain and their doctors. It has been very successful, leading the field in downloads and ratings. It also won the Gold Web Health Award in 2013.
Since then, “one of our most requested features was the ability to integrate medications into our pain management app,” said Michelle Janmohamed, Vice President of ManagingLife, the Toronto-based company that developed the app. After extensive beta testing, this feature is integrated in the app starting today.
Doing More, Doing Good
“I wanted to apply my skills in an area that would do good,” says Tahir Janmohamed, Founder and CEO of ManagingLife. His background as a computer engineer and MBA meant working with large corporations, but he wanted to do more. The inspiration came from several years ago seeing his uncle, now deceased, receive palliative care for cancer. “Every day, the nurse would come in with a clipboard and ask him about his pain, his mood and his appetite.”
As Tahir was considering how best to use his skills, he realized that all the pieces of paper used in pain management, whether by medical professionals or people living with chronic pain, could not provide a long-term trend.
Manage My Pain was developed to bridge the communication gap between people who have chronic pain and their doctors. Tahir explains that the app has two goals. The first is related to the common experience of people who have chronic pain that they don’t feel understood and believed. “Manage My Pain gives a vocabulary to patients to talk about their chronic pain, as well as evidence they can give to their doctors. Second, it can give a one page summary that can be of value to doctors.”
The new feature in the app allows users to add medications from a database. The meds are then added to a list of factors which could potentially alleviate pain, which allows the user to track the medications taken for their pain, the dosage and effectiveness. This can be used as a tool to identify ways of dealing with pain and potentially lead to a change in lifestyle. Tahir relates a story from the beta testing of the app, where a woman was able to identify the optimal time to take medication for breakthrough pain that led to less extreme episodes and better functioning and quality of life.
Manage My Pain is available for Android from Google Play and the Amazon Appstore. Manage My Pain Lite is free and allows the user to track ten records (pain episodes) at a time to identify trends. Manage My Pain Pro is available for $3.99 and does not limit the number of records. The company plan to further devleop the app to it available on the web and for iPhone, as well.
Lene writes the award-winning blog The Seated View. She’s the author of Your Life with Rheumatoid Arthritis: Tools for Managing Treatment, Side Effects and Pain and 7 Facets: A Meditation on Pain.