To conclude our 4-part series on my favorite MS-related mobile applications, here are a number of apps which offer various journal and tracking features that may be useful for MS patients. Also detailed are two apps that provide excellent journaling, medication management, calendar, to-do lists, communication tools, and up-to-date syncing of information for patients and those they choose to invite to share access to their information through the app and corresponding website.
MS Selfâ„¢ - Multiple Sclerosis Mobile App
Available for iPhone/iPad, requires iOS 6.0 or later
MS Selfâ„¢ contains a journal tool to track mood, mobility, symptoms, activities, energy level, and additional comments; 20 fact cards that offer practical advice and information; and motivational achievement awards for taking various actions in the app. MS Selfâ„¢ is sponsored by Acorda Therapeutics, Inc, and offers users the opportunity to opt-in to programs from Acorda such as twice weekly Move Over MSâ„¢ emails. It would be great if the app could turn journal entries into charts or graphs containing information over time, but it does not.
Life and MS
Available for iPhone/iPad, requires iOS 6.1 or later; Android, requires 2.3.3 and up
Life and MS is designed for MS patients who experience spasticity and its related symptoms. The app contains a set of validated tests to help you measure the intensity of spasticity symptoms, pain, sleep disruption, bladder dysfunction, bowel dysfunction, spasms, walking impairment, and need for help with activities of daily living, and their evolution through time. Graphics can be displayed to show the evolution throughout a specific period of time for each symptoms and results can be shared with healthcare professionals if desired. There is also a section where you can register all of the medications you take and set alerts to remind you when to take your medications.
Available for iPhone/iPad, requires iOS 7.0 or later
Noteness is a simple, quick, and easy to use Multiple Sclerosis diary app which allows users to create entries for injection site locations, symptoms, and optional notes. Reminders for injections can be set for every day, every second day, or for custom weekdays. Data can be exported via PDF or by e-mail. Noteness is very simple and contains no excess complexity.
Certainly other apps exist which allow you to track injections. However, they either cost something, are limited to patients who can provide proof of prescription, or received very poor reviews.
Available for iPhone/iPad, requires iOS 5.0 or later; Android, requires 2.2 and up
The Kurtzke Expanded Disability Status Scale (EDSS) was developed to measure the disability status of people with MS and is a measurement tool commonly used in clinical trials. EDSS provides a way to quantify the effect of MS on function and mobility, however it does not account for several areas of non-ambulation related symptoms. The EDSS Tracker app is simple and easy to use with less technical language that makes scoring and navigation easy. You are able to self-score your own EDSS over time and track your progress. There is a diagnosis tab that allows you to record important information regarding different diagnoses; however there is not an option to view all of the diagnoses in one consolidated listing. One drawback is that you are required to sign-in each time you open the app.
The developers of EDSS Tracker have also created MS Tracker (cost $7.99) which contains an injection tracker, calendar, treatment options, relapse journal, labs and imaging section to record important information, and MS resources for the newly diagnosed patient. Some of the makers of injectable MS medications have created their own injection tracker apps, including MyBETAappâ„¢, COPAXONE iTrackerâ„¢,and RebiLink.
The Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (MSAA) created and launched the MSAA – Multiple Sclerosis Self-Care Manager app (available for iPhone/iPad, requires iOS 5.0 or later; Android, requires 2.2 and up) in 2011. It was designed to empower patients to keep a personal record of their conditions and treatments. However, the app has some limitations which impact its usefulness, so I’ve not detailed it further here.
Available for iPhone/iPad, requires iOS 7.0 or later; Android, requires 4.0 and up
CareZone Meds is the easiest way for you and your family to manage medications and doctor’s instructions, from always having an up-to-date prescription list with you, to reminders to take medication or order refills, to organizing important contacts and jotting down notes. Quickly create a detailed medication list by scanning your prescription label using your device’s camera. CareZone transfers the information to the app, allows you to edit the information, and stores it securely. The app also features a journal function, calendar, to-do lists (you can assign tasks or highlight areas where you need help), photo upload and storage, and access that can be shared with whom you invite. The info stored on the app is also available via web browsers at www.CareZone.com, and via other mobile devices. There are currently 13 CareZone apps available.
CareZone Multiple Sclerosis
Available for iPhone/iPad, requires iOS 7.0 or later
CareZone helps organize important information from medication lists, pharmacies, and insurance, to observation journals, care calendars, and emergency contacts. The app features a reminder and notification system to keep everyone on top of changes, updates, even new medication dosages and refill dates. Scanning prescription labels really does work to quickly create a list of medications. While it includes many of the same features as the CareZone Med app, CareZone Multiple Sclerosis also has a broadcast feature where you can send free voice messages to up to 100 people at once, and it will let you know who got the message. You can even read the latest MS-related news from sources such as MedPageToday, the NewYorkTimes, WebMD, and more. You choose the topics that most interest you.
Related Posts in this Series:
MS Apps 2014 - Conferences, Social Media, MS Awareness
MS Apps 2014 - Multiple Sclerosis/Neurology Publications
MS Apps 2014 - Educational, Entertainment, Games
MS Apps 2014 - MS Management, Care Coordination
All of the mobile apps featured are free.
Lisa Emrich is a patient advocate, accomplished speaker, author of the award-winning blog Brass and Ivory: Life with MS and RA, and founder of the Carnival of MS Bloggers. Lisa uses her experience to educate patients, raise disease awareness, encourage self-advocacy, and support patient-centered research. Lisa frequently works with non-profit organizations and has brought the patient voice to health care conferences and meetings worldwide. Follow Lisa on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.