Digital Aids Help Me With My Chronic Health Issues.
When you read this title, “Digital aids help me with my chronic health issues”, I think you already have some idea where this is about. If you had read some of my other posts, you know that I have health issues. For this, I have many different kinds of medications and I take around 20-25 tablets per day. To help me with this, I am using an app on my smartphone. It reminds me when to take my tablets, what tablets I need to take, and keeps track of my stock.
So for people with a chronic health issue or illness, it can be handy to have some digital aids. And there are a lot. Some are very simple and basic. While others can be very complex.
For example, right now I am using three different apps to keep track of different things. Because of my heart failure, I have a liquid intake limitation. I use the app Hydro Coach to see how much liquid I already have had and how much I can still take. I use a different app, to keep track of my blood pressure and weight. And then there is the app that I use for my medication.
From Basic to Complete.
After my first open-heart operation I had to start using medication daily. This was very new to me and it took a long time to get used to it. I often forgot to take them on time.
For people with chronic health issues, it is important to take your medication on time. They call it therapy compliance. The better you stick to the advised treatment, the better it is.
I started using the alarm on my phone, to remind me when it was time to take my medication. But after some time, I found it too simple. And I wanted something that also could keep track of my stock and if could, I also could use it to keep track of any remarks or checkups I had. Every two to three weeks, I had to do a blood check. This way I knew what the schedule would be for the coming weeks. And how many tablets I had to take every day.
I had tried many different apps. And many failed. I was looking for something that could create, what they called, a complex schedule. A schedule in which it was possible to set a different number of tablets every day. This was very important to me.
I ended up with an app that is called “MedApp”. It could do everything I wanted. I could set a complex schedule, could keep track of my stock, fill in test results, everything I liked or felt would be handy. I used it for many years. Especially after my second operation and all the other health issues that followed after that. I got more medication and more things to keep track of.
After many years of using this app, at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, they decided to change the app. Update it and make it more modern. The company stopped with the further development of the “old” app. They only now and then released some bug fixes but further, nothing was done. Most of their time was put into the development of the new app.
At first, I thought that this would be great. Something new and maybe something better. But after installing and trying out the new app, I discovered that it was no longer possible to make any complex schedule. I was advised to use the “old” app for the time being, while they were still developing the new app further and looking into the option to enter a complex schedule. I found out, that this was more difficult than they thought. And for now, they have no idea when this option will be possible.
Because right now I am having some issues with the app, I started to look around for other apps again. Just to see what is on the market and could I maybe use it.
Right now, there are so many apps on the market, you will lose sight of what is what.
I also started to search on the internet to see what is on offer or what others think of certain apps. Or maybe what they are advising.
I was surprised to see so many articles and every time is was disappointed in what they were saying. Things like “The 10 best medical apps”. “Best free apps for your medication”. “Best apps to keep track of your health”.
Some of them were what they call “Clickbait”. A heading or title that convinces you to click but when you read the article, it is not making its title true. They are misleading you.
A title like “The 10 best medical apps”, should be “My 10 best medical apps”. The writer was telling about 10 different apps and why they were the best. But it should be that he thought that they were the best apps.
Going through the list, each app disappointed me. Some of the tips were very cheap or misleading. Or too simple. Like one suggested using your Calendar on your phone as an alarm. Or an app that is called TickTick. This one is something like a task or To-Do list. How can you keep track of your medication like that?
For me, it is back to square one. Just use the app I am using at the moment, and hope that the problem I have now will be fixed soon. Right now, I am not able to use the app already for several days (including the weekend). It is a little frustrating, but there is nothing I can do now.
So what can I do as long as the app is not working?
Go back the simple way. I had set the alarm on my phone for the times that I need to take my medication. Next to that, I am keeping track of what and how much I take at every moment. In case the app works again and I can log in and retrieve my data. Then I also can update my stock. and have an up-to-date record again.
It also made me realize that how dependent I had got on the app. Once you are used to it, you don’t think about it anymore. You just go with it. But once it stops or starts having problems, you almost get lost.
It is also frustrating me a little bit. To find out that how much I was relying on the app and the company that is making it. If suddenly they will stop working on it, then what? Then maybe my search for the next app will start again. Again testing and trying out so many different apps. Only to find out that it is not what I am looking for or that it is what I need. There is always something missing.
The other thing that comes up in my mind is, I will make my own app. If something goes wrong, I can, hopefully, fix it myself. I can make it the way I would like it to be. Make changes when needed or update it. It would be in my control.
The use of digital aids when you have health issues is a great help. They make sure that you take your medication on time, and keep track of your stock. So they make life a little bit easier. They also make you therapy compliance. To keep things stable or better.
Only when things go wrong you can be stuck. You discover how much you are depending on these things.
For me, I have a programming background. It might be outdated but seen that I am not working, I have time to learn something new. To be honest, this scares me. There is the fear of failure. But that is part of the whole process and I need to learn to get over it and push on. Also, it will take a lot of time before I have something useful. But I am not in a hurry. Right? Maybe I even will try to combine the three apps I am using now, into one. So everything is in one app.
Maybe my next post will be about the digital aids that are on the “market” right now. And maybe it will be a small “rant” on my side. But I just want to give my thoughts on them.
For now, as always, stay safe and take care of yourself.