APDA Symptom Tracker - Interview with the developer of a fantastic app

Did you have any prior development or coding experience?

Definitely not! At the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) we don’t have anyone in-house with that expertise, but we really knew we wanted to create the app, so we partnered with AOIC, an agency that specializes in medical and scientific communications, to help us bring it to life.

What was the most challenging aspect of developing mobile app?

Honestly, the biggest challenge was the budget. As a non-profit organization, APDA did not have the funds for a project like this. But we knew how important it would be and wanted to make it happen. Thankfully we got support from Acadia Pharmaceuticals and then had to work within that budget to develop the app.

Robin Kornhaber MSW was the project lead for the APDA Symptom Tracker App project. She serves as the Senior Vice President, National Programs and Partnerships in APDA. Robin Kornhaber joined APDA in 2015 and oversees the strategy and implementation of all national programs and services for the Parkinson’s community and the Information and Referral network of APDA institutions across the country. APDA is a non-profit organization that provides the support, education, and research that helps everyone impacted by Parkinson’s disease live life to the fullest.

Name a few of your favorite apps and reason you love them.

Gmail: For it's very handy and easy to use.
Google App Store and iTunes: Those are the platforms where our app is accessible to all those in need.

How long have you been working on this app?

We began working on the APDA Symptom Tracker App in early 2018. The app was loosely based on a paper version of a symptom tracker we were already using. We took our time to make sure the app was developed thoughtfully and would really meet the unique needs of the Parkinson’s disease community. Along the way, we consulted with medical professionals and people living with Parkinson’s disease to make sure the app was going to suit their needs and of course did quite a bit of testing before we launched.

What need of the user did you have in mind when developing this app?

It’s all about improving their quality of life – making things easier and better for people living with PD. The APDA Symptom Tracker App can help people have more meaningful conversations with their healthcare team and better manage their disease. People with PD do not have a lot of discussion time with their clinicians. In addition, every day can be different as symptoms change and become more and less prominent. The APDA Symptom Tracker App is a tool to keep track of symptoms and report them accurately so the health care team can help to address those that are the most troubling. After answering the Symptom Tracker questions, a graph is produced that identifies instantly which symptoms are the most troublesome at this point in time. By emailing or bringing the graph to the physician, the patient can offer a pictorial representation of what s\he is having the most difficulty managing. This saves time and makes discussions more efficient and effective.

In what way do you think your app is better than similar apps on the market? Please describe in detail what innovation you think you bring and what you are proud of in your app.

Some of the thoughtful features make this app really fantastic. The APDA Symptom Tracker allows you to save your results in the “My Library” section of the app every time you use it, so you can look back and see how you’ve been tracking. Are certain symptoms getting worse? Better? The app also has a special “Questions for the Doctor” feature that generates a list of suggested follow-up items for people to review with their doctor about symptoms and concerns they are currently experiencing, but also about preventative care. This will help them be more proactive in managing their PD. They can bring a printout of the questions to their appointment so they don’t forget to ask any questions that are important to them (people tend to get nervous at a doctor appointment and can easily forget to ask important questions). The app also features a useful list of resources that connects them directly to a wealth of quality, credible PD information. We tried hard to make it a well-rounded really useful tool that users can rely on.

What are your future plans and expected features of the coming new versions of this app?

We will update and improved the app as needed. Our goal right now is to get as many people using it as possible. Once we have a nice amount of people really interacting with the app we will start to learn what adjustments and enhancements we might want to make in the future. We hope to continue to develop and expand the functionality to best serve those with PD.

Assuming new users of your app are reading this page. What do you want to ask them to do (contact you about X, Share the app, etc.)?

The APDA Symptom Tracker App will really help people with Parkinson’s disease communicate with their doctors more effectively, which can help the doctors give them better and more accurate care. We want people to spread the word – tell everyone you know about this app because the more people who use it, the more people we will be helping. Of course we welcome feedback about the app as well, so people can contact us at rkornhaber@apdaparkinson.org with any questions or issues.

APDA Symptom Tracker

About App: The APDA Symptom Tracker app helps you 1- Keep track of your symptoms - including tremors, rigidity, balance and more. 2- Create your report, share with your care team or save to your library. 3- Consult with your doctor for more personalized resources and support. Each person's Parkinson's disease symptoms are different. The more you and your care team know, the more personalized your care can be.

Categories: Health & Fitness, Lifestyle

Date: May 14, 2019

Developer: Robin Kornhaber

About developer: Robin Kornhaber MSW was the project lead for the APDA Symptom Tracker App pr ... Read more

Website: https://www.apdaparkinson.org/

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App URL in iTunes
App URL in Google Play

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health and fitness apps Parkinson's disease symptoms tracker

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