Using Technology to Your Advantage
Living with a chronic disease is not easy, but when your illness also tends to twist and turn in unpredictable ways, life can get pretty complicated very quickly. Even though different MS patients will experience symptoms, emotional challenges, and life changes differently, everyone can do with an extra helping hand.
More companies and individuals are reaching out to fellow sufferers with apps designed to ease some of the burden that comes with the MS lifestyle. New approaches to disease tracking and better avenues of communication are at your fingertips, and although it may seem like a small addition, the right MS app could bring major, positive changes to your daily routine.
Features that Help with MS Management
MS is a complicated disease, and the tools you choose should simplify your day-to-day living, not complicate things further. There are a few general features that you’ll probably find useful, especially when you experience MS exacerbations or changes in your treatment plan:
- Journal. If you haven’t been keeping a daily MS journal, it’s time to begin. The freedom to write, in your own words, what you’re feeling or thinking is emotionally and physically beneficial. While paperback journals have some advantages, an electronic version can make it easier to organize, reference and share key info.
- Medication tracking. MS tends to affect memory, and foggy thinking can have dangerous consequences for your medication routine. You can eliminate a lot of the worry and risk with a reliable tool that keeps track of all the dosage details.
- Analysis and reporting. Charts, graphs, color-coded symptom reference, and reports to send out to your doctors can help clarify changes and symptoms for you, and make it much easier to communicate with your whole support network. The key is to find a clear system that’s easy for you to work with, or else the technical aspects won’t be of much use to you.
Top Apps for MS Patients
The complexity of the apps differ, and the right match for you will probably depend on the complexity of your daily routine. If you have lots of medications, appointments, and symptoms to track, you may find it easier to use one app that can centralize all your data. On the other hand, sometimes the simpler, streamlined tools are the easiest to adopt for the long-term.
Luckily for you, new apps for MS are always under development, and current versions are being refined and updated. Take a look at some of the highest rated apps that could make your self-care – and general MS treatment – much more manageable:
MSAA Multiple Sclerosis Self-Care Manager
Created as a companion to the @Point of Care app for health care professionals, the My MS Manager app is a good all-round management tool for MS patients. It’s created by the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America (the MSAA), which means the information is thorough, focused, and up-to-date.
With files for symptoms, triggers, medication history, lab results, and reference tools, this MS manager app keeps a lot of your important information in one place. It’s tidy and easy to navigate, but it’s not entirely customizable – some patients complain that they can’t group symptoms to indicate a relapse, while others would appreciate a larger note-taking area.
Next page: four more great apps for people with MS.