An app to monitor longterm illnesses also offers users a stake in sharing data

An app for people with longterm illnesses to track symptoms and record medication doses has raised seed funds and embarked on the first of what’s expected to be a series of studies with Mount Sinai Hospital and other medical institutions in the U.S. and U.K., according to a report by TechCrunch. Mike Barlow, who was […]

An app for people with longterm illnesses to track symptoms and record medication doses has raised seed funds and embarked on the first of what’s expected to be a series of studies with Mount Sinai Hospital and other medical institutions in the U.S. and U.K., according to a report by TechCrunch.

Mike Barlow, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease two years ago, created myHealthPal for people with long-term health conditions to track their personal data and manage their condition. It also captures and visualizes how users feel daily and lets them track their performance and response time to a simple game. Barlow developed the app when he couldn’t find a device to manage and measure the effectiveness of his medication, track symptoms, log mood, diet, exercise and other metrics and their impact on his quality of life, according to the article.

The app is currently only available on the iOS network.

Mount Sinai Professor Steven Frucht and Assistant Professor Ritesh Ramdhani are evaluating the app with Parkinson’s disease patients at the hospital’s Movement Disorder Clinic. Data validity, patient insights and medication adherence are some of the areas the study is focusing its attention, according to the company’s website.

myHealthPal raised $744,600 (£500,000) in seed funding from Andrew MacKay, chairman of Yapp Brothers, and angel investor Will Armitage, along with Terence Bradley, the article noted.

To entice would-be users to share their anonimized data, the article notes that the transatlantic company is offering them a share of the revenues that data generates to scientific research institutions and charities supporting research and care. That may be easier said than done, but it at least makes would-users feel they are getting something tangible in response for sharing their data.

It’s an interesting differentiator. It’s also pursuing two different markets simultaneously. Given the number of people who have said they would be interested in pharmaceutical companies using their data if it meant finding a cure for their condition faster, it’s hard to quantify the impact of offering pie in the sky in exchange for data. But maybe any impact that offer will have will be more to do with the fact that it was made at all and presents of a view of patients as business partners.