Saturday, April 14, 2012

Prostate Pal Mobile App

With the mobile technology revolution in full swing, I believe that this is an opportunity for healthcare to harness this energy to further empower patients, facilitate doctor/patient relations, and improve the efficacy of care.

Since I'm a urologist, I naturally think about such things within my realm of expertise.
For men, prostate disorders impact millions of men throughout the world.  In an effort to marry mobile healthcare (mHealth) with these interests, I came up with Prostate Pal.

Prostate Pal is a free app.  By free, I mean the real free - no in app purchases, "liteware",  or banner ads. By releasing the app in such a manner, the goal was to give men worldwide the ability to track their urologic health.

It's available on Apple and Android platforms:

The app consists of three parts:
  • Bladder Diary - This is used to track fluid intake, urine output, urinary leakage, and incontinence pad changes.  The information that is logged will help your healthcare assess your urinary health and response to therapy.  Containers to measure output can be purchased at your local drug store.
  • AUA Symptom Score - This is a questionnaire produced by the American Urological Association. It has been validated with numerous medical studies.  The list of questions are used to help men and women in conjunction with their healthcare providers assess their urinary symptoms and response to therapy.
  • PSA Tracker - Prostate specific antigen or PSA is a blood test that is used to screen for prostate cancer and monitor response to prostate cancer therapy.  The tracker has a table and graph format.

Prostate Pal Home Screen
I first came up with the idea in early 2010.  Initially, I tried to program it myself with the Apple Software Development Kit.  However, the programming was too time intensive as well as too complex for me to fully implement my vision for the app.

Thankfully, two things happened that allowed the app to come together.  First, I received funding from the LeBaron Foundation and Concord Hospital Trust for the project.  Second, I ran into Cameron Banga and Mike Phelps from 9Magnets, LLC - an app development company. They did a great job executing the app and it was first released in January of 2011!

In other posts I'll talk about the further development of the app and stuff that happened after the release, It's been a pretty crazy ride since I thought about this app in my living room on a cold, New Hampshire winter night!

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