App Allows Patients To Donate Data To Scientific Research

A new app for people with long-term health ailments, created by a patient diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, has raised initial funds for a series of studies in the UK and the US. The MyHealthPal app allows people with chronic illnesses to keep track of their symptoms and maintain records of medication doses. It also allows users to donate their anonymised data in exchange for a share of revenues generated by that data to scientific research.

Mike Barlow was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2013 at the age of 41. He developed the MyHealthPal app when he was unable to find an existing app for managing and measuring his medications and symptoms. The tool allows patients to capture and visualise dietary and exercise data, drug dosages, mood and other metrics that play a role in a patient’s quality of life while living with a chronic illness.

Investing In Patient Involvement

Mount Sinai Hospital in New York is one of the institutions participating in the first of a series of studies of the MyHealthPal app. Professor Steven Frucht and Assistant Professor Ritesh Ramdhani are currently evaluating the app at Mount Sinai’s Movement Disorder Clinic. According to the company’s website, the study is focused on Parkinson’s Disease patients, although the app and analytics platform can be applied to other chronic diseases.

Funding for the project has come from several private and institutional sources, including angel investor Will Armitage, medical business expert Terence Bradley and Andrew MacKay, the chairman of Yapp Brothers. Venture capital firm Proxy Ventures is another supporter. So far, the app has raised $744,600 (£500,000). 

A Share Economy For Patients

An interesting aspect of the myHealthApp is the way it offers users a stake in sharing data. The transatlantic company is attempting to attract users by offering revenue shares generated by the data to charities and scientific research institutions. Users who share their data, which has been anonymised to comply with American and British privacy requirements, can then feel that they are receiving something tangible in exchange for their contribution.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there are over 421 million people living with chronic diseases, concluding Parkinson’s Disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, diabetes, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and HIV/AIDS. This means that the market for the MyHealthPal app is sizeable, and growing as more people learn to manage their health via wearables and apps.

At the moment, the app is only available on the iOS network.

Source and Image Credit: TechCrunch

Published on : Mon, 30 Mar 2015

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Apps, medical research, Parkinsons' Disease, patient involvement A new app for people with long-term health ailments, created by a patient diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease, has raised initial funds for a series of stud

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