mHealth App Created to Help Combat Chronic Migraines

An app created to combat migraines was launched May 18th, according to a press release. “Migraine Meter,” developed by Health Union, LLC, has recent migraine news, tips from Migraine.com, and a journal to record when, where, and possible triggers for the migraines. The information can be uploaded to the Migraine Meter’s website and reports can be generated.

When I’m having a migraine, I think the last thing I want to do is to mess around with electronics, however, according to Dr. Susan Hutchinson of the Hoag Neurosciences Institute, keeping track of migraine episodes is very important.

Keep an accurate diary of migraine episodes is an important part of managing migraine diseases, tracking a patient’s history can help me identify potential patterns and migraine triggers to develop a more comprehensive treatment program. I recommend that all my patients keep an accurate journal.

If a journal needs to be kept, as I mentioned in a post about food journals, it is far more convenient to do it on my phone rather than on a piece of paper that is bound to get lost or thrown away. I do get migraines occasionally, so I decided it wouldn’t hurt to download the app. However, I first read some reviews.

I was disheartened to see that people had a variety of issues, from the inability to even register for an account, to screens being glitchy. As I explore the app, I will keep an eye out for these issues to see if they had been resolved. Here is my play-by-play of my first experience with the app:

First off, I noticed there was a lot of lag time between when I typed into the app and when it actually appeared on the phone. I’m not a very patient person, so this was kind of annoying (and kind of gave me a bit of a headache, constantly typing, erasing, and re-typing certain words. Ironic that this happened for a migraine up, right?). When I typed in my username, I couldn’t even see what I was typing, because the screen scrolled down a few inches. Then, it wouldn’t let me enter my birth date. The registering process was overall just really, really slow.

Phew. Now that registering is over . . .

The interface is, well, meh. As in, nothing too special. It is simple, with mainly black and gray colors. The front page has links to articles from Migraine.com. Selecting an article and reading it was simple enough, and I didn’t experience the lag time I first found when registering. There seems to be a lot of articles available, so if news about migraines is your thing, then this app is a goldmine. For everyone else, it’s just a nice resource to have.

Next – the journal. When you click on the tab for journal, it brings up a monthly calendar, with that day’s date highlighted. You simply click on the date you want to edit, select “create”, and enter a variety of details, such as the severity from 1-10, symptoms, triggers, treatment, and notes. Easy enough (well, if you are in a state where you actually want to record it!).

There are just two more tabs left…profile and report.

Profile – not really sure if it is necessary to fill this portion out, however, the app states that “when you visit your doctor, it’s important to share this information in addition to your migraine journal. ” It asks questions such as gender (which, I think the doctor should already know), the year that you experienced your first migraine, family history, current conditions, and other treatments currently used. Typing took forever, and I finally decided that it wasn’t pertinent for me to fill out all the information, so, I didn’t.

Finally, the report tab. Basically, all you do is enter your email address, and a report is sent to you.

And I’m finished. The app was simple and fulfills its purpose. Seeing as the app was just recently released, it’s bound to have a few glitches here and there, so I can forgive it for that, but I think it would be wise to make it just a tad faster .

Until my next review…The app can be downloaded here for Android platforms, and here for the iPhone.