Smartphone App Reaches Out for the Chronically Ill

Chronic medical conditions such as pain, depression or diabetes, often leave people feeling helpless, eventually leading them to withdraw from society. Doctors or specialists may not see or treat them at all until they show up in an emergency room.

Technology has many uses these days; some of which may save lives. A new app that tracks activity and movement may help patients when they begin to draw inward by alerting the appropriate doctor or caregiver. According to the New York Times, the app tracks how often calls and texts are made, as well as movement and activities.

The United States military, insurance companies and several medical chains have begun backing these digital flares. Hospitals and medical centers throughout the country have already begun testing this technology.

Michael Seid, a professor of pediatrics at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center, explained:

“It’s a potential human early-warning system, the body’s check-engine light.

“When your pain increases, you’re less likely to be at the park or the mall. It could be early indicators of a flare-up or worsening of the disease,” he added, explaining that the technology “measures social behavior at a scale and depth you just didn’t have before.”