Migraine is one of the disorders where you lose out on life due to severe episodes of headaches. Around 38 million people in America suffer from a migraine triggered by various causes such as food, weather changes, hormonal changes, and lifestyle factors.
For some people, it is easy to manage their migraine pain as they know their triggers. But for most, the task is daunting as several factors have to be counted in and they also have to consider the duration, frequency, and other aspects of pain.
Many doctors have suggested keeping headache diaries where patients note down details about their migraine episodes and possible triggers. But the manual process takes time and mostly eliminates consideration of crucial factors like weather, ambient noise, light intensity, and so on.
Migraine Diary App- A Mobile Way to Record Your Migraine Episodes
Some apps have made it possible to get rid of the paper process of recording your headaches and made the process more efficient. Using mobile apps, you can log in details of migraine episodes, duration, possible triggers, frequency, and other factors.
The hardware of the smartphones also automatically factors in details such as weather, noise and air pressure which might lead to headaches. For example, the MigrnX app from Sensor RX enables users to gather accurate and actionable data so that they have better treatment plans.
MigrnX helps users track and record their migraine duration, frequency, location, pain intensity, associated lifestyle factors and medication for better analysis of pain which can show patterns. The automated headache diary app also helps the doctor with evidence to get a better understanding of the patient condition and devise better treatments.
The migraine tracking app removes the challenges any person faces while recording their headache pains. They will find it difficult to analyze external factors such as time, location, weather, noise and other factors unless they have the proper equipment. But fortunately, the modern smartphones come with several hardware features such as the ability to measure light sensitivity, ambient noise, pointing to your exact location, and so on. MigrnX takes the help of such capabilities and creates a holistic record of your migraine episodes with comprehensive data.
How Did Migrnx Help Users?
The migraine diary app helped the patients easily record and track their migraine episodes and patterns using the simple application. The app provides a simple and accessible platform to the users to quickly input headache episode details in a few taps.
It also included data from additional sources available from smartphone sensors for accurate and historical data. Details such as medication have to be entered by the users and require just a few seconds.
The overall information gives context to your migraine pain and helps in its diagnosis and treatment.
The data of the app is securely stored and made available to both the doctor and the patient through electronic medical records to determine the effectiveness of the treatment and adjust it accordingly.
Functions of MigrnX
The MigrnX app gives a simple way for users to record their headache episodes. The app automatically collects data such as current time, location, light intensity and frequency, ambient noise, weather and barometric pressure.
The patients can also track the medication, symptoms related to migraine and intensity of pain by manually entering them in the app. The headache diary app can even get the data printed in a PDF file to be sent to the doctor or patient as the need arises.
It has some innovative functions such as:
- Recording migraine episodes with less than 4 taps
- Accurate monthly counts of migraine episodes
- Automatic trigger recording
- Tracking menstrual cycle
- Simple medication management
- Eliminating need for paper-based headache diary
- Improved data accuracy and accessibility
The Benefits of Using Migraine Diary App
- Get Holistic Understanding of Your Pain
A migraine tracking app will record all details related to a headache episode including details such as triggers, duration, frequency, menstrual cycle, and others. Some of the details have to be manually entered by the user while the others are collected automatically by the sensor of the mobiles such as weather, light intensity, ambient noise, barometric pressure and, so on.
Over time you can make out differences like weather changes, hormonal changes, and effects of other triggers through the data available from the headache diary app. You can understand the triggers better and know which medications are working.
Overall, you get a holistic understanding of your migraine episodes and the data can be shared with your doctor for improved treatment plans.
- Identify Responsible Triggers
For some people identifying their triggers for migraine are quite easy- it’s the glass of whiskey or the menstrual cycle as may be the case. But for most people, recognizing the triggers is not so easy.
You can think that chunk of chocolate was the culprit but missed out on the increased noise around you! Studies also show that most of the times people are not able to identify their triggers effectively. On top of that, there are several lifestyle factors that also affect your migraine episodes.
When you are using a migraine diary app, you can log in all the triggers and the algorithms of the app can help you identify the real causes. For example, the algorithm of the app can factor the effect of weather and tell you if it’s causing you headaches.
- Recognize Seasonal Changes
The changes in seasons and the hormonal cycle for women can be the cause of severe headaches. But you can’t tell it confidently unless you have concrete data in your hand to show the changes.
A migraine tracking app with data collected over a year will show what affects seasons like summer or winter have on your pain. Some of the apps weigh in the weather factor and automatically identifies the seasons that trigger your migraine.
With such comprehensive data, you can plan how to handle your headache in the future.
- Make the Most out of Medical Visits
When you are not tracking your headaches, you don’t have any data to show to your doctor. You can try relying on your memory but it’s normal to forget or miss out something important.
The migraine diary app collects all the necessary information about your migraine episodes and presents comprehensive data. The data will help your doctor better understand the causes of your headaches and plan a better treatment plan.
- Facilitates Emergency Care
Some people suffering from migraine get acute attacks which require emergency room treatment. But if you don’t have enough proof then the ER team might just think you as a drug craving addict and simply dismiss your case.
When you have a headache diary app which records all details, it can be presented as evidence for ER care. If you have a supporting letter from your doctor then you will surely get ER treatments when you need them without hassles.
- Find out Treatment Effectiveness
Do you know how the effectiveness of a medicine or treatment is determined in clinical trials?
The most important part is the collection of accurate data for the treatment period which is analyzed to derive the effectiveness. You can adopt the same science-based approach to determine if treatment is working for you.
For example, you record details in your migraine diary app for two months along with your preventive medication. The data at the end of two months will reveal whether the medication was able to reduce the frequency or duration of migraines. You can carry the effectiveness test for different treatment options and find the ones that work best for you.
- Proof for Insurance Claims
You know that you have to have proof to get anything reimbursed or covered under your healthcare plan. You may need a certain medication but your insurer may drop the request because of lack of proof.
For instance, the FDA requires a patient to undergo headaches for 14 days or more to categorize them as chronic migraine patients. If you are recording your migraine episodes with a migraine tracking app, then the data can act as evidence for your insurance provider and help you get the treatment you deserve.
Manage your Headaches Better with Migraine Diary App
David Dodick says that mobile apps that track migraines can be helpful for people who don’t have clearly recognizable triggers. Also, sometimes several triggers act at once to lead to a migraine episode.
A mobile migraine tracking app could really be useful for such people, according to the Phoenix Mayo Clinic’s director of headache medicine and professor of Neurology, Dodick.
Anne MacGregor, senior professor of neuroscience at the Queen Mary University of London also saw benefits in some headache diary app users. The apps, according to her can help the patients identify their triggers effectively.
Using a migraine diary app gives you a complete understanding of your nagging headaches and also helps you find out the effectiveness of different treatment options. It saves you some cost, lost productivity as you can have better treatment and pain management as a result.
Shailendra Sinhasane (Shail) is the co-founder and CEO of Mobisoft Infotech. He has been focused on cloud solutions, mobile strategy, cross-platform development, IoT innovations and advising healthcare startups in building scalable products.