iPhone App Helps Hemophilia Patients Track Bleeding Incidents
Denmark-based pharmaceutical firm Novo Nordisk has announced a mobile app called HemaGo that enables hemophilia patients to keep track of their bleeding episodes.
Hemophilia is a genetic disorder in which the blood fails to clot normally. People with hemophilia are constantly at risk from uncontrolled bleeding from the slightest injury without medication and constant monitoring.
In addition to hemophilia, Novo Nordisk manufactures medications for diabetes care, women's health and growth disorders.
Announced Nov. 27, HemaGo enables patients and caregivers to monitor medication doses, keep track of medical appointments and study how hemophilia affects basic life events, Nova Nordisk reported.
It allows patients with hemophilia to track all aspects of their lives the disorder may affect, including productivity at work or school, according to the company.
"Many patients with bleeding disorders are struggling to stop the bleed, but they also need to record that information when they're mobile," Rich Halpern, senior brand manager at Novo Nordisk, told eWEEK. "An app such as HemaGo provides a quick solution and can synchronize with the records at home as well."
Maintaining a log of bleeding incidents through a mobile app is an improvement over keeping logs on paper, according to Halpern.
Storing the data electronically provides an easier way to submit the information to a doctor in an emergency, he noted.
Novo Nordisk developed HemaGo with guidance from bleeding disorder community members in its Consumer Council, an advisory group of patients, parents and caregivers.
The company designed the app for the iPhone, but it also works on the iPad, said Halpern.
HemaGo allows users to record pain scores as well as the type and duration of bleeding. It syncs this information with Novo Nordisk's Changing Possibilities in Hemophilia Website.
Patients can also set treatment reminders and record all medication they take, including over-the-counter meds, and share the information with a health provider. The site allows patients to maintain logs on their condition, treatment and quality of life. They can share this information with their caregivers and hemophilia treatment center, Novo Nordisk reported.
Changing Possibilities enables patients to transmit data through the company's proprietary, secure Web service rather than the cloud, said Halpern.
"The data wouldn't be appropriate to be sent over the cloud, so it's sent over a proprietary connection to protect the privacy of patients," he said.
Patients can opt to share their diary data with the American Thrombosis and Hemostasis Network (ATHN), a nonprofit organization that advances care of individuals that have bleeding and clotting disorders. ATHN allows patients to link their logs with their other medical records stored in ATHN's national database of bleeding disorder treatment information.
ATHN is looking to collect the generic data to create an "aggregate picture" for the hemophilia community, said Halpern.
Medical data shared in a database such as ATHN's is more specific to bleeding disorders than general health information exchanges, according to Halpern.
Novo Nordisk plans to release an Android version of HemaGo in January 2013. Other Novo Nordisk apps available on iTunes include NovoMedLink, which provides educational and prescribing information on diabetes, and Novo Dose, an app that guides patients on the proper insulin doses.