Purpose of App Review

  • How useful is this app in helping users track their medical conditions?

Introduction

Symple is an app that helps patients track their medical conditions daily. This can be helpful for patients who have new symptoms and want to track what may trigger their symptoms or even for patients with chronic conditions who want to keep track of their disease progression. Many times it can be months until a patient gets the opportunity to follow up with their physician and it can be difficult for patients to recall exactly when their disease was better or worse. This app helps patients record all of the pertinent information to make it easier for doctors to understand their disease process and can possibly help with clinical decisions involving treatment.

User Interface:

The interface of the Symple app is just as the name of the app suggests–simple. The app starts off the first time with a quick step by step tutorial of how to use it.

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The main screen of the app has all of the symptoms that the patient currently has. The app allows the patient to list up to 20 symptoms.

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Each day, the user gets to click on the symptom and choose how severe the symptoms are, what factors have contributed to the current symptoms, any additional notes, as well as up to two photos if needed. When the phone is turned horizontally, a bar graph shows up for each symptom.

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There is also a feature that allows patients to set reminders for themselves so that they can update their symptoms daily.

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Another great feature of the app is the ability for patients to choose a time interval and email their doctors comprehensive reports about their symptoms within that time. The only problem with the report is that it does not include the factors that make the symptoms better or worse.

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Overall this app is a very simple and beneficial way for patients to track their medical issues. However, there are a few improvements it could make. For example, the app should have an option to password protect the information to keep the patient’s information private. The app also should have the ability to update symptoms more than one time a day and set alarms more than once a day as well.

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Price

  • Free

Likes

  • Extremely simple to use
  • Sends notifications to users to remind them to update their symptoms
  • Can be used for any medical condition
  • Ability to send doctor reports if needed

Dislikes

  • The app only allows updates of symptoms once a day which is not practical for many diseases
  • The app should allow password protection since it includes private medical information

Patients that would benefit from the app

  • Any individual that wants to keep track of their medical symptoms

Conclusion

  • The Symple app is a great medical app that allows patients to keep track of their medical symptoms. It can be hard at times for patients to recall exactly what made their symptoms better or worse a month ago and by the time they see their doctor important information can be lost.
  • This app prevents that and allows the user to keep a detailed history of their illness.
  • This app is not for those who would need to track their disease more than once a day since that feature is not currently available with this app. As of publish, an Android version of the app is not available.

Type of Device used to review app–iPhone
Version of App–1.8.1

iTunes Link

Rating: (1 to 5 stars): 3.75/5

  1. User Interface: 3/5 – Extremely easy to use. Would be better if user could set a password to protect information. Also, would be better if there was a way to track symptoms more than once a day.
  2. Multimedia usage: 5/5 – Very well designed app. Also includes bar graphs when the phone is turned horizontally to track symptoms.
  3. Price: 5/5 -Free
  4. Real world applicability: 2/5. This app can be great for patients to use to keep track of their medical condition. It can be a great way for them to remember things that happened a while back, especially when their visit to the doctor is scheduled much later. However, the reports for the doctors, although a great idea to include, may not be as useful since physicians have a ton of paper work to look at and a limited time to do it as it is. This app is also only useful if patients only want to track their disease once a day since there is no option to input more than one data point per day.

Evidence and literature used to support app:

  • Studies have shown that using mobile apps to track mental health issues in adolescents can be a useful tool and can help in management of the patient’s conditions.
  • Reid SC, Kauer SD, Khor AS, et al. Using a mobile phone application in youth mental health – an evaluation study. Aust Fam Physician. 2012;41(9):711-4.

Disclaimer:
This post does not establish, nor is it intended to establish, a patient physician relationship with anyone. It does not substitute for professional advice, and does not substitute for an in-person evaluation with your health care provider. It does not provide the definitive statement on the subject addressed. Before using these apps please consult with your own physician or health care provider as to the apps validity and accuracy as this post is not intended to affirm the validity or accuracy of the apps in question. The app(s) mentioned in this post should not be used without discussing the app first with your health care provider.